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29 January 2007
100 Percent Juices As Healthy As Fruit And Vegetables

A meta-study in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition suggests that 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices do help reduce risk factors related to certain diseases. The finding is the result of a European study designed to question traditional thinking that such juices play a less significant role in reducing risk for both cancer and cardiovascular disease than whole fruits and vegetables.

The review of previous studies looked at risk reduction attributed to the effects of both fiber and antioxidants. As a result, the researchers determined that the positive impact fruits and vegetables offer come not from just the fiber but also from antioxidants which are present in both juice and the whole fruit and vegetables.

"When considering cancer and coronary heart disease prevention, there is no evidence that pure fruit and vegetable juices are less beneficial than whole fruit and vegetables," the study states. The researchers add that the positioning of juices as being nutritionally inferior to whole fruits and vegetables in relationship to chronic disease development is "unjustified" and those policies which suggest otherwise about fruit and vegetable juices should be re-examined.

"Although this independent review of the literature is not designed to focus on any particular 100 percent juice, it does go a long way in demonstrating that fruit and vegetable juices do play an important role in reducing the risk of various diseases, especially cancer and cardiovascular heart disease," says Sue Taylor, of the Juice Products Association.

Taylor also points to a large epidemiological study which found that consumption of a variety of 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices was associated with a reduced risk for Alzheimer's disease. In fact, that study found that individuals who drank three or more servings of fruit and vegetable juices per week had a 76 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease than those who drank juice less than once per week.

Source: International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition

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