A glass of 100 percent juice every morning can lower the risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome - a cluster of conditions that increases risk for stroke, heart disease and diabetes, concludes a new study.
New research presented at the Experimental Biology (EB) 2009 meeting highlights the association among adult men and women, with evidence showing that 100 percent juice drinkers were leaner, had better insulin sensitivity and had lower risk for obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Looking at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2004 - an ongoing data collection initiative through the Centers for Disease Control and Promotion - University of Minnesota's Dr. Mark Pereira and co-author Dr. Victor Fulgoni found that, compared to non-consumers, 100 percent juice consumers had lower mean Body Mass Index (BMI), smaller waist circumference and lower insulin resistance (as estimated by homeostasis model assessment, HOMA).
The researchers noted an inverse association between level of juice intake (oz/day) and these parameters.
Based on the analysis, risk for obesity was 22 percent lower among 100 percent juice drinkers, while risk for metabolic syndrome (defined as the presence of three or more of the following: central obesity, elevated blood glucose, elevated fasting triglycerides, low HDL-cholesterol, elevated blood pressure) was 15 percent lower compared to non-consumers.
"We know that maintaining a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables is linked to decreased risk of some chronic diseases," notes Dr. Pereira, who is an associate professor in the University of Minnesota's Division of Epidemiology and Community Health.
One cup of 100 percent fruit juice counts as a serving of fruit and, based on our analysis, 100 percent juice consumption is associated with some of these same benefits," the expert added.
According to the researchers, intake of 100percent juice was generally associated with other healthful behaviors. Among more than 14,000 participants in the survey - a multiethnic sample of U.S. adults ages 19 and older - juice consumers had higher physical activity levels and more favorable dietary intake patterns (including: lower fat intakes, higher fiber intakes, lower added sugar intakes).
After taking these lifestyle factors into account, the inverse relationship between 100 percent fruit juice consumption and metabolic syndrome was no longer statistically significant. However, risk for obesity remained 14 percent lower among juice consumers even after the adjustment.