New Analysis Shows 100% Fruit Juice Contributes to Cardiovascular Health in Adults

BARTOW, Fla. – A new analysis of nutrition research suggests that consumption of 100% fruit juice, such as 100% orange juice, by adults may have cardiovascular benefits and does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease or its risk factors.

The comprehensive analysis, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, pooled and collectively analyzed the results of 21 prospective and 35 randomized clinical studies published through August 2019, and found that drinking moderate amounts of 100% fruit juice was associated with a lower risk of total cardiovascular events and stroke. The study also reported no association at any level of 100% fruit juice intake with weight measures, including body weight, body mass index, and waist circumference, and risk for diabetes or risk factors for diabetes such as insulin resistance.1

Based on the analysis by researchers that were part of a working group from the Italian Society of Human Nutrition (SINU), significantly lower risks for total cardiovascular disease were observed at 100% fruit juice intake levels up to 170 ml per day (between 5 and 6 ounces) and lower risks for stroke were seen at intake amounts up to 200 ml per day (between 6 and 7 ounces). Higher consumption amounts did not significantly increase nor decrease risk. The analysis also found significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure with 100% fruit juice consumption, which could have been responsible for the observed risk reduction with cardiovascular events and stroke.

Additionally, no significant associations were seen with 100% fruit juice intake and increased risk for diabetes or risk factors for diabetes, including blood glucose and insulin levels and measures of insulin sensitivity. Consistent with many other studies, 100% fruit juice was not associated with weight parameters, including body weight, body mass index, and waist circumference.

A meta-analysis pools together and analyzes the results from previously conducted and published studies. In the hierarchy of research studies, a systematic review/meta-analysis ranks high with regard to the strength and robustness of results. 

“These results help further support a positive role for 100% fruit juice in cardiovascular health without negative effects on weight, risk for diabetes, or risk factors for these major diseases. While the study looked collectively at all 100% fruit juices we also have research supporting the beneficial effects of 100% orange juice on some of these very same health outcomes. In the end, a win for 100% fruit juice is also a win for 100% orange juice,” said Dr. Rosa Walsh, director of scientific research at the Florida Department of Citrus.

This systematic review and meta-analysis, funded through an unrestricted grant by the European Fruit Juice Association (AIJN), adds to the growing body of scientific research supporting the role of 100% fruit juice and 100% orange juice in the diet:

  • randomized controlled trial reported that 100% orange juice reduced systolic blood pressure in adults with pre- or stage-1 hypertension. Hesperidin, provided almost exclusively in the diet by 100% orange juice and oranges, appears to play a key role in the observed effects.2
  • A meta-analysis of 95 studies showed higher intake of citrus fruit and citrus fruit juice decreased risk of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and all-cause mortality. Citrus fruit juices were associated with a 25 percent reduction in the risk for ischemic stroke.3
  • In a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies, 100% fruit juice was associated with a 33 percent lower risk for stroke mortality.4
  • Numerous studies report no association between 100% orange juice or 100% fruit juice intake and body weight in children or adults.5-8

Every glass of 100% orange juice supports overall health and can help adults and children meet intake recommendations for key nutrients they may be lacking in their diets. An 8-oz. serving size contains vital vitamins and antioxidants, including vitamin C, potassium, folate, hesperidin and more, with no sugar added. From helping improve diet quality to supporting a healthy immune system, 100% orange juice offers a number of health benefits and can also easily be incorporated into simple, great-tasting recipes.

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 37,000 people, provides an annual economic impact of $6.5 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.


References

1. D’Elia L et al. Eur J Nutr. 2020 Nov 4.

2. Valls RM et al. Eur J Nutr. 2020 Jul 13.

3. Aune D et al. Int J Epidemiol. 2017;46(3):1029-1056.

4. Zurbau A et al. J Am Heart Assoc. 2020 Oct 20;9(19):e017728.

5. Crowe-White K et al. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2016;56(5):871-884.

6. Nicklas TM et al. International Journal of Child Health and Nutrition. 2020;9(3):100-114.

7. O’Neil CE et al. Pediatric Research and Child Health. 2020;4(1).

8. Sakaki JR et al. Public Health Nutr. 2020 Oct 7:1-8.