OJ May Help Lower Blood Pressure

Ernie NeffOrange Juice, Research

A growing body of scientific research shows that 100 percent orange juice (OJ), and its vitamins and minerals, may play a beneficial role in helping to lower blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease.

Recently, a randomized control study performed by researchers at Eurecat, Centre Tecnol√≤gic de Catalunya, in Reus, Spain concluded that 100 percent OJ and 100 percent OJ fortified with hesperidin significantly reduced blood pressure in adults diagnosed with pre- or stage-1 hypertension. Hesperidin is a flavonoid found almost exclusively in citrus. The study was funded by the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) and published in the European Journal of Nutrition. 

As part of the 12-week study, 159 adults ages 18 to 65 drank about 2 cups daily of either 100 percent OJ, 100 percent OJ enriched with added hesperidin, or a control drink with the same calories, vitamin C and citric acid content of OJ. The intake of orange juice or hesperidin-enriched OJ for 12 weeks resulted in significant decreases in systolic blood pressure at the end of the study compared to baseline and to the control drink.

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Also at the end of the study, there was a significant decrease in pulse pressure and the expression of two genes associated with blood pressure compared to baseline in the hesperidin-enriched OJ group. Greater changes were seen with enriched orange juice, suggesting a dose-response effect with hesperidin.   

A limitation of the study is that participants had pre- or stage-1 hypertension, which limits the application of the results to the general population.

“This study suggests that 100 percent orange juice may be a valuable addition to the diet to help reduce blood pressure for adults diagnosed with pre- or stage-1 hypertension. The positive benefits of 100 percent orange juice may be attributed to hesperidin, which is found almost exclusively in orange juice and oranges,” said Rosa Walsh, scientific research director at the FDOC. 

Read an additional report about the numerous health benefits of OJ and how the FDOC promotes them.

Source: Florida Department of Citrus

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