March 3, 2024

Fruit Juices: Are They Helpful or Harmful?

Dietary guidelines typically deal with 100 fruit juice (FJ) in different ways due to the fact that it’s the source of sugars that are free. But, FJ also provides bioavailable micronutrients as well as plant bioactive at the same levels as the ones found in whole fruits. This review compares the results of studies that are of high quality that have examined the health risk for FJ against research findings that suggest health benefits. The research findings show that FJ consumption at moderate amounts that are in line with dietary guidelines for the US and a few European countries (75-224 mg daily) is not associated with the risk of being overweight or type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or poor glucose control. Contrarily, regular consumption of FJ — even as high as 500 milliliters daily in studies of short-to-medium-term durations–is believed to provide health benefits regarding blood vessel function and lower blood pressure. Evidence for the cognitive health benefits warrants more research in human studies. Studies of observation have shown connections between FJ as well as nutrient adequacy. These studies indicate there is evidence that FJ consumption is linked to decreased risk of suffering from stroke. In the end, FJ appears to offer more benefits than risks, and there is any reason not to encourage FJ as part of an appropriate diet for adults and children.

Keywords: fruit juice, cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, obesity, nutrient density, cognitive function, polyphenols, potassium

Fruit juice (FJ) is a beverage created by extracting or pressing the liquid found in vegetables and fruits. Although it’s a source of sugars, free It also contains bioactives from plants and micronutrients. In some countries, like that of the UK, Spain, Austria, Denmark, France, Hungary, and Ireland, One serving of FJ can count toward daily recommended intakes of vegetables and fruits 11. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025, permit up to 50% of a daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables to be substituted by FJ 22. Contrary to other nations, like in the Netherlands, FJ is classed as a drink that is sugary and therefore is not recommended 33. A study of food-based country-specific diet guidelines revealed that even though 7% of the guidelines were skewed towards FJ but only 23% of them clarified the role of FJs as part of a balanced diet, while 38% did not provide any specific guidelines regarding FJ in any specific way 44. It is, therefore, difficult for people to discern the conflicting information to decide first if FJs are beneficial or detrimental in the context of health, and secondly, how many can be consumed as part of the context of a balanced diet. This is further complicated by the different serving sizes in the guidance for public health (80-237 milliliters) in contrast to the wide spectrum of consumption (200-750 milliliters) employed in research studies.

FJ is precisely defined by the law and must comply with specific standards pertaining to its manufacturing and composition. It is defined in the 2001 EU Fruit Juice Directive defines FJ as: “The fermentable but unfermented product obtained from the edible part of fruit which is sound and ripe, fresh or preserved by chilling or freezing of one or more kinds mixed together having the characteristic colour, flavour and taste typical of the juice of the fruit from which it comes” The flavor, color, and taste of the fruit is characteristic. 55. In the EU and the UK It is not allowed to add sugar to FJ or the Brix amount (concentration): “shall be the one of the juice as extracted from the fruit and shall not be modified, except by blending with the juice of the same species of fruit” 5. 55. This implies the amount of sugar in FJ can not be modified further and represents what is the amount of sugar in intact fruit.

Some of the assumptions made about the risk of eating FJ could have a negative impact on heart health, body mass/body weight index, glycaemic control, and the possibility of developing Type 2 Diabetes. There is also a belief that FJ could be preferred over whole fruits or consumed in large quantities. The main concern is the sugars naturally present in FJ that can be classified as unrefined sugars, according to the World Health Organisation [ 66. It was determined upon an assumption that all the sugars present in FJ are not part of the cell wall. However, this doesn’t appear to be the case in actual practice 7]. 77.

The objective of this research is to evaluate the evidence from studies that investigate potential health hazards associated with FJ (in connection to metabolic health, obesity, and cardiovascular disease (CVD)) against research that suggests a possible health benefit (in connection to cardiovascular health, nutritional adequacy as well as cognition). The review will also consider whether the evidence currently available is sufficient to support the best intake of FJ and could be used in educating the public on health issues.

Material and Methods

A number of reviews and meta-analyses (SRMAs) looking at FJ and the specific health effects have been published over the last 3 years, and the goal of this research was to evaluate the risks and benefits from a health standpoint and conducting a different SRMA was not the subject of this article. Instead, the strategy for searching literature used in PubMed (covering the period from January 2001 through April 2021) was focused on incorporating all SRMAs that contain the word “juice” and then eliminating ones that were not related to juices from fruit, e.g., ‘gastric juice beetroot juice,’ or included health outcomes that were not relevant to the targeted areas: weight gain/obesity CVD and glycaemic control/risk of Type 2 diabetes.

When there were no SRMAs were available, The search strategy was changed to randomized controlled trials (RCT) that were related to health-related topics of interest using the words ‘fruit juice or orange juice’ or grapefruit juice’ OR ‘pomegranate juice’ or apple juice. The references of the papers were looked up to find other RCTs. Prospective observational studies were included if there were there was no SRMAs or RCTs had been published on the subject matter reviewed. This is a reference to nutritional adequacy as well as overweight/weight gain in children.

The drawback of this method is the possibility that some studies could be missed. However, the chance is minimal due to the recent publication of many SRMAs, which could have been an exhaustive, systematic search through the available literature.

 

Composition

The classification of sugars that are free does not distinguish between sugars that naturally occur in FJ as well as those that are that are added to drinks and food items and beverages, leading to an assumption that all food products carry an equal danger of harm, but this might not be the reality due to their different nutritional value.

According to Table 1 illustrates, FJ has a nutritional composition that is similar to whole fruit than sugar-sweetened drinks (SSBs). The main difference between juice and fruit is the greater pectin (fiber) amount in whole fruits, which are generally removed during the process in order to produce juice. When described as a standard serving, it is estimated that the amount of fiber content between the edible portion of an entire orange (80 grams) as well as a small glass of juice from an orange (150 milliliters) is around 1 g 88 g], which is only 3% of the European Union/UK dietary reference values of 30 grams.

 

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