New research examining the cardiovascular health of young adults who consumed 100% orange juice (OJ) as children indicates no increased risk for high blood pressure or elevated blood lipid levels as a result. The research, published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition, specifically looked at 100% OJ consumption during late childhood and early adolescence and its association with risk for high blood pressure or elevated blood lipids later in adulthood. These findings help support other studies that report no negative impacts of 100% OJ on predictors of cardiovascular disease.
The analysis was conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut, Jeju National University in South Korea, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. Researchers assessed dietary data collected from more than 9,000 children and adolescents ages 9 to 16. They examined the incidence of high blood pressure and high blood lipids, such as cholesterol and triglycerides, an average of 17 years later when participants were young adults. The study focused on the potential impacts of the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, diet soda and 100% fruit juice, including 100% OJ, on these two key risk factors for heart health.
100% OJ was not associated with increased risk for either high blood pressure or high blood lipids in early adulthood. In males, the intake of sugar-sweetened beverages such as regular sodas and punches was associated with a 16% increased risk for having high blood pressure. The analysis considered other factors that could have affected results —such as age, physical activity level and the intake of other foods and beverages — to better isolate the independent effects of the beverages of interest.
In this study, children and adolescents consumed, on average, less than half a serving per day of 100% OJ, which falls below the fruit juice guideline/limits established by the American Academy of Pediatrics of 8 ounces daily for children over 7 years old.
“The consumption of 100% fruit juice by children and adolescents is often a controversial topic when it really shouldn’t be,” said Rosa Walsh, director of scientific research at the Florida Department of Citrus. “Moderate consumption of 100% orange juice can be a beneficial addition to the diet to help meet fruit and nutrient intake recommendations.”
An 8-ounce serving of 100% OJ delivers vital vitamins and antioxidants, including vitamin C, potassium, folate and hesperidin with no added sugar.
Source: Florida Department of Citrus
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