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Is orange juice anti-inflammatory?
Inflammation is a good thing in the right circumstances. For example, if you hit your elbow on a door and it swelled up, the soreness and stiffness would encourage you to rest it – which is what the elbow needs.
However, long term inflammation across the body is not a good thing as scientists believe it increases our risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Inflammation can also be a sign that our immune systems are under stress.
We still don’t know what causes chronic inflammation but there’s evidence that the following are linked:
· Frequent and excessive eating, particularly high fat diets or low intakes of antioxidant vitamins and minerals
· Regular overstimulation of the metabolism, for example eating lots of processed sugary or starchy foods which push up blood sugar levels
· Changes in gut bacteria linked to low fibre diets or antibiotic use
· Expansion of body fat cells due to obesity. This can cause rupturing of cells and an inflammatory response
· Fat cells becoming full leading to fat deposition in other parts of the body, such as the liver.
Fruits and vegetables have anti-inflammatory effects, and this may include orange juice. A recent review of 21 intervention studies, published in Advances in Nutrition (1), found that a common marker of inflammation – called interleukin-6 – reduced after people consumed 100% orange juice regularly.
The authors suggested the anti-inflammatory effect could be due to bioactive compounds in orange juice, such as the polyphenol hesperidin, which are believed to impact on genes that control inflammation.
In one of the better designed clinical trials mentioned in the review (2) adults drank a daily serving of red orange juice for 1 week. After a wash-out, the participants switched to a sugar-containing placebo drink for another week. Markers of inflammation, which included interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein, reduced significantly after orange juice consumption.
More studies like this are needed to confirm the potential anti-inflammatory effects of 100% orange juice.
Check out the references here:
3 min read
Sugar Awareness Week 8th to 14th November 2021
Surveys show that most people drink fruit juice for taste, or as a convenient way to obtain vitamins and minerals. 100% juices are rich in vitamin C, for immune health, and also provide potassium, which supports normal blood pressure, and folate, which helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue. Click here for Frequency Asked Questions about 100% fruit juices and sugar.
6 min read
Research review concludes “neurological benefit” from citrus fruits and their juices
A new review, published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, has found that citrus fruits and their juices can have a positive impact on brain health, particularly during ageing. Scientists believe the secret lies in the citrus polyphenols – called flavonoids – which occur naturally in oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit.
Scientists based at the University of East Anglia in Norwich collated hundreds of studies which looked at the impact of citrus flavonoids on brain cells and nerves, as well as 10 studies in human populations.
The results showed that citrus polyphenols have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties – both important for protecting brain tissues from damage, for example due to ageing or underlying health conditions. Damage to brain and nerve cells is one of the earliest signs of degenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and age-related cognitive decline.
Author, Dr David Vauzour, a Senior Research Fellow at the Norwich Medical School commented: “The human studies carried out so far suggest that eating citrus fruits improves cognitive performance and reduces the risk of degenerative brain diseases. We see similar effects for whole fruits and 100% juices, and effectiveness in both healthy people and those with existing neurological conditions.
“In addition, studies on animals have shown that supplementing the diet with citrus fruits improves deficits in learning and memory, particularly spatial memory – which helps us to remember where we’ve put things – and recognition memory – which is vital for facial and name recall”.
Dr Carrie Ruxton, from the Fruit Juice Science Centre, added: “Citrus fruits and their juices are a rich source of vitamin C and contain flavonoids such as hesperidin. These are well-known to have positive effects on the vascular system and blood pressure, so it is interesting that the benefits extend to the brain. It provides another reason to enjoy a daily glass of orange juice”.
Read the full paper by clicking here
53 min read
New study finds that fruit juice nutrients support natural immunity
A new research review, published in Frontiers in Immunology, has found that a simple glass of citrus juice – for example orange or grapefruit – contains key nutrients and bioactive substances that help our immune system to work efficiently.
Scientists examined evidence from nearly 200 different studies and reports, and concluded that vitamin C, folate and polyphenol compounds in citrus juices have the capacity to impact on immune health, fight inflammation and improve our defence against bacteria and viruses.
Co-author, Philip Calder, Professor of Nutritional Immunology at Southampton University, said: “A weak immune system increases susceptibility to infections and allows these to become more severe. One component of the immune response is inflammation. Where inflammation is excessive or uncontrolled it can damage body tissues, sometimes irreparably, and affect our ability to fight infections. Having a diet rich in antioxidant foods and drinks is one way to control inflammation and ensure the body can mount an effective immune response. Trials in humans confirm that orange juice consumption reduces inflammation.
“Citrus fruit juices are particularly good sources of vitamin C and folate, which have roles in strengthening the gut and skin barriers which are our first line of defence against viruses and bacteria. In addition, these nutrients – which are absorbed well from fruit juices –support the function of many types of immune cells including phagocytes, natural killer cells, T-cells and B-cells.
“Another area of research is the bioactive polyphenols found in citrus fruit juices which include hesperidin, narirutin and naringin. These not only have anti-inflammatory effects but could also have direct anti-viral effects according to emerging data from modelling studies”.
Dr Carrie Ruxton, from the Fruit Juice Science Centre, comments: “The evidence about the positive role that fruit juices play in the diet continues to build. We know from several large studies that a daily glass of pure fruit juice provides vitamin C, folate and potassium, can help to lower blood pressure, and reduces the risk of stroke. Now it’s clear that citrus juices can also contribute to immune health which is crucial as we all get back to our normal lives”.
Read the full paper by clicking here
67 min read