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Is there more to orange juice than Vitamin C?

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From a nutrition perspective, orange juice has long been considered the King of Vitamin C. But the popular breakfast drink may also be a defense against the unhealthy effects of consuming high-fat, high-carb foods, according to findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

In the study, researchers at the University of Buffalo took blood several samples from 30 normal weight, healthy men and women before and after they washed down a 900-calorie breakfast with water, orange juice or a glucose drink. According to the release:

Analysis of the samples after the meal showed that oxygen free radicals increased an average of 62 percent with water, 63 percent with the glucose and 47 percent with orange juice. There also was an increase in blood components known as toll-like receptors, which play an important role in the development of inflammation, atherosclerosis, obesity, insulin resistance, and injury to cardiac cells than can occur after a blocked vessel is reopened.

The researchers believe flavonoids present in orange juice likely neutralized the free radicals generated by the unhealthy foods.

Personally, I find these results bothersome. The findings lack information comparing orange juice to other sources of flavonoids such as tea, which has also been shown to hold potential in fighting free radicals. And, of course, the study doesn't address the fact that there are healthier breakfast options than a high-fat, high-carb 900-calorie meal -like oatmeal.

Photo by Kanko*

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