Since May is Arthritis Awareness month, I wanted to share some recent news discovered about onions and how they may be able to help people with arthritis and other diseases. For more information about the research in this article, click here: //www.onions-usa.org/contact/contact.php
Onions are a rich source of antioxidants called flavonoids and organosulfur compounds. A flavonoid found in onions called quercetin has shown significant anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Researchers have discovered that quercetin can inhibit the inflammation processes associated with diseases like asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Arthritis sufferers are also concerned with bone loss. Onion flavonoids, including quercetin, appear to promote bone health. In a 2005 animal study, researchers at the University of Bern, Switzerland identified a key bio-active compound in onions that may help prevent osteoporosis, a peptide called GPCS. When scientists exposed bone cells to GPCS, they found the peptide to significantly hinder the action of osteoclasts, cells that break down bones.
Further evidence of onions’ effect on bone health comes from a 2009 analysis of the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) that looked at dietary factors and bone health. The survey concluded onion consumption seems to have a beneficial effect on bone density in perimenopausal and postmenopausal non-Hispanic white women 50 years and older. Furthermore, older women who consume onions frequently may decrease their risk of hip fracture by more than 20% versus those who never consume onions.
While the research is intensifying on quercetin, researchers believe the synergistic actions of all the onion’s nutrients working together provide the most beneficial health effects. Until more research is available, adding an extra onion to your meals seems mighty “a-peeling”, wouldn’t you agree?