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Mandarin oranges may help against disease

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Mandarin oranges may reduce the risk of liver cancer and perhaps other diseases, suggest two studies by Japanese researchers.

In one study, researchers at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine found that drinking mandarin orange juice may reduce the risk of developing liver cancer in patients with chronic viral hepatitis.

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After a one-year study period, no liver cancer was detected among a group of 30 patients with viral hepatitis who were given one cup daily of a specially prepared beverage containing mandarin orange juice, compared to an 8.9-percent rate of liver cancer found among a group of 45 patients who did not drink the juice supplements, according to Dr. Hoyoku Nishino.

In a second study, scientists at the National Institute of Fruit Tree Science in Japan surveyed 1,073 people in a Japanese town noted for its high consumption of mandarin oranges. The researchers found certain chemical markers in the subjects' blood that are associated with a lower risk of several health problems, including liver disease, arteriosclerosis -- hardening of the arteries -- and insulin resistance -- a condition associated with diabetes, according to study leader Minoru Sugiura.

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The findings are being presented at the 232nd national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco.

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