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New studies confirm health benefits Of 100% fruit juice beverages.

A study from the University of Buffalo has concluded that orange juice could be beneficial to diabetes sufferers, thanks to its high antioxidant content and despite its high sugar content. University of Buffalo Prof. Paresh Dandona carried out blood tests on 32 people, who were given 300 kilocalories worth of sugar from glucose, fructose, orange juice or water mixed with the sweetener saccharin. He found that there was no increase in oxidative stress amongst people who were drinking orange juice, but found that there was a big spike in the glucose group.

The antioxidant flavanoids in orange juice were found to combat oxidative stress. Oxidative stress results in cell destruction as well as the hardening of the arteries, or arteriosclerosis, which people who suffer from diabetes in particular are prone to.

In related news, the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan Health System, which previously advised its young patients to limit fruit juice consumption due to its high calorie content has now backtracked, after carrying out its own study into the health benefits of pure juices. The news offers a further boost to manufacturers of 100% fruit juices The University of Michigan study found that there was in fact no link between childhood obesity and the consumption of 100% fruit juice with no added sugar. It also confirmed that super fruit juices such as pomegranate and cranberry have been found in previous studies to be beneficial to health, outweighing any negative attributes such as calories and lack of fiber. It recommends, however, that juice drinks that contain high fructose corn syrup should still be avoided.

Juices that provide health benefits:

Pomegranate juice. Pomegranate juice has received a great deal of attention in recent years for its reported benefits. It is a rich source of antioxidants and has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol - the bad, artery-clogging portion of one's cholesterol, the university said. It also may slow the growth of prostate cancer. Pomegranate juice has been shown to stabilize the levels of men's PSA, or prostate specific antigen. This protein in the blood is measured to gauge how quickly a man's prostate cancer is progressing. Another study found that pomegranate juice may increase blood flow to the heart in people with ischemic coronary heart disease.

Orange juice. OJ may help people prevent recurrences of painful kidney stones. A study has found that a daily glass of orange juice can reduce the incidence of kidney stones better than other citrus drinks, such as lemonade.

Cranberry juice. Long thought of as a home remedy for urinary tract infections, cranberry juice now appears to be most helpful before the UTI even develops. Studies indicate that cranberry juice is effective at preventing a UTI, but not at curing an existing infection.

Blueberry juice. Blueberries have some of the same properties as cranberries that allow it to prevent UTIs.
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Publication:Food & Drink Weekly
Date:Sep 17, 2007
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