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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Orange juice raises "good" cholesterol

Chock full of antioxidants, OJ is one of the best soft-drink alternatives in the world.
We at US Sports Online Strength and Conditioning advise all of our athletes and fitness warriors to drink a variety of juices. Especially in these summer months. 
10 Rules of Fat Loss
ATLANTA (Reuters Health) -- Drinking three glasses of orange juice a day increases high density cholesterol (HDL), the so-called "good" cholesterol, and lowers the ratio between HDL and low density cholesterol (LDL) -- the "bad" cholesterol, according to a study presented at an American Heart Association meeting.
A team at the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada, asked 16 men and 9 women with high blood cholesterol levels (ranging from 213 to 325 mg/dL) to drink one glass of orange juice a day for 4 weeks, then two glasses a day for 4 weeks, and then three glasses a day for 4 weeks. This was followed by a 5-week washout period, during Dr. Elzbieta M. Kurowska told Reuters Health that once the subjects were drinking three glasses of orange juice a day, their HDL levels increased 21% and the LDL/HDL ratio dropped 16%. Orange juice also resulted in an increase in folate levels, which are known to cause a drop in homocysteine levels. Cardiologists are finding that high homocysteine levels appear to be a risk factor for heart disease.
"The (cholesterol) effect was still there after the washout period," Kurowska said. While vitamin C levels dropped back down after the end of the study, the improvements in cholesterol persisted, she said. "Maybe these (orange juice) compounds have a prolonged effect," she said.
The researcher added that none of the subjects reported weight gain, "even though this was a considerable increase in sugar (intake)... The subjects compensated by changing their diets in other ways."
Kurowska attributes the effects of orange juice on cholesterol to the flavenoid hesperidin found in oranges. She would next like to study the effects of grapefruit juice on cholesterol. "The primary flavenoids in grapefruit juice are different from those in orange juice," the Canadian researcher noted.
Source: Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association 1999;100:1958-1963.

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