Research to Prove OJ Health Benefits

Ernie Neff Orange Juice, Research


The Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) recently approved three research projects aimed at further proving the health benefits of orange juice (OJ) consumption. The OJ-related projects had been recommended by the commission’s Scientific Research Advisory Committee. The projects were discussed by Rosa Walsh, director of the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) Scientific Research Department, during the October FCC meeting. The FCC serves as the FDOC’s governing board.

The first project focuses on glycemia, energy intake and cognitive behavior. It has an approximate timeline of two years and an estimated budget of $200,000. It will seek to reinforce messaging on OJ as a nutritious and satisfying snack that does not adversely impact blood sugar and positively contributes to daily nutrient intake.

Another project focuses on skin health. It has an approximate timeline of two to three years and an estimated budget of $200,000. It will seek to support messaging that OJ is part of wellness.

The third project focuses on hesperidin. It has an approximate timeline of three years and a yet unknown budget. It will seek to support messaging about the benefits of hesperidin and increase awareness of the compound. Hesperidin is a phytonutrient that has positive effects on heart and vascular health, blood sugar control and aiding the immune system. Hesperidin is relatively unique to oranges and OJ.

Walsh also reviewed FDOC-supported scientific research from the past year that strongly suggests OJ is beneficial to health. One of those studies focused on juice intake and changes in children and adolescents. That study, published in October, found that OJ intake is not associated negatively with body weight, body mass index (BMI) or BMI percentile. It also showed that higher OJ intake is associated with greater height for girls and better physical activity in both boys and girls. Learn more about the study.

Source: Florida Department of Citrus

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