Original Article

International Journal of Obesity (2010) 34, 578–588; doi:10.1038/ijo.2009.266; published online 22 December 2009

Blood orange juice inhibits fat accumulation in mice

L Titta1,2, M Trinei3, M Stendardo1, I Berniakovich1, K Petroni4, C Tonelli4, P Riso2, M Porrini2, S Minucci1,4, P G Pelicci1,4, P Rapisarda5, G Reforgiato Recupero5 and M Giorgio1

  1. 1Department of Experimental Oncology, European Institute of Oncology (IEO), Milan, Italy
  2. 2Department of Food Science and Microbiology (DISTAM), Division of Human Nutrition University of Milan, Milan, Italy
  3. 3Congenia Srl, Milan, Italy
  4. 4Department of Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
  5. 5Research Center for Citric culture and Mediterranean Crops (CRA-ACM), Acireale, Italy

Correspondence: Dr M Giorgio, Department of Experimental Oncology, European Institute of Oncology, Via Adamello 16, Milan 20139, Italy. E-mail: marco.giorgio@ifom-ieo-campus.it

Received 13 July 2009; Revised 21 October 2009; Accepted 1 November 2009; Published online 22 December 2009.





To analyze the effect of the juice obtained from two varieties of sweet orange (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck), Moro (a blood orange) and Navelina (a blond orange), on fat accumulation in mice fed a standard or a high-fat diet (HFD).



Obesity was induced in male C57/Bl6 mice by feeding a HFD. Moro and Navelina juices were provided instead of water. The effect of an anthocyanin-enriched extract from Moro oranges or purified cyanidin-3-glucoside (C3G) was also analyzed. Body weight and food intake were measured regularly over a 12-week period. The adipose pads were weighted and analyzed histologically; total RNA was also isolated for microarray analysis.



Dietary supplementation of Moro juice, but not Navelina juice significantly reduced body weight gain and fat accumulation regardless of the increased energy intake because of sugar content. Furthermore, mice drinking Moro juice were resistant to HFD-induced obesity with no alterations in food intake. Only the anthocyanin extract, but not the purified C3G, slightly affected fat accumulation. High-throughput gene expression analysis of fat tissues confirmed that Moro juice could entirely rescue the high fat-induced transcriptional reprogramming.



Moro juice anti-obesity effect on fat accumulation cannot be explained only by its anthocyanin content. Our findings suggest that multiple components present in the Moro orange juice might act synergistically to inhibit fat accumulation.


blood orange; orange juice; fat accumulation; anti-obesity; anthocyanins; cyanidin-3-glucoside.



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