Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Squeezing maximum health benefits out of the orange in your stocking

Date:
December 20, 2010
Source:
Brigham Young University
Summary:
In time for Christmas, nutritionists are squeezing all the healthy compounds out of oranges to find just the right mixture responsible for their age-old health benefits.

BYU nutritionist Tory Parker published a study identifying which compounds -- in the right proportions -- in an orange contribute the most to good health. The results could be used to develop a super-supplement that mimics an orange's effects on the body.
Credit: Mark Philbrick

In time for Christmas, BYU nutritionists are squeezing all the healthy compounds out of oranges to find just the right mixture responsible for their age-old health benefits.

The popular stocking stuffer is known for its vitamin C and blood-protecting antioxidants, but researchers wanted to learn why a whole orange is better for you than its components when taken separately. The ultimate outcome of the research could be a super-supplement that captures the best health benefits of eating oranges and drinking orange juice.

"There's something about an orange that's better than taking a vitamin C capsule, and that's really what we're trying to figure out," said Tory Parker, BYU assistant professor of nutrition, dietetics and food science. "We think it's the particular mixture of antioxidants in an orange that makes it so good for you."

The team published the best health-promoting combinations of those natural antioxidants in a recent issue of the Journal of Food Science. The paper's lead author, Brenner Freeman, was a BYU undergrad when he conducted the research.

Now applying to medical schools, Brenner chose to study oranges because he was raised on a citrus orchard in Arizona.

"I spent a lot of time hunched over a lab bench in the dark doing this research," Freeman said. "But what I learned was worth it, and having this publication definitely gives me an advantage on my med school applications."

Parker explained that every time we eat carbs and fat, we increase the amount of free radicals in our blood. Over time, that increases our chance for hardened arteries and heart disease. But eating fruit protects us from that effect for a few hours after every meal.

"Carbs and fat increase free radicals, and fruit and internal antioxidants counteract that," Parker said. "That means fruit should be your dessert -- remember, before cookies, candy and other sugary snacks became so widespread, fruit was our 'sweet.'"

Parker noted supplement companies often mix "high concentrations of extracts from blueberry and blackberry and orange and throw them all together and hope it's good."

He wanted to avoid such assumptions by testing dozens of combinations of the antioxidants found in an orange at the same proportions they occur naturally.

"We're looking for synergistic effects," Parker said. "Cases where the effect of two or more antioxidants together was stronger than the sum of them separately."

In conclusion, they identified several combinations of antioxidants that were the most synergistic -- the compounds hesperidin and naringenin, in particular, appeared to contribute the most punch in the combinations.

Those are the mixtures Parker will continue to research in human studies to evaluate whether their health effects mimic those of eating an orange. He and his students are also conducting similar work with blueberries and strawberries.

BYU has applied for patents on the best antioxidant mixtures from all three fruits, and they are available for license by companies for further development.

"I'm really most interested in protecting healthy people and keeping the healthy, healthy," Parker said. "And no matter what our research finds, it's very clear that a great way to do that is to simply eat more fruit."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brigham Young University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Brenner L. Freeman, Dennis L. Eggett, Tory L. Parker. Synergistic and Antagonistic Interactions of Phenolic Compounds Found in Navel Oranges. Journal of Food Science, 2010; 75 (6): C570 DOI: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2010.01717.x

Cite This Page:

Brigham Young University. "Squeezing maximum health benefits out of the orange in your stocking." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101220150942.htm>.
Brigham Young University. (2010, December 20). Squeezing maximum health benefits out of the orange in your stocking. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101220150942.htm
Brigham Young University. "Squeezing maximum health benefits out of the orange in your stocking." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101220150942.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins