Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Truth About OJ

We all have our go-to remedies when it comes to illnesses. For me, an instant cure for a scratchy throat is orange juice. There’s just something about the acidity about OJ, and I don’t think I’m alone with my feel-better beverage of choice.

I mean, in theory, it makes sense. Vitamin C is proven to boost the immune system. Oranges are a major source for vitamin C, so orange juice should be too. False.

An article by the Lansing State Journal outlines two major reasons why oranges and orange juice are not on par when it comes to health benefits.

First of all, while oranges contain natural sugars, orange juice is chock full of high fructose corn syrup – which studies have shown to have a depressant effect on the immune system. The article explains in detail that you can measure how your white blood cells are fighting pathogens by measuring your leukocyte index (LI). Put simply, the higher the LI, the more pathogens are being destroyed, and the more efficiently your immune system is operating.

The carbs in fructose, and high fructose corn syrup, cause the body’s LI to decrease – preventing white blood cells from doing their job.

Second, juice might not be the most effective source of vitamin C.

The truth is, your body only has a finite number of receptors for nutrient gathering. Glucose often competes for the same “receptor-space” that Vitamin C does – so the higher the sugar content of juice actually hinders the absorption of the beneficial vitamins.

The good news, is water, hot tea, chicken soup, and whole fruit are still recommended remedies. Oh, and don’t sweat over Tropicana’s loss in profit. According to Bloomberg Businessweek they’ve got more tricks up their sleeves in order to maintain their juice market share.


  1. Realistically from a nutrition stand point no juice is really good for you.

    1. I know that about juices that you buy from the store that are ready to drink, but do you know if that's true when you're talking about juices that you make with a juicer? I've always wondered..

  2. I should correct myself. Juice is no where near as good for you as the whole fruit. So me saying that juice (even from a store) is not good for you is untrue. There are some that are much worse than others. Apple Juice for example is awful for you its basically sugar water. Not all juice you buy from a store is processed with added ingredients like high fructose corn syrup. Those juices are obviously going to be bad for you but unprocessed juices are going to have some health benefits. Now comparing All natural juice purchased at a store versus what comes out of a juicer I would say they are about the same. You could argue that store bought juices have to go through some sort of pasteurization so there may be some loss of vitamin and mineral content but overall they are the same. Except for the fact that the store bought juices are going to be FAR more expensive.

    1. That's quite interesting! Thanks for teaching me!!