Public release date: 17-Jul-2007
Buffalo, N.Y. — Orange juice, despite its high caloric load of sugars, appears to be a healthy food for diabetics due to its mother lode of flavonoids, a study by endocrinologists at the University at Buffalo has shown. The study appeared in the June 2007 issue of Diabetes Care.
Flavonoids suppress destructive oxygen free radicals — also known as reactive oxygen species, or ROS. An overabundance of free radicals can damage all components of the cell, including proteins, fats and DNA, contributing to the development of many chronic diseases, including heart disease and stroke as well as diabetes.
“Many major diseases are associated with oxidative stress and inflammation in the arterial wall, so the search for foods that are least likely to cause these conditions must be pursued,” said Paresh Dandona, M.D., Ph.D., head of the Diabetes-Endocrinology Center of Western New York and senior author on the study. “Our previous work has shown that 300 calories of glucose induces ROS and other proinflammatory responses,” said Dandona, who is Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “We hypothesized that 300 calories-worth of orange juice or of fructose would induce less oxidative stress and inflammation than caused by the same amount of calories from glucose.”
An additional round of test on the samples showed that neither fructose nor vitamin C suppressed the oxygen free radicals. However the two types of flavonoids in orange juice — hesperetin and naringenin — inhibited ROS generation by 52 percent and 77 percent, respectively
*Ralph’s Note (Flavonoids are found mainly in the white pulpy stuff, that we filter out)