When it comes to some of today's health issues, 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices do help reduce risk factors related to certain diseases.
This conclusion is the result of a European study designed to question traditional thinking that 100 percent juices play a less significant role in reducing risk for both cancer and cardiovascular disease than whole fruits and vegetables.
Juices are comparable in their ability to reduce risk compared to their whole fruit/vegetable counterparts say several researchers in the United Kingdom who conducted the literature review. The researchers analyzed a variety of studies that looked at risk reduction attributed to the effects of both fiber and antioxidants. As a result, they 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.
This 2006 review of the literature states, "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 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 that policies which suggest otherwise about fruit and vegetable juices should be re-examined.
The researchers who authored the paper "Can pure fruit and vegetable juices protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease, too? A review of the evidence" suggest that more studies in certain area are needed to bolster their findings. The study was published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition (2006).
"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, RD, with the Juice Products Association, a non-profit organization not associated with this research. She adds that appropriate amounts of juices should be included in the diet of both children and adults, following guidelines established by leading health authorities.
Taylor also points to a large epidemiological study, published in the September 2006 issue of the Journal of Medicine, 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.