Drinking 100 percent fruit juice may do more for your diet and overall health than you may think.
Highlights from a new report summarizing recent research on the potential benefits of fruit juice suggest a positive association between intake of 100 percent juice and reduced risk for several chronic diseases, including cancer, markers for cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline.
"While it is universally accepted that fruit and vegetable intake is protective, there is not a clear consensus about the benefits of consuming the juices that are extracted from them," said the review's author, Dianne Hyson, PhD, MS, RD. "An analysis of the scientific evidence suggests that 100 percent fruit juices retain important bioactive components that may promote good health and aid in disease prevention."
Among the fruit juices included in the review, consumption of apple, citrus, cranberry, grape, and pomegranate juices all showed beneficial effects. Markers of improved health ranged from reductions in urinary tract infections (cranberry) to improvements in age-related cognitive decline (grape and apple) to reduced risk of prostate (pomegranate) and respiratory and digestive (orange, grapefruit) cancers. Additionally, intake of all juices was linked to heightened antioxidant activity.
Research examined in the review, which was completed at the University of California - Davis, included a range of study types, from in vitro to clinical trials (60 papers total), all published in 2005 or later.