Flavonoids in orange juice make it a healthy drink, despite the sugar

Jul 17, 2007

Orange juice, despite its high caloric load of sugars, appears to be a healthy food for diabetics due to its mother lode of flavonoids, a study by endocrinologists at the University at Buffalo has shown. The study appeared in the June 2007 issue of Diabetes Care.

Flavonoids suppress destructive oxygen free radicals -- also known as reactive oxygen species, or ROS. An overabundance of free radicals can damage all components of the cell, including proteins, fats and DNA, contributing to the development of many chronic diseases, including heart disease and stroke as well as diabetes.

The resulting study involved 32 healthy participants between the ages of 20 and 40, who were of normal weight, with a body mass index of 20-25 kg/m2. Participants were assigned randomly and evenly into four groups, who would drink the equivalent of 300 calories-worth of glucose, fructose, orange juice or saccharin-sweetened water.

Fasting blood samples were taken before the test and at 1, 2 and 3 hours after a 10-minute period to consume the drinks.

Results showed a significant increase in ROS within 2 hours in samples from the glucose group but not in those from the fructose, orange juice or water group.

“We were intrigued by the fact that there was no increase in ROS or inflammation following orange juice consumption, even though its glucose concentration was the same as in participants in the glucose group,” said Dandona. “This raised the question of what in the juice was responsible for suppressing ROS generation: flavonoids and vitamin C or fructose?”

An additional round of test on the samples showed that neither fructose nor vitamin C suppressed the oxygen free radicals. However the two types of flavonoids in orange juice -- hesperetin and naringenin -- inhibited ROS generation by 52 percent and 77 percent, respectively.

“Our data are relevant to patients with diabetes,” said Dandona, “because stress from ROS and inflammation are increased significantly in this population and may contribute to development of atherosclerosis. Clearly the choice of foods that either don’t increase or actually decrease oxidative and inflammatory stress is important.

“The search for safe non-inflammatory foods and diets must continue,” Dandona stressed, “especially since obesity, being overweight and type 2 diabetes are associated with oxidative stress and inflammation, and more than 60 percent of U.S. population is affected by these conditions.”

Source: University at Buffalo

Explore further: Can YouTube save your life?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Calculating conditions at the birth of the universe

22 minutes ago

(Phys.org) —Using a calculation originally proposed seven years ago to be performed on a petaflop computer, Lawrence Livermore researchers computed conditions that simulate the birth of the universe.

Eye implant could lead to better glaucoma treatment

32 minutes ago

For the 2.2 million Americans battling glaucoma, the main course of action for staving off blindness involves weekly visits to eye specialists, who monitor—and control—increasing pressure within the eye.

Microtomography of multiphase flows in porous media

32 minutes ago

Multiphase flow in porous media occurs in many practical situations including carbon dioxide capture and storage, enhanced oil recovery, remediation of polluted ground, and soil science.

Recommended for you

Can YouTube save your life?

18 hours ago

Only a handful of CPR and basic life support (BLS) videos available on YouTube provide instructions which are consistent with recent health guidelines, according to a new study published in Emergency Medicine Australasia, the jo ...

Doctors frequently experience ethical dilemmas

19 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For physicians trying to balance various financial and time pressures, ethical dilemmas are common, according to an article published Aug. 7 in Medical Economics.

AMGA: Physician turnover still high in 2013

19 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For the second year running, physician turnover remains at the highest rate since 2005, according to a report published by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

Obese or overweight teens more likely to become smokers

20 hours ago

A study examining whether overweight or obese teens are at higher risk for substance abuse finds both good and bad news: weight status has no correlation with alcohol or marijuana use but is linked to regular ...

Taking preventive health care into community spaces

21 hours ago

A church. A city park. An office. These are not the typical settings for a medical checkup. But a new nationwide study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research shows that providing health services in ...

User comments : 0