Are Oranges Better Than Juice?

While you may assume that eating a natural orange fresh from the grove must be better than having a glass of orange juice, this may not be the case. Scientists have learned that certain nutrients in orange juice might be easier for the body to absorb than if they consumed the unprocessed fruit instead.

The findings which appear in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reveal that oranges are packed with nutrients such as carotenoids and flavonoids. Among other benefits, oranges can potentially help lower a persons risk for certain cancers and cardiovascular disease. Even so, people prefer a glass of orange juice rather than eating the fruit, but are they getting the same nutritional benefits?

It appears that pasteurized orange juice slightly lowers the levels of carotenoids and vitamin C, but significantly improves the carotenoid and vitamin C bioaccessibility that is, how much the body can absorb and use. Contrary to conventional wisdom, although juicing oranges dramatically cut flavonoid levels, the remaining levels were still much more bioaccessible than those in orange segments.

Orange Juice And Cancer Prevention

In late 2013 an article published in Nutrition and Cancer: An International Journal, contained evidence linking orange juice to cancer chemoprevention. The review took a look at the mechanisms involved in the process, the potential toxicity of the orange juice, and the available data in terms of evidence-based medicine. Overall, the article summarized several biological effects of orange juice that can contribute to chemoprevention such as antioxidant, antimutagenic, antigenotoxic, cytoprotective, hormonal and cell signaling modulating effects. Orange juice has antimicrobial and antiviral action and modulates the absorption of xenobiotics.

Other Findings

  • Orange juice has many potential positive effects when it comes to cancer particularly because it is high in antioxidants from flavonoids such as hesperitin and naringinin.

  • Evidence from previous in vitro studies indicates that orange juice can reduce the risk of leukemia in children as well as aid in chemoprevention against mammary, hepatic, and colon cancers.

  • Biological effects of orange juice in vitro are largely influenced by the juices composition which is dependent on physiological conditions of the oranges such as climate, soil, fruit maturation, and post-harvest storage methods.

  • The researchers acknowledged potential toxicity from orange juice if consumed in large amounts, especially for children, diabetics and those that are hypertensive or kidney-compromised.

  • Excessive drinking of orange juice for individuals from these groups had the potential to create noxious effects, hyperkalemia and has been associated with food allergies and bacterial outbreaks in cases where the juice was unpasteurized.


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