A Common Sense Breakthrough

Lead researcher, Huang-Ge Zhang, D.V.M., Ph.D.  started doing research by using a common sense approach. He considered how our ancestors selected food to eat.

“The fruits and vegetables we buy from the grocery today were passed down from generation to generation as favorable and nutritious for the human body.”

On the flip side, outcomes were not favorable for our ancestors who ate poisonous mushrooms, for example, Zhang added.

“It made sense for us to consider eatable plants as a mechanism to create medical nanoparticles as a potential non-toxic therapeutic delivery vehicle.”


Scientists have found that grapefruits may revolutionize how medical therapies like anti-cancer drugs are delivered to specific tumor cells.

“These nanoparticles, which we’ve named grapefruit-derived nanovectors (GNVs), are derived from an edible plant, and we believe they are less toxic for patients, result in less biohazardous waste for the environment, and are much cheaper to produce at large scale than nanoparticles made from synthetic materials.”

– Huang-Ge Zhang, D.V.M., Ph.D.


It is exciting to see a breakthrough of this type using natural substances. In the coming years, it will be interesting to see the real-life implications. Thanks to science and a delicious sub-tropic citrus!

References: University of Louisville (2013, May 21). Delivery of therapeutic agents by nanoparticles made of grapefruit-derived lipids. Nature Communications, 2013; DOI:10.1038/ncomms2886