Heart health and weight management: Which fruit juices offer the most benefits?

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

The effects of juices on cardiovascular diseases have been widely studied, say researchers. ©iStock
The effects of juices on cardiovascular diseases have been widely studied, say researchers. ©iStock

Related tags Blood pressure Nutrition Atherosclerosis functional beverage beverage

The types of fruit juices that appear to offer the most help in tackling cardiovascular disease and aiding weight management have been highlighted in a new academic review.

Researchers in China suggested that some juices might be used for supplements to help combat a number of diseases, with several studies highlighting the relationship between juice consumption and blood pressure.

The juice of sweetie fruit (a hybrid between grapefruit and pomelo) possessed an anti-hypertensive effect, likely due to the flavonoids naringin and naritutin, one study reported.

Meanwhile, consuming pomegranate juice was found to induce significant reductions in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and systolic blood pressure (SBP)

Several studies have also indicated that consumption of vegetable juice may reduce blood pressure. One study showed that 500ml of beetroot juice could reduce blood pressure approximately three hours after ingestion. Two other studies focusing on the ingestion of nitrate-rich beetroot showed dose-dependently blood pressure lowering effects

“The anti-hypertensive effect of the juices may be related to bioactive components, such as polyphenols, vitamins, minerals, and nitrate. It is thought that polyphenols are the main components in fruit juice to cause a decrease in blood pressure, while nitrate and minerals play an important role in the anti-hypertensive effect of vegetable juice,”​ wrote the researchers in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

Many studies have also paid attention to the effects of fruit and vegetable juices on blood lipids.

Cholesterol improvements

For example, the relationship between orange juice consumption and cardiovascular disease was investigated, with the results showing its cholesterol lowering potential.

In another study, the effects of an acai berry-based juice blend on lipid profile was studied. Serum lipid profile (triglycerides, cholesterol, and its fractions) was substantially improved after the intervention.

Additionally, the effects of cloudy apple juice with vitamin C on serum cholesterol has been assessed. Total cholesterol decreased in the intervention period

“However, there are a number of studies showing that consumption of juice does not decrease blood pressure or improve the blood lipid profiles,”​ caution the authors.

“Several studies were conducted to assess the effects of clear apple juice, cloudy apple juices, squeezed orange juice, and grapefruit juice on blood pressure in healthy adults or adults with hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia. No effect of any of these interventions was found on SBP or DBP.”

Some juices with low calorie content, however, were found to help prevent metabolic disorders.

Mulberry and blueberry juice have been found to be beneficial in this regard in studies on mice, the researchers reported.

In another study, results showed that taking plum and peach juice could prevent metabolic disorders induced by obesity, while plum juice could also inhibit body weight gain.

The researchers concluded: “The results suggested that some juices might be used as potential supplements for cardiovascular protection, especially mixture of juices containing a variety of fruits and vegetables with polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. More epidemiological studies and further mechanism studies are still required to clarify the relationship between bioactive components, sugar and minerals in juices and cardiovascular health.”

Source: International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

2017, 18​(3), 555; doi:10.3390/ijms18030555

“Effects and Mechanisms of Fruit and Vegetable Juices on Cardiovascular Diseases”.

Authors: Jie Zheng, et al


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