Weighing the Facts – New Study on Juice and Blood Pressure Claims Unproven

New Study on Juice and Blood Pressure Claims Unproven

With a new study about health and nutrition released in the media every day, deciding what to eat and feed your family can be confusing!  Recently, a study suggesting that regularly drinking fruit juice could raise blood pressure has gotten a bit of media attention.

First, let’s look at a few key facts about fruit juice and why it is an important part of the diet:

  • Several studies show people who drink 100 percent fruit juice have better quality diets than those who don’t drink juice[1][2].  They also have higher intakes of vitamin A and C, potassium and folate and total dietary fiber[3] , as well as lower intakes of added sugar[4].
  • The majority of scientific evidence supports drinking fruit juice as part of a healthy diet and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans includes 100 percent fruit juice as part of dailyfruit recommendations.
  • Fruit juice supplies important vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, C, potassium, magnesium and folate.

Let’s also take a look at the validity of the study published in Appetite. The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Florida Department of Citrus, and UK’s National Health Service have all posted critical responses to the study.

Some of the reasons why the study is unreliable include the sample size, which at 160 people is very small and is not representative of the population and its methodology, which used a 12 month dietary recall questionnaire to assess juice intake. The study did not account for the amount of juice consumed, when it was consumed and other dietary variables such as intake of other nutrients like sodium and added sugar.  In addition, participants had their blood pressure measured only once. To be reliable, blood pressure should be measured several times.

Again, 100 percent juice is a healthy beverage that provides a plethora of benefits to the body when consumed in appropriate amounts. It’s important to look at all the facts when thinking about the foods you eat and drink and this study and the media attention surrounding it should not cause you concern.

Please take a look around Juice Central for additional information about the role of juice in a healthy diet!

In health,

Diane Welland, MS, RD

Juice Products Association

Nutrition Communications Specialist

 


[1] O’Neil C, et al. One hundred percent orange juice consumption is associated with better diet quality, improved nutrient adequacy, and no increased risk for overweight/obesity in children. Nutr Res. 2011;31:673-682

[2] O’Neil CE, et al. Diet quality is positively associated with 100 percent fruit juice consumption in children and adults in the United States: NHANES 2003-2006. Nutr J. 2011;10:17

[3] O’Neil C, et al. Fruit juice consumption is associated with improved nutrient adequacy in children and adolescents: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2006. Public Health Nutr. 2012;15:1871-1878

[4] Wang YC, et al. Increasing caloric contribution from sugar-sweetened beverages and 100 percent fruit juices among us children and adolescents, 1988-2004. Pediatrics. 2008;121:e1604-1614