Baylor College of Medicine studies have revealed that drinking at least one glass of low sodium vegetable juice daily may help overweight people with metabolic syndrome lose weight.
Researchers found that participants who drank at least 8-ounces of low sodium vegetable juice as part of a calorie-controlled DASH diet lost four pounds over 12 weeks, while those who followed the same diet but drank no juice lost one pound.
Metabolic syndrome is defined by a cluster of risk factors including excess body fat in the midsection, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and abnormal blood lipids.
If left uncontrolled, metabolic syndrome increases risk for chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke or diabetes.
Participants in the study were primarily African-American and Hispanic adults, populations that typically have a higher incidence of metabolic syndrome.
Each group followed a DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet that emphasized eating lean meat, lower fat dairy, whole grains, vegetables and fruit daily and keeping saturated fat, total fat, cholesterol and sodium in check.
Two of the groups were given Low Sodium V8 100 percent vegetable juice and instructed to drink 1 or 2 cups every day for 12 weeks, while the third group was not given any vegetable juice.
The results showed that on average, the vegetable juice drinkers lost four pounds over 12 weeks, while those who did not drink juice lost one pound.
Vegetable juice drinkers were more likely to meet the daily government recommendations of 3-5 servings of vegetables.
The researchers also found that vegetable juice drinkers significantly increased their intake of vitamin C and potassium, while decreasing their overall carbohydrate intake.
"Diet and body weight are key modifiable factors in changing the course of metabolic syndrome," said John Foreyt, PhD, study author and Director, Behavioral Medicine Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine.
"What this study shows is that by taking simple, proactive steps such as drinking low sodium vegetable juice while watching calorie intake, people can begin to control their weight, which helps reduce the risk of long-term health implications," he added.
The study was presented at this week's Experimental Biology Meeting.