It is disappointing that some media outlets have chosen to sensationalize the findings of an observational study in a way that misleads consumers about the healthfulness of 100% fruit juice.
In fact, the body of scientific evidence strongly supports the role of 100% orange juice in a healthy diet – including its role in heart health.
The potential for confusion reminds us once again of the importance of arming consumers with the facts on the nutritional benefits of 100% Florida Orange Juice.
Research reports that 100% orange juice consumption has been associated with favorable effects on serum cholesterol, blood pressure and blood vessel function, as well as inflammatory and oxidative stress markers that may contribute to the development and progression of cardiovascular disease.
Importantly, clinical studies using orange juice or grapefruit juice report neutral or even beneficial effects on systolic or diastolic blood pressure when orange or grapefruit juice is consumed daily as part of the normal diet (Morand et al. 2011; Silver et al. 2011; Basile et al. 2010).
The Pase et al. observational study has a number of crucial limitations, some of which have been pointed out by the researchers in the study. Additionally, the amount of juice consumed by study participants could not be determined, only how often juice was consumed. Also, it appears that the intake of important dietary constituents such as sodium, which is strongly linked to blood pressure, were not taken into account in the analysis.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information has already challenged the irresponsible reporting on this study, and the UK’s National Health Service reviewed coverage of the study and found that several media headlines exaggerated its results. The study does not prove that fruit juice increases blood pressure or raises the risk of heart attack, the NHS notes.
Overall, this study alone does not provide evidence that fruit juice increases blood pressure or, by proxy, raises the risk of heart attack or angina.
An 8-ounce serving of 100% orange juice is an excellent source of vitamin C and is a good source of potassium, folate, and thiamin, which are carried over from the fruit to the juice. It also includes several other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6 (7% of the Daily Value), magnesium (7% of the Daily Value), and vitamin A (4% of the Daily Value).
At a time when people are faced with many choices to fuel their diet, it is more important than ever to know how to choose foods and beverages that are rich in nutrients, such as 100% orange juice, that provide a variety of nutritional and health benefits when consumed in moderation as part of a varied diet.
Basile LG, et al. Daily intake of pasteurized orange juice decreases serum cholesterol, fasting glucose, and diastolic blood pressure in adults. Proc Fla State Hort Soc. 2010;123:228-233.
Morand C, et al. Hesperidin contributes to the vascular protective effects of orange juice: a randomized crossover study in healthy volunteers. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;93(1):73-80.
Silver HJ, et al. Effects of grapefruit, grapefruit juice and water preloads on energy balance, weight loss, body composition, and cardiometabolic risk in free-living obese adults. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2011;8(1):8.
About the Florida Department of Citrus
The Florida Department of Citrus is an executive agency of Florida government charged with the marketing, research and regulation of the Florida citrus industry. Its activities are funded by a tax paid by growers on each box of citrus that moves through commercial channels. The industry employs nearly 76,000 people, provides an annual economic impact close to $9 billion to the state, and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues that help support Florida’s schools, roads and health care services. For more information about the Florida Department of Citrus, please visit FloridaCitrus.org.