Allahbad: An onion a day keeps the doctor away. True. Researchers at the Allahabad University have proved that switching over to onion (around Rs 10 per kg) from apple (Rs 120 per kg) will provide the same nutritional value without burning a hole in your pocket.

Onion has the potential of replacing apple. It also helps in fighting against various ailments effecting eyes, kidney, brain and blood circulation system, researches conducted by head of the biochemistry department, Allahabad University, Syed Ibrahim Rizvi and assistant professor Neetu Mishra, have shown.

Consumption of onion and apple is beneficial for diabetics. Both apple and onions are equally rich in a substance called 'quercetin', which enters the cell and adds to the capacity of human body in fighting oxidative stress, which is responsible for causing diabetes and complications associated with it, the research has shown.

"We have the experimental proof of protecting effect of 'quercetin' against the increased oxidative stress in normal humans. Diabetics are known to have increased oxidative stress. Higher intake of diet rich in 'quercetin' may protect diabetic patients from complications arising due to oxidative stress," said Rizvi.

He said that blood sample of 31 diabetics, from 58 to 75 years in age, was taken. Among them, 18 were men and 13 women. Care was taken to select patients with no family history of diabetes mellitus or hypertension (high blood pressure) for the last two generations and see that none of the women was receiving hormonal treatment.

Quercetin was than studied on human's red blood cells (RBCs).

It was observed that quercetin present in onions and apples protected RBC from the harmful effect of oxidative stress and it is absorbed much more from the human intestinal tract into the blood stream, he added.

Courtesy Times of India