little kid sitting at a counter top drawing with crayons and drinking a glass of florida orange juice

Brain Health and Florida Orange Juice

Support Your Brain with a Healthy Diet

Florida Orange Juice has several nutrients and plant compounds that may play a role in cognitive health when included as part of a balanced diet:


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Florida Orange Juice contains nutrients that may support brain health and may positively affect cognition.


Detailed Nutrition Information

Flavonoids

Flavonoids can cross the blood-brain barrier that the body uses to protect the brain from harmful or damaging agents.1,2 Flavonoids found in citrus, specifically hesperidin and naringenin, may help maintain cell health in brain tissue as they appear to cross the blood-brain barrier to the greatest extent.1 Flavonoids may reduce inflammation and maintain or improve blood flow to the brain which could have positive effects on cognition.1-5

A clinical study in healthy older adults reported that adults who consumed 100% orange juice scored better on combined tests for global cognitive function compared to the control group.6 In another study, orange juice with orange pomace added (to increase the fiber and flavonoid content of the juice) was shown to benefit psychomotor speed, attention/executive function and subjective alertness in healthy overweight or obese men.7 The consumption of citrus fruit and orange juice was associated with better performance on some cognitive tests in a study of older Norwegian adults.8 Furthermore, improvement on the DSST test (which measures processing speed, attention, switching and other cognitive functions) was also seen in young adults after consuming 100% citrus juice; increased blood flow to an area of the brain related to these functions was also observed in a separate study.4

The flavonoid hesperidin is highly concentrated in citrus and rarely found in other foods, making orange juice a unique source of this flavonoid.9

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is concentrated in cerebral spinal fluid and in the brain;10-12 thus, vitamin C may play a role in brain health.10 However, the precise role that vitamin C plays on cognition is unknown.13 Some studies report higher vitamin C levels to be associated with better cognitive function, while others do not.10,12,13 While research regarding the use of vitamin C on brain health is inconclusive, vitamin C may have a protective effect on brain aging, particularly in the elderly with insufficient vitamin C status.10,13

100% orange juice contains 90-140% of the Daily Value of vitamin C in an 8-ounce glass.14*

Thiamin (B1)

Thiamin deficiency affects the nervous system and can cause memory loss, confusion, dementia, and other nervous system issues.15-17 Lower amounts of thiamin and thiamin-dependent enzymes in the blood and brain have also been reported in several studies of elderly patients with Alzheimer’s disease.15,16 Few and inconsistent studies have been performed on the effects of thiamin on improving cognition and preventing dementia; however, thiamin may play a beneficial role in brain health.

100% orange juice is a good source of thiamin with an 8-ounce glass providing 10-18% of the Daily Value.14*

Vitamin B6

Research suggests vitamin B6 may play a role in brain health. Early studies in animals and adult humans have shown reduced neurotransmitters and abnormal EEGs (electroencephalograms) with vitamin B6 depletion.17 Case reports describe clinical symptoms of B6 deficiency to include depression and confusion.17,18 Few observational studies report associations between low B6 and other B vitamins and cognitive decline, but due to other factors within the studies, these results are not conclusive.18 Therefore, the role of vitamin B6 is thought to be linked with cognition, but is largely unknown.17,18

An 8-ounce glass of 100% orange juice has 6-11% of the Daily Value for vitamin B6.14*

*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. USDA SR28 database entries for 90206 and 09209 were used for calculating RDI.


References

  1. Spencer et al. Mol Aspects of Med. 2012;33(1):83-97.
  2. Jaeger et al. Mol Aspects Med. 2017. In press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mam.2017.11.003
  3. Joseph et al. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2016;56(3):419-444.
  4. Lamport et al. Br J Nutr. 2017;116(12):2160-2168.
  5. Francis et al. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2006;47 S2:215-220.
  6. Kean et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;101(3):506-514.
  7. Alharbi et al. Eur J Nutr. 2016;55(6):2021-2029.
  8. Nurk et al. Br J Nutr. 2010;104:1190-1201.
  9. Bhagwat S, Haytowitz D. USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods Release 3.2. In. Beltsville, MD: Unites States Department of Agriculture; 2015
  10. Travica et al. Nutrients. 2017;9(960) doi:10.3390/nu9090960.
  11. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Vitamin C. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 2000:95-185.
  12. Alrt et al. Neurochem Res. 2012;37(12):2706-2714.
  13. Vitamin C. Linus Pauling Institute. Oregon State University. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-C
  14. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28 (slightly revised). US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory; May 2016. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/
  15. Thiamin. Linus Pauling Institute. Oregon State University. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/thiamin
  16. Thiamin. Health Sheet for Professionals. Office of Dietary Supplements. National Institutes of Health. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Thiamin-HealthProfessional/
  17. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Recommended Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences; 1998:58-83.
  18. B6. Linus Pauling Institute. Oregon State University. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-B6#cognitive-decline-alzheimer-disease-prevention