Metabolic Syndrome Less Common in 100% Juice Drinkers

100% juice drinkers are thinner and at lower risk for metabolic syndrome, according to recently presented research. The study indicates that drinking 100% juice helps prevent obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Metabolic syndrome characterizes a series of conditions that increase the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The most notable of these conditions include insulin resistance, obesity, low HDL (good cholesterol) levels, elevated triglyceride levels and high blood pressure. Having three or more of these conditions labels an individual as having metabolic syndrome. It’s known that healthy, balanced diets, along with exercise, help prevent metabolic syndrome, and subsequent incidence of diabetes and CVD.

Over 14,000 individuals were surveyed for the current study, answering questions concerning their dietary and physical habits. The researchers found that those people who said they drank 100% juice on a consistent basis, were 22% less at risk for obesity, and 15% less at risk for metabolic syndrome. Juice drinkers were also noted to have better general lifestyle and nutritional habits, such as higher physical activity levels and more balanced diets. This suggests that juice itself may not be solely responsible for the decreased risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome, but more a components of overall healthy individuals lifestyles.

Says study author Dr. Mark Pereira, “we know that maintaining a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables is linked to decreased risk of some chronic diseases. One cup of 100% fruit juice counts as a serving of fruit and, based on our analysis, 100% juice consumption is associated with some of these same benefits.” Juices with added sugars (not 100%), were not seen to have the same pronounced benefits, though they too can be beneficial components of healthy diets, in moderation.

Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Pereira, Mark. Wally, Sarah. Experimental Biology 2009 news release. April 2009.