Benefits Of Lemon For Weight Loss

Lemon for weight loss

      Health nutrients we can get from lemon

Lemons are part of the citrus family and are a very common Mediterranean fruit. As with many fruits, lemons are great for our health as they are incredibly nutritious. A recent study measuring the method in which different compounds in lemons can lead to anti-aging effects. Some of these compounds included citric acid, Vitamin C, and polyphenols. This was seen by comparing “ageing characteristics” of two groups of mice, one that was fed lemons on top of their regular feed and a control without the lemons. It was found that the intervention group that received lemons on average lived three weeks longer and had delayed ageing and locomotor changes. Whilst of course this study was conducted using mice models and not conducted using human trials, it might be an interesting conclusion that incorporating just a bit more lemon in your diet could slow down the ageing process of time.1 

Furthermore, lemons are extremely rich in antioxidants. These compounds work to counteract reactive oxygen species (ROS) which are derived from oxygen in multiple metabolic pathways and contribute to the pathogenesis of various conditions such as arthritis, inflammation and aging.2 The antioxidant properties from lemons are mainly derived from phenolic acids and flavonoids. They react with ROS via three main pathways: by directly neutralising them; by enhancing the body’s own antioxidant mechanisms; and by inhibiting enzymes necessary for their production. 

Another important effect of lemons is their anti-inflammatory effect which is mainly put in effect from nutrients such as flavonoids and coumarins. The cytokines, or messengers, that are activated during inflammation are involved in the pathogenesis of multiple immune mediated diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Even though the use of lemons for these conditions has not been studied, it could prove to be an aid for future research. 

Amazingly, some of the nutrients in lemons are also said to be anti-cancer. This is because it is high in secondary metabolites, such as flavonoids, coumarins, and limonoids, all of which have anti-cancer characteristics. These metabolites inhibit the transition from epithelial cells to mesenchymal cells and alter the tumour growth factor (TGF). 

To add to these positive effects, it also has cardioprotective effects. A study observing 100 women in Hiroshima looked at the number of steps taken in a day and the ingestion of lemon juice, and it was found that both were positive prognostic indicators for reducing systolic blood pressure, which can help prevent heart disease.3 

Moreover, several studies have found lemons to have high antimicrobial effects. The acetone and essential oils have a wide spectrum of activity on both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria as well as effectively killing some viruses, such as herpes virus, and some fungal infections like candida. A study on rats looked at whether lemons could have an anti-allergy effect. It was found that rats that were given lemon extracts had lower histamine release, thus contributing to the theory that lemons can have an anti-allergy effect on humans.

      Benefits of lemon for weight loss

Studies have found that the polyphenols contained in lemons work to help reduce diet-induced obesity and reduce insulin resistance, which could be massively beneficial to patients with diabetes. Some plant phenolic compounds have been reported to increase the expressions of genes such as PPAR alpha, which are involved in the oxidation of fatty acids by the liver. The study concluded that the way in which lemon helps weight loss is not by suppressing lipogenesis, but by increasing the oxidation of fats in the liver.4 

Another study found that lemon can reduce the number of adipocytes, or fat cells, and reduce their fatty content.5 An essential component for fighting obesity is the regulation of sugars and fatty acids. This study has shown how it can do just that via altering adipogenic transcription factors such as C/EBP alpha. 

Of course, this is not to say that lemons are miracle fruits and that they will solely lead to weight loss, but they can be powerful additives to a healthy weight loss regime which must still include a complete diet and consistent exercise.

      Diet tips for weight loss using lemon

                     When to consume

- It might be easier to have a routine in which you incorporate lemon in your life. As an example, you could have a glass of lemon water in the morning to kick start your metabolism.


- What are some easy and delicious ways to add more lemon to our diet?

o The easiest is probably to add it to your water! Mix some lemon juice and cucumber slices to your water for some instant freshness and a good way to give you a boost of lemony nutrients

o Lemon can also be added to some haddock or salmon to add a hint of acidity to your meal

o Lemon and ginger can be added alongside some hot water to create some delicious teas. 

      How much lemon is enough?

The healthy properties found inside the lemon can be incredibly good for the human body, but just how much do you need to feel its powerful effects? Even though this has not been fully researched, just half a cup of lemon juice may be enough for your body to feel the health benefits of this sharp fruit.

Things to remember

- Lemon has an array of helpful nutrients

- It is not a miracle fruit that will lead to instant weight loss

- It is not a replacement for a complete diet


This article has focused on the health properties of lemons with particular interest in its weight reducing properties. Lemons can have anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and cardiovascular protective properties. Moreover, lemons can also increase the oxidation of fatty acids in the liver and have been found to reduce the number of fat cells as well as their lipid content. Just half a cup of lemon juice a day could be beneficial, and it can be simply added to your glass of water in the morning. Even though lemon can be useful, it is important to remember that it does not substitute a healthy and complete diet and that exercise is also necessary for weight loss.


  1. Shimizu C, Wakita Y, Inoue T, Hiramitsu M, Okada M, Mitani Y, et al. Effects of lifelong intake of lemon polyphenols on aging and intestinal microbiome in the senescence-accelerated mouse prone 1 (Samp1). Sci Rep [Internet]. 2019 Mar 6 [cited 2022 Dec 11];9:3671. Available from:
  2. Lv X, Zhao S, Ning Z, Zeng H, Shu Y, Tao O, et al. Citrus fruits as a treasure trove of active natural metabolites that potentially provide benefits for human health. Chem Cent J [Internet]. 2015 Dec 24 [cited 2022 Dec 11];9:68. Available from:
  3. Klimek-Szczykutowicz M, Szopa A, Ekiert H. Citrus limon (Lemon) phenomenon—a review of the chemistry, pharmacological properties, applications in the modern pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetics industries, and biotechnological studies. Plants (Basel) [Internet]. 2020 Jan 17 [cited 2022 Dec 11];9(1):119. Available from:
  4. Fukuchi Y, Hiramitsu M, Okada M, Hayashi S, Nabeno Y, Osawa T, et al. Lemon polyphenols suppress diet-induced obesity by up-regulation of mrna levels of the enzymes involved in β-oxidation in mouse white adipose tissue. J Clin Biochem Nutr [Internet]. 2008 Nov [cited 2022 Dec 11];43(3):201–9. Available from:
  5. Wu CC, Huang YW, Hou CY, Chen YT, Dong CD, Chen CW, et al. The anti-obesity effects of lemon fermented products in 3t3-l1 preadipocytes and in a rat model with high-calorie diet-induced obesity. Nutrients [Internet]. 2021 Aug 16 [cited 2022 Dec 11];13(8):2809. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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