Oxidative stress refers to the imbalance of the body’s defense systems from damage, like free radicals in our environment. Inflammation often occurs from oxidative stress, a response of the immune system that sometimes results in redness and swelling. Food allergies or an infection, like the cold or flu, are among the causes of short-term inflammation. Long-term chronic inflammation and oxidative stress are thought to play a significant role in the onset and progression of several diseases including cardiovascular disease.
The FDOC recently partnered with Dr. Taylor Wallace at the 2022 Today’s Dietitian Spring Symposium where he discussed the benefits of 100% Orange Juice and its role in reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. Click here to view Dr. Taylor Wallace’s presentation.
The Florida Department of Citrus has provided a research grant for this study and has compensated Dr. Taylor Wallace as the speaker for this presentation. The comments and opinions within the presentation are solely those of the speaker.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C supports antioxidant activities in the body which in turn may help lessen oxidative stress and inflammation.6 For example, vitamin C deactivates free radicals in the skin providing photo protection against sunburn and premature aging.7
Orange juice is an excellent source of vitamin C providing more than 100% of the Daily Value in one 8 ounce glass.*
Flavonoids: Plant compounds called flavonoids,such as hesperidin and naringenin found in oranges and grapefruit, may help maintain cell health. Some research indicates these flavonoids may be able to reduce inflammation and support health of blood vessel cells.2,8 Orange juice and hesperidin have been shown to have some positive effects on cognition9-11 and cardiovascular health.8,12,13,26,27 The flavonoid hesperidin is found in high amounts in citrus and is rarely found in other foods.14
Hesperidin is concentrated in the peel of the orange, and commercial orange juice can have higher amounts of absorbable flavonoids compared to fresh-squeezed orange juice,15,16 likely due to increased pressure during processing.
Carotenoids: Carotenoids are colorful plant pigments that affect inflammatory and oxidative stress pathways, thus can inhibit the production of inflammation in our cells.17 Ultraviolet sunlight is a source of oxidative stress which can contribute to age-related eye diseases including cataracts and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Several studies have observed reduced risk of AMD with increased intake of carotenoids.18 Carotenoids have also been shown to protect against sunburn19,20 and premature aging.21 Since carotenoids are stored under the skin, regular consumption of orange juice can increase carotenoid levels in the skin.22 100% orange juice has many carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin and may be an option for managing inflammation through diet.
Several studies have shown the effects of 100% orange juice or its nutrients on inflammatory markers:
*Values based on a 2000 calorie diet. FDA rounding rules applied when calculating percent DV based upon 2018 rules. Information is not intended for labeling food in packaged form. Nutrient values may vary based on brand or product types.