Orange Juice-It’s Not Just for Screwdrivers Anymore

31 12 2010

As someone who spent 2 years doing NIH sponsored microvascular physiology research (and drinking my share of citrus flavored adult beverages), here’s some great news near and dear to my heart (literally). A recent study looked at drinking orange juice (or a control beverage with a flavonoid found in citrus fruits) and its effect on diastolic blood pressure and microvascular reactivity. Previous citrus based studies of shown that diets rich in citrus are associated with a reduction in cardiovascular events. This study in the January issue of the American Journal of Nutrition[i] examined whole orange juice and the flavonoid hesperidin. The diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number of your BP) can be difficult to significantly reduce with medication, but in the group consuming the citrus it was reduced. The microvascular reactivity was measured using a test which looks at endothelial reactivity. In patients who have cardiovascular problems, this is often one of the earliest signs of dysfunction-just smoking a single cigarette can cause temporary malfunctioning, and this response is often impaired in diabetics who have no other signs of cardiovascular problems. The microvascular reactivity was likewise improved. These improvements were estimated to potentially translate into an approximately 20% risk reduction in cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke. In comparing the results of whole orange juice to the isolated flavonoid hesperidin, the effect of the whole juice seemed more pronounced. While the study was small with only 24 men studied, the effects suggest some daily OJ can transform that mimosa into a medicinal elixir-oh, it’s great for you straight up, too (The OJ that is.…)

[i] (Morand, et al., 2011)




5 responses

31 12 2010

I don’t care for orange juice, it is too heavy for me; however I love fresh oranges, lemons, sweet lemons and the like. I am assuming the benefits are the same?

1 01 2011

@Joumana: Yes, the flavonoid hesperidin is common to all citrus so there is definitely some extrapolation of benefit you can apply here. Recipes all next week 😉

1 01 2011
E Stelling

I feel the same way as ToB, but I get my share from the citrus I eat and use for cooking! Now hubby on the other hand drinks juice every morning, although I had to make him measure it for calorie purposes…

8 01 2011

I take a statin for cholesterol, and the directions suggest that consuming citrus products reduces the efficacy of the medication. Aaaaargh, I changed my 20+ year habit of greyhounds (with white grapefruit juice, thank you very much) to something less yummy. So…..what gives, Doc? Citrus reduces cardiac events….or reduces the effect of my cholesterol medicine?

(Of course I know you cannot give individual medical advice. That disclaimer is to be assumed.) THanks for letting me ask!!

8 01 2011

@BB: “Yes”

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