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What Are The Pros And Cons Of Drinking Orange Juice?

Last updated Aug. 17, 2016

It has been found that adding orange juice to your diet can have significant health benefits. Orange juice provides a significant amount of vitamin C in one glass, a vitamin that cannot be produced by the body. But, as with most foods, there are certain exceptions to drinking orange juice.


Orange juice is known to be a quintessential part of breakfast each morning. It has been found that adding orange juice to your diet can have significant health benefits. Orange juice provides a significant amount of vitamin C in one glass, a vitamin that cannot be produced by the body. But, as with most foods, there are certain exceptions to drinking orange juice.

Two servings of orange juice per day has the capacity to increase your body’s concentration of vitamin C from anywhere between 40-64%. Vitamin C is known to help with absorption of calcium and aid in your body’s protection from free radicals. It is also the key component for collagen production, as well as the structural element of bones, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels. However, a study conducted in 1999 by the American Medical Association found that a per day vitamin C intake of 1g or more would adversely affect most individuals. Hence, it is important to be aware of your Vitamin C intake each day.

Consuming a meal with a high fat or glucose content can cause inflammatory responses to occur. A study conducted in 2010 by the State University of New York at Buffalo demonstrated that orange juice intake helped lessen meal-induced inflammatory stress on the body. These types of reactions can eventually cause insulin resistance, a common pathway to type II diabetes or atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of blood vessel walls from fatty deposits.

This fruit juice contains a unique and healthy water-soluble plant pigment, known as hesperidin. This pigment is known to improve movement of small blood vessels, balancing-out diastolic blood pressure and decreasing one’s risk for cardiovascular disease. 

Consuming orange juice on a regular basis is believed to lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, or low density lipoprotein. However, the mechanism for this is still unknown. Lowering of “bad” cholesterol levels can be attributed to lowering the risk for cardiovascular problems. Orange juice also contains an essential B vitamin, called folate. It is crucial that expectant mothers consume enough folates in their diet in order to prevent neural tube defects and low birth rate. Folate deficiencies are one of the primary causes of these complications and are easily preventable.

Several other vitamins and minerals can be found in orange juice that are beneficial to the body. Beta carotene protects cells from damage, calcium supports bone health and strengthens teeth, vitamin B6 helps produce hemoglobin in blood, and folic acids are known to increase brain, spinal cord, and neural system well-being. While orange juice can seem like a miracle in a glass, too much of it can have negative effect on your health.

A small serving of orange juice, such as a 4 ounce glass, has a low glycemic index. In other words, the carbohydrates present in the juice increase your blood sugar at a slower rate than a high-glycemic food like candy. A more common, larger serving, however, can significantly increase your blood sugar. With this larger serving of carbohydrates, blood sugar can spike much quicker, giving rise to problems for pre-diabetics or diabetics. Once the blood sugar level falls, energy levels can drop significantly, making you feel fatigued. To prevent this from happening, orange juice consumption should be kept to small glasses, in which case it is indeed a healthy juice.

References:

Benefits of Orange Juice [Internet]. [cited 2014 Oct 30]. Available from: http://www.med-health.net/Benefits-Of-Orange-Juice.html

Levine M, Rumsey S, Daruwala R, Park J, Wang Y. Criteria and Recommendations for Vitamin C Intake. The Journal of the American Medical Association. 1999;281(15): 1415-1423. 

Ghanim H, Sia C, Upadhyay M, Korzeniewski, Viswanathan P, Abuaysheh S, Mohanty P, Dandona P. Orange juice neutralizes the proinflammatory effect of a high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal and prevents endotoxin increase and Toll-like receptor expression. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2010;91(4): 940-949.

Jacob, A. Side Effects of Too Much Orange Juice [Internet]. [updated 2011 Jul 18; cited 2014 Oct 30]. Available from: http://www.livestrong.com/article/495611-side-effects-of-too-much-orange-juice/

Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:

Morand, C., Dubray, C., Milenkovic, D., Lioger, D., Martin, J. F., Scalbert, A., & Mazur, A. (2011). Hesperidin contributes to the vascular protective effects of orange juice: a randomized crossover study in healthy volunteers. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 93(1), 73-80.

Chiba, H., Uehara, M., Wu, J., Wang, X., Masuyama, R., Suzuki, K., ... & Ishimi, Y. (2003). Hesperidin, a citrus flavonoid, inhibits bone loss and decreases serum and hepatic lipids in ovariectomized mice. The Journal of nutrition, 133(6), 1892-1897.

Padayatty, S. J., Katz, A., Wang, Y., Eck, P., Kwon, O., Lee, J. H., ... & Levine, M. (2003). Vitamin C as an antioxidant: evaluation of its role in disease prevention. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 22(1), 18-35.

Bazzano, L. A., Li, T. Y., Joshipura, K. J., & Hu, F. B. (2008). Intake of fruit, vegetables, and fruit juices and risk of diabetes in women. Diabetes care,31(7), 1311-1317.

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Aug. 17, 2016
Last updated: Aug. 17, 2016