Drinking orange juice while eating a fast food meal helps to reduce the damage to blood vessels caused by eating a high-carbohydrate and high- fat meal, caused by inflammation and oxidative stress, according to the April 2010 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


University of Buffalo professor of medicine Paresh Dandona, MD and his associates evaluated the effects of orange juice, a 300 calorie glucose drink or water in combination with a 900 calorie fast food breakfast on 30 normal-weight men and women.


Blood samples obtained prior to the meal and 1, 3 and 5 hours later were analyzed for oxygen free radicals and factors involved in inflammation.


The level of oxygen free radicals rose 47 percent among the participants drinking orange juice, while it increased 63 percent among those who received glucose and 62 percent in the group that received water.  Inflammatory chemicals were lower in the orange juice group.  Orange juice’s benefit is probably due to the fruit’s abundance of the flavonoids.


“Our data show, for the first time to our knowledge, that drinking orange juice with a meal high in fat and carbohydrates prevented the marked increases in reactive oxygen species and other inflammatory agents,” announced first author Husam Ghanim, PhD. “This did not happen when participants drank water or a sugary drink with the meal. These issues of inflammation following a meal are important because the resultant high glucose and high triglycerides are known to be related to the development of cardiovascular events.”


Eating safe foods that do not cause inflammation may protect the body against continuous inflammation linked to eating and its continuous effect. According to Dr. Dandona, “This choice may lower the risk of atherosclerosis and resistance to insulin.”