A new study has suggested that a tearless version of onions can help fight cardiovascular disease and may play and important role in managing weight gain.
Colin C. Eady and colleagues noted that the onion has a unique chemistry that leads to its tear-inducing effects when cut.
They have developed a new type of onion that makes less of the protein blamed for making eyes burn and tear up and instead makes a sulfur compound similar to one found in cut garlic that may be the key to its cardiovascular benefits.
Many people eat garlic cloves or take it as a nutritional supplement in pill form to reduce the clumping of platelets in the blood, which can lead to blood clots and clogged arteries. Garlic also has been shown to reduce weight gain. They wanted to know whether the new onion might also have similar positive effects on health.
The scientists found that in lab tests, extract from the tearless onion significantly reduced platelet clumping, compared to regular onions or even garlic. Other results showed that the new onion had about the same anti-inflammatory properties as the original.
Also, preliminary testing in rats showed that the tearless onion could help control weight gain - more so than regular onions or garlic.
The study is published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.