Orange Juice Consumed with an Unhealthy Meal Calms Oxidative Stress

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
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A study shows that a glass of orange juice can calm oxidative stress that comes from eating a high fat and high carbohydrate meal that can also lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Flavonoids in orange juice, naringenin and hesperidin, may be responsible for the potent effect on neutralizing oxidative and inflammatory stress that occurs from consuming unhealthy foods, shown in a small study.

The finding, from University at Buffalo endocrinologists, shows for the first time how orange juice, taken with a high fat high carbohydrate meal, could reduce inflammation in the lining of the blood vessels from oxidative stress, in turn reducing risk of heart attack and stroke.

To find the benefits of orange juice for promoting blood vessel health despite eating an unhealthy meal, 10 study participants between the ages of 10 and 40 were given a meal consisting of 81 grams of carbohydrates, 51 grams of fat and 32 grams of protein. One group drank water, one drank orange juice not from concentrate, and another group was given a 300 calorie glucose drink.

Blood tests showed significantly less blood vessel inflammation in the study group given orange juice, measure by blood tests at intervals. Orange juice also blocked SO3, an important mediator of insulin resistance that plays a role in the development of type 2 diabetes.

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Before the meal, there were no differences in inflammatory markers among the study participants. After eating the high fat high carbohydrate meal oxygen free radicals increased 62 percent with water, 63 percent with the glucose drink, and 47 percent among the study group given orange juice.

Paresh Dandona, MD, senior study author says, "These data emphasize that a high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal is profoundly and rapidly proinflammatory, and that this process occurs at the cellular and molecular level", adding that the effect of oxidative stress from an unhealthy high fat high carbohydrate diet leads to an “increase in the mediators of insulin resistance after a single meal, and the equally remarkable prevention of these changes following the intake of orange juice."

Regular consumption of unhealthy foods leads to blood vessel damage and inflammation from oxidative stress, raising the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Consuming healthy foods is an important part of heart disease prevention.

The new study shows that orange juice, taken with a high fat, high carbohydrate meal could help prevent inflammation and heart disease. Flavonoids in orange juice seem to have a positive effect for reducing oxidative stress that can lead to atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes.

University of Buffalo News Center

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