Encapsulated fruit and vegetable juices found to improve inflammation, blood lipids, weight in the obese

A study by researchers at the University of Newcastle in Australia showed that encapsulated fruit and vegetable juice concentrate could affect the risk factors for chronic disease among overweight and obese adults. The results of the study, published in the Journal of Nutrition & Intermediary Metabolism, were the result of a double-blinded, parallel, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in older adults.

For the study, the researchers recruited 56 adults, all aged 40 years and older. The participants all had a body mass index (BMI) 28 kg per square meter or greater and received six capsules of fruit and vegetable juice concentrate or placebo daily for eight weeks.

After the trial period, the results showed that total carotenoids markedly rose in plasma after the participants consumed juice concentrate. In contrast, total cholesterol, plasma, and systolic blood pressure went down, while overall lean mass rose after participants took juice concentrate. Differences were also observed between groups where plasma total carotenoids, lycopene and ?-carotene were concerned. The team also saw an alteration in the gene expression of signaling pathways. These involved three genes in lipogenesis, 10 NF-kB associated genes and 2 AMPK associated genes.

Based on the results of the study, the researchers concluded that the encapsulated fruit and vegetable reduced systemic inflammation and improved blood lipid levels and the body composition of obese individuals after an eight-week intervention. The data the study revealed, they added, may prove helpful in lowering the risk of chronic disease due to obesity.

Obesity is a worldwide problem

Over the past decades, obesity has grown so much over the past years it is now a global problem. In an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2017, it revealed that as much as 107.7 million children and 603.7 million adults were well under the obese category in 2015.

The current level of obesity has doubled in over 70 countries since 1980, and it has risen in most countries. Even children are not spared. There may be less obese children than there are overweight adults, but statistics show that childhood obesity is on the rise. (Related: Obesity in preschoolers has increased dramatically, according to new data.)

What’s worse, a high BMI was traced to four million deaths around the world.

Not all fruit and vegetable juices are right for you

If you’re starting to get fit, rushing over to get your favorite juice drinks may not be the wisest idea. This is because most fruit and vegetable drinks on the market contain added sugars that are similar, or even equal, to actual sugary drinks like soda.

“Fruit juice isn’t the same as intact fruit, and it has as much sugar as many classical sugar drinks,” explained Susan Jebb, the head of the diet and obesity research group at Cambridge University. “It is also absorbed very fast, so by the time it gets to your stomach your body doesn’t know whether it’s Coca-Cola or orange juice, frankly. I have to say it is a relatively easy thing to give up. Swap it and have a piece of real fruit. If you are going to drink it, you should dilute it.”

Because of this, Azmina Govindji, the spokesperson of the British Dietetic Association advises everyone to opt for fresh fruit and vegetables over juice.

“You’re going to get fiber, more nutrients and you’re likely to have fewer calories,” she explains.

If someone offers you concentrated fruit or vegetable juice and you don’t want to offend the person by saying no, a few sips is fine. Small amounts won’t do any harm. Govindji also recommends taking juice with meals to prevent blood sugar from rising too fast in your body. However, it’s a different story when people mistake fruit concentrates as health drinks and make it part of their daily diet.

At the end of it all, the message is to be fit, and not fat. Stay away from those concentrated juice drinks that contain added sugars which can increase your body weight.

You won’t only look better. You’ll feel better, too. Visit Health.news for daily coverage of health news headlines.

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