Juicy News for Fruit Lovers
Fruit juices provide health benefits, but drink them in moderation.
New Juices on Market continued...
In this country, researchers at Tufts University found that anthocyanins and
polyphenolics, compounds found in black currants (as in other deeply colored
fruits), may help protect against Alzheimer's disease. The study was published
in the January 2006 issue of Chemistry & Industry magazine.
Also new on the juice scene is Tahitian noni juice, made from a fruit grown
only in tropical climates and first discovered by two food scientists in the
1990s. The U.S.-based company Tahitian Noni International now distributes juice
(and other noni products) through direct sales in 35 countries and promotes the
drink's antioxidant properties, its support to the immune system, and its
ability to increase energy and physical performance levels.
In a literature review conducted by the University of Illinois College of
Medicine, researchers cited a statistical clinical survey of noni's medicinal
benefits undertaken by Neil Solomon, MD, PhD, former Secretary of Health and
Mental Hygiene for the State of Maryland. After reviewing results of 10,000
noni users, Solomon reported that noni possesses a variety of medical benefits
including lessening of symptoms in cancer patients, significant drops in blood
pressure, decrease in pain for those experiencing chronic pain, decrease of
symptoms among heart patients, and more. Nearly all the data, however, comes
from users of the company's juice, and the research project itself was
supported by a grant from Morinda Inc., the parent company of Tahitian Noni
Same Benefits, Cheaper Price
Independent studies published in the scientific community have more validity
than a company's own sponsored research, says nutrition consultant Carla
McGill. But McGill acknowledges that we are discovering new substances in food
-- and even new foods themselves -- all the time that do have beneficial
effects. "As technology improves, as we find foods with which we have been
unfamiliar, we continue to learn more."
Still, counters Shawn Talbott, PhD, chief scientific officer for
SupplementWatch, for less money (Tahitian noni juice sells for $42/liter), you
can find the same antioxidant, cancer-fighting, heart-protecting, and
immune-boosting benefits in juices sold at your local grocery store.
"Yes, it is true that many of these exotic plants have a variety of
antioxidants and polysaccharides - but so does EVERY plant and fruit juice. For
every test tube study showing a chemical benefit of mangosteen or aloe or gac
(as an antioxidant, immune stimulator, etc) - we can show the SAME effect in
studies of other 'regular' plant extracts and juices (grape juice, orange
juice, cranberry juice, tomato juice, etc.)," Talbott writes in his
The juicy bottom line, say the experts, is that juices can be part of a
healthy lifestyle, especially when it's inconvenient or impractical to eat the
whole fruit. But drinking more doesn't translate into more health benefits, so
limit your juice to 1 serving a day (if you'd like to spread that out over the
day, dilute a serving with sparkling water), make sure you stay well hydrated
with other beverages like water, coffee, or tea (the latter two also have
antioxidant properties), and don't make the mistake of thinking that a glass of
juice takes the place of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.