Orange Juice Boosts Nutrition


The health benefits of orange juice have been under debate recently. Some people say that the high amounts of added sugar negate the benefits of vitamin C and other nutrients available in orange juice.

However, a study recently published in Nutrition Research states that children between ages 2 to 18 who drank 100 percent orange juice had improved nutrient adequacy and had a diet consistently of higher quality than children who did not drink orange juice.

"A growing body of research has painted a clear picture that enhanced nutrient intake and better diet quality are associated with drinking 100 percent orange juice in children," said study co-author Carol E. O'Neil, PhD, MPH, LDN, RD, School of Human Ecology, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center. "Our research adds further support to the association between drinking 100 percent orange juice and higher intakes of five important nutrients—vitamin C, folate, magnesium, dietary fiber and potassium—which are generally underconsumed by the U.S. population."

This is the first study that has examined the usual intake of 100 percent orange juice in a nationally representative population, and these data add support to previous studies that found no association between 100 percent fruit juice consumption and increased risk for overweight and obesity in children and adolescents.  Furthermore, children who consumed 100 percent orange juice had significantly lower mean LDL cholesterol levels than those who did not consume 100 percent orange juice.