An Orange a Day Keeps the Cold Away?

We came across a video that suggests citrus fruits can help keep your hands warm, seriously!  It’s published by NutritionFacts.org, an organization that provides updates on nutrition research.

In non-doctor speak, here’s the story: Albert Szent-Györgyi, the doctor who discovered Vitamin C, also discovered a class of nutrients called flavonoids.  One nutrient in this class is called hesperetin, and it’s found in citrus fruits – oranges are particularly high in hesperetin levels.

Hesperetin is said to increase blood flow, and the video goes on to report the results of trials among females said to have cold sensitivity (not specifically Raynaud’s sufferers), and measured their response to being exposed to air conditioning, plus their recovery after plunging their fingers in cold water.  Each test involved a control group that received Kool-Aid as a placebo.

Results were measured using a laser doppler device and found that consuming the citrus drink enabled the women to maintain more steady blood flow when exposed to cold air, and that they recovered normal blood flow faster than the control group after dipping their fingers in chilled water.

Well, they tell you not to eat grapefruit with calcium channel blockers (the drugs most commonly prescribed for Raynaud’s sufferers and clinically proven to reduce symptoms), then you see that citrus fruits may be good for increasing blood flow…confused?  Best to ask your doctor before trying anything you read or hear on the web!

Here’s the video:

Editor’s Note:  The body of knowledge on nutritional strategies to help Raynaud’s sufferers is limited.   We advocate the need for better quality, more consistent study methodologies on nutritional supplements and dietary options that could help Raynaud’s patients better control their attack frequency and severity. Please speak with your doctor before trying any of the above dietary approaches.