Are fruit juices helpful or harmful for health?



Are fruit juices helpful or harmful for health?

1 min read

You can include a glass of 100% fruit juice in your daily diet to help keep your heart healthy, according to an extensive review of high-quality evidence published in the journal, Nutrition Bulletin. This is thanks to the beneficial effects of fruit polyphenols and potassium on blood vessels.

The study examined clinical trials and meta-analyses – the gold standard for evidence – and found no adverse health effects on weight gain, type 2 diabetes risk, or metabolic health when 100% fruit juice is consumed daily for several months.

The authors of the review noted that pure fruit juice is sometimes unfairly criticised because it contains natural fruit sugars, despite the fact that it provides the same sugars, vitamins, minerals and plant bioactives found in equivalent whole fruits.

However, the evidence they collated shows that a small glass each day does not cause harm, and there is a chance it could do some good. The review reports studies from the US and Europe which show a 15-20% reduction in stroke risk in regular fruit juice consumers. Interestingly, findings observed for risk reduction of stroke were strongest at fruit juice intakes up to 200 ml daily, which is a typical serving size.

Furthermore, the review refers to clinical trials showing that juices made from oranges, pomegranates and cranberries significantly lower blood pressure, or improve vascular (blood vessel) function. The studies reported average blood pressure changes after regular fruit juice consumption similar to changes one would expect to see after cutting salt intake by around four grams a day.

The authors also found evidence from high-quality intervention studies which counters the link between 100% fruit juice and type 2 diabetes risk suggested by some American observational studies.

They concluded that, “there would appear to be no health advantage to seek to limit consumption of 100% FJ below the daily glass of 150 ml permitted in the UK’s 5 A DAY target.”


Ruxton CHS, Derbyshire E & Sievenpiper JL (2021). Pure 100% fruit juices – more than just a source of free sugars? A review of the evidence of their effect on risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Nutrition Bulletin. 46, 415– 431.