Research conducted by a Hebrew University scientist shows that those who regularly eat, or drink the juice of, the unique Israeli citrus are able to lower their blood cholesterol and increase their antioxidant activity.

Dr. Shela Gorinstein of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products at Hebrew University’s Jerusalem School of Pharmacy published her research on the pomelit in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

To test the benefits of the fruit, 72 patients at Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot suffering from hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) were given daily supplements of the juice for 30 days. All of the patients had recently undergone bypass surgery.

The results showed a substantial decrease of LDL ('bad') blood cholesterol and an increase in blood antioxidant activity in patients who were given medium and large portions of the juice, compared with those who did not receive any.

Patients who consumed the most juice showed great increase in blood albumin and a decrease in blood fibrinogen levels. These are factors that enhance anticoagulant activity, which in turn can prevent heart diseases.

The researcher concludes her findings with a recommendation that hypercholesterolic patients add juice of the pomelit - known also by its commercial name, the “Jaffa Sweetie” - to their daily diets for protection against heart disease.