Hesperidin linked to several health benefits, more research needed

BARTOW, Fla. – A new systematic review links the hesperidin found in oranges and 100% orange juice to health benefits, though more research is needed to further strengthen results.   

The Florida Department of Citrus-funded review examined published studies relating to hesperidin in 100% orange juice and its impact on several chronic conditions and other measurements, such as blood levels of nutrients, oxidative stress, inflammatory markers and insulin levels.  Conducted by researchers at the University of Florida, the comprehensive analysis included 20 studies published between 2005 and 2021. The results were published online in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.

“This was the first review and gap analysis to look at the effects of hesperidin, exclusively delivered by 100% orange juice, on various diseases, conditions, and related markers,” said Dr. Rosa Walsh, the director of scientific research at the Florida Department of Citrus. “Looking at the research as a whole, we do see a trend for some positive results.”

The review revealed that compared to lower intakes, higher intakes of hesperidin delivered by 100% orange juice were reported to be associated with better outcomes, including some related to cardiovascular issues such as blood lipids and blood pressure, as well as oxidative stress and inflammatory markers. According to the findings, the strongest associations appeared to be for antioxidant and phenolic biomarkers, suggesting that hesperidin and orange juice were effective at increasing the intake or levels of nutrients in the body or having beneficial effects on specific markers of diseases or conditions.  

Systematic reviews establish up-front guidelines for the selection of studies to analyze. Not only does this type of review evaluate study results, but it also looks at the overall quality of and potential bias in those studies. The review was unique because it also included a gap analysis, which helps identify areas to help strengthen the body of research on a particular topic.

“This type of analysis is especially helpful as we or others plan future research related to hesperidin and orange juice,” Walsh said. “We hope that this study will promote more wide-spread interest and research in this area.”

The gap analysis concluded additional research is needed and should be more consistent with respect to study design and methodology so comparison among studies is easier and can lead to more definitive conclusions. Florida Department of Citrus’ scientific research department, and other researchers, can use these results as they continue to consider, design, and fund research projects to examine the nutrition and health benefits of 100 percent orange juice and hesperidin.

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 more than 33,000 people, provides an annual economic impact of $6.762 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/newsroom.