A recent study finds that moderate consumption of up to one cup per day of natural juices, such as 100% orange juice (OJ), lowers the risk of dementia. Inversely, consuming up to two cups per day of artificially sweetened beverages, and more than two cups per day of sugar-sweetened beverages, increases the risk of dementia. The study was published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Drinking up to one cup per day of 100% juice by study participants also resulted in a higher volume of gray matter in the brain. Gray matter is responsible for processing information.
The study included 177,926 participants without dementia in the United Kingdom. It assessed the association of sugar-sweetened beverages, artificially sweetened beverages and natural juices with brain structure and risk of dementia. Beverage intake was evaluated between 2009 and 2012, and participants were assessed until 2021. The mean age of the participants was 56.4 years and 54.9% of participants were female. All participants who had a diagnosis of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes were excluded.
Nearly one-third of all people over 85 years of age suffer from a form of dementia.This loss of cognitive function comes in different forms that can affect thought, memory and reasoning while disrupting quality of life. With limited options after diagnosis, it is critical to identify risk factors to help delay or prevent the onset of dementia.
“Studies such as these are important to help show that a nutrient-dense beverage like 1 cup of 100% orange juice may support brain health and provide positive health benefits,” stated Jennifer Hillis, registered dietitian at the University of South Florida.
One 8-ounce serving of 100% orange juice provides 100% daily value of vitamin C, and includes folate, potassium, magnesium and thiamin. It also includes hesperidin, which has antioxidant-like properties.
Source: Florida Department of Citrus
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