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Abundantly found in Florida Orange Juice with helpful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

What is Hesperidin?

You may be familiar with flavonoids such as resveratrol in red wine or catechin in green tea, but have you heard about hesperidin? Hesperidin is a phytonutrient (naturally occurring plant compound) concentrated in the peels of citrus. Hesperidin has been shown in clinical studies to have antioxidant properties, which help protect the body’s cells against damage caused by free radicals.1,2 Hesperidin and other citrus flavonoids have also been linked with benefits in:

The flavonoid hesperidin is highly concentrated in citrus and rarely found in other foods, making orange juice a unique source of this flavonoid.3

Get the Highest Amount of Hesperidin From Your Diet by Drinking Florida Orange Juice.

Citrus variety, fruit maturity, post-harvest processing techniques, storage conditions, and the location within the fruit (e.g. peels are richer than pulp) affect levels of flavonoids in orange juice.  Thus, the amount of flavonoids in a food can vary widely.  Orange juice has been reported to contain between 30mg3 and 130mg4 of hesperidin on average in an 8-ounce serving.

The higher pressures used to squeeze oranges during commercial processing of 100% orange juice can dramatically increase the amount of hesperidin and other beneficial phytonutrients released from the peels of the orange.5 Furthermore, 100% orange juice has been shown to have higher available amounts of beneficial flavonoids than whole oranges, homogenized whole oranges, or fresh pressed orange juice.6,7

Detailed Nutritional Information

Hesperidin, a polyphenolic compound, is a flavanone which is part of the larger flavonoid group. It is the primary polyphenol found in citrus fruit and juice and in fresh fruit is most concentrated in the peel and albedo (white spongy part just under the peel). The chemical structure of polyphenols allows them to act as antioxidants to help protect the body against oxidative stress and free radical damage. Hesperidin has limited bioavailability in the human body because it must first be acted on by various enzymes and modified in order to be absorbed in the upper intestinal tract. Therefore, much of the hesperidin consumed will pass into the colon. Once in the colon, the gut microbiota work to transform hesperidin into other molecules and compounds that can be absorbed and may benefit human health in numerous ways.26

In vitro and animal studies report that hesperidin and other citrus flavonoids have a wide variety of beneficial actions, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antifungal, anticancer, cardioprotective, neuroprotective, osteoprotective, antidiabetic and anti-obesity properties.27-29 Very few clinical research studies with OJ, the major source of hesperidin and flavanones in the diets of various population groups,30-32 have attempted to isolate the specific benefits of hesperidin in OJ.

In a randomized, parallel, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 159 participants with pre- or stage 1 hypertension consumed for 12 weeks either 500 mL/day of regular OJ (providing 345 mg/d hesperidin), OJ enriched with hesperidin (providing 600 mg/d hesperidin), or a control drink that contained no hesperidin.21 The intake of OJ or hesperidin-enriched OJ resulted in significant decreases in systolic blood pressure and plasma homocysteine (a common biomarker of heart disease) at the end of the study when compared to baseline and the control drink. At the end of the study there was also a significant decrease in pulse pressure, the expression of two genes associated with blood pressure, and uric acid (a biomarker correlated with hypertension and arterial stiffness) in the hesperidin-enriched OJ group compared to baseline. Overall, greater changes and benefits were seen with hesperidin-enriched OJ suggesting a dose-response effect of hesperidin.

A crossover clinical study investigated the effects of OJ and hesperidin on several cardiovascular disease risk biomarkers. Twenty-four healthy but overweight men, age 50-65, consumed 500 mL/day of either OJ (providing 292 mg/d hesperidin), a control beverage + hesperidin tablets (providing 292 mg/d hesperidin), or a control beverage + placebo tablets (no hesperidin) for 4 weeks.8 Consumption of OJ and control+hesperidin resulted in lower diastolic blood pressure after 4 weeks. Also, with an acute single dose challenge, OJ and control+hesperidin improved microvascular endothelial activity when compared to the control+placebo beverage and this was observed at peak blood hesperidin levels. These results suggest that at least some of the benefits observed with OJ consumption could be linked to hesperidin.

In order to synthesize the published research related to hesperidin in OJ, a narrative systematic review and gap analysis examined the impact of hesperidin on chronic disease, including cardiovascular, bone health, cancer, neurological, metabolic and inflammatory biomarkers.24 The results uncovered a trend toward improving various disease biomarkers; specifically, higher intakes of hesperidin from OJ were associated with beneficial impacts on blood lipids and blood pressure as well as oxidative stress and inflammatory markers. Although the results of this broad look at research were positive, the relationship between hesperidin and health was considered rather weak due to a lack of consistency among studies.

There is evidence to suggest that hesperidin may play a role in delaying the absorption of natural sugars. In a crossover trial with ten healthy volunteers in each study, three separate crossover interventions were conducted using orange juice with different amounts of added hesperidin with water. The data shows that hesperidin may regulate postprandial glycemic response of orange juice depending on the sugar and hesperidin concentrations.33This means that 100% orange juice may not contribute to blood sugar elevations in the same way other sugary beverages containing added sugars would.

More robust clinical studies are needed to help further elucidate the role of hesperidin in human health. One such study, the HESPER-HEALTH randomized controlled crossover trial, is in progress and will assess the role of OJ in vascular function and the contribution of hesperidin (200-215 mg/d daily dose) to observed effects.34 The results of this study will contribute valuable data regarding the potential benefits of hesperidin in OJ.

*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.

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