The lychee (Litchi chinensis, leechi, litchi, laichi, lichu, lizhi) is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family, Sapindaceae. It is a tropical and subtropical fruit tree native to Southeast Asia, and now it appears in many parts of the world. The fresh fruit has a "delicate, whitish pulp" with a "perfume" flavor.
Litchi chinensis is an evergreen tree that is frequently less than 10 m (33 ft) tall. Fruits mature in 80–112 days, depending on climate, location, and cultivar. The thin, tough inedible skin is green when immature, ripening to red or pink-red, and is smooth or covered with small sharp protuberances. _________________________________________________________________________________________
Lychee Nutrition Lycheeis a good source of Vitamin C. On average nine lychee fruits would meet an adult’s daily recommended Vitamin C requirement. It also contains sugar, copper, phosphorus, and potassium. Like other plant-based foods, lychees are low in saturated fat and sodium and are cholesterol free. Lychees have moderate amounts of polyphenols. On the phenolic composition, flavan-3-ol monomers and dimers were the major found compounds representing about 87.0% of the phenolic compounds that declined with storage or browning. Cyanidin-3-glucoside was a major anthocyanin and represented 91.9% of anthocyanins. It also declined with storage or browning. Small amounts of malvidin-3-glucoside were also found. ___________________________________________________________________________________________
Lychee Benefits Lychee benefits may be many. But, there are not many research studies have been reported on its potential health benefits. In this section, I highlight a few interesting research findings on lychee benefits.
Liver Lychee may have benefits of liver protection. Male Wistar albino rats were intraperitoneally injected (ip) with CCl(4) (2 ml/kg), then were orally administered (po) with silymarin (100mg/kg), and Gimjeng or Chakapat lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) extracts (100 and 500 mg/kg). After ten days, the rats were sacrificed and their livers were examined. Administration of CCl(4) in rats elevated the serum GPT, GOT, and ALP level whereas silymarin, Gimjeng and lychee extracts prevented these increases significantly. Significant decrease of apoptotic cells together with restoration of morphological changes confirmed the hepatoprotective effect in the CCl(4)-induced rats pretreated with the extracts. 
Lipid Profiles Lychee may have benefits of lipid-lowering effects. Oligonol, a low-molecular polyphenol derived from lychee fruit, was orally administered at 10 or 20 mg per kg body weight per d for 8 weeks to db/db mice, and its effects were compared with placebo in mice. In the oligonol-administered group, there were significant reductions of reactive oxygen species (ROS), lipid peroxidation, and certain lipid concentrations in both the serum and liver. The present results suggest that oligonol has protective effects against ROS-related inflammation and excess lipid deposition in the type 2 diabetic liver. 
In a study, lychee-treated cells had lower triglyceride concentrations, less lipid accumulation and a smaller lipid droplet size. Rats given a single dose of 50 or 100 mg/kg lychee fruit extract had significant increases in plasma (-)- epicatechin, 3'-O-methyl-(-)-epicatechin, and (+)-catechin levels. 7-month-old mice fed a 200mg/kg lychee fruit extract diet for 10 months showed a significant decrease in glucose, triglyceride and lipid peroxide levels compared with mice fed a control diet.  Thus, lychee fruit extract may benefit people at risk of high lipid levels or even metabolic syndrome.
Infection The lychee polyphenol, oligonol, at concentration of more than 313 microg/ml inhibited the mycelial growth of Candida albicans in vitro. When 50 microl of oligonol (20 mg/ml ) was administered three times into the oral cavity of orally Candida-infected mice, the number of viable Candida cells in the oral cavity was reduced significantly and the score of lesions on the tongue recovered on day 2.  This lychee fruit polyphenol, was found to have anti-influenza effects by inhibiting phosphorylation of extracellular-signal-regulated kinases. 
Diabetes Oligonol, a lychee compound, was orally administered at 10 or 20 mg/kg body weight per d for 8 weeks to db/db mice with type 2 diabetes, and its effects were compared with those of the vehicle in db/db and m/m (misty, non-diabetic) mice. A significant reduction in the serum lipid concentration, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lipid peroxidation, as well as improvements in renal function parameters was found. In addition, this lychee compound treatment significantly decreased ROS levels and lipid peroxidation in the kidney. It would act as a regulator in the inflammatory response of type 2 diabetes; lychee may benefit people at risk of diabetes. 
Note. Most are animal-studies; clinical studies are needed to prove lychee benefit claims. _________________________________________________________________________________________
Reference 1.. Bhoopat L, et al, Hepatoprotective effects of lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.): a combination of antioxidant and anti- apoptotic activities. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Jun 14;136(1):55-66 2. Noh JS, et al, Treatment with oligonol, a low- molecular polyphenol derived from lychee fruit, attenuates diabetes-induced hepatic damage through regulation of oxidative stress and lipid metabolism. Br J Nutr. 2011 Oct;106(7):1013-22. 3. Hayama K, et al, Therapeutic effect of oligonol, a low-molecular polyphenol formulation derived from lychee fruits on murine oral candidiasis Nihon Ishinkin Gakkai Zasshi. 2010;51(3):137-42. 4. Noh JS, et al, Hypolipidaemic and antioxidative effects of oligonol, a low- molecular-weight polyphenol derived from lychee fruit, on renal damage in type 2 diabetic mice. Br J Nutr. 2010 Oct;104 (8):1120-8. 5. Gangehei L, et al, Oligonol a low molecular weight polyphenol of lychee fruit extract inhibits proliferation of influenza virus by blocking reactive oxygen species-dependent ERK phosphorylation. Phytomedicine. 2010 Nov;17 (13):1047-56.  Kalgaonkar S, et al, Bioactivity of a flavanol-rich lychee fruit extract in adipocytes and its effects on oxidant defense and indices of metabolic syndrome in animal models. Phytother Res. 2010 Aug;24(8):1223-8.
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