SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Many of us drink orange juice because we think it’s nutritional. But a new study is questioning just how good for you that glass of O.J. really is.
Vitamin C in fruit juice is good for your immune system, healing wounds and maintaining healthy cartilage, bones and teeth. But as Eyewitness News Healthbeat Reporter Mark Hiller explains, it’s something else in that juice that researchers suggest could have a cancer connection.
A popular 1970s ad campaign touted the health benefits of orange juice. But besides vitamin C and minerals, fruit juices including 100 percent orange juice contain a lot of something else.
“All of the sugar, all of the glucose that you’re going to get from juice really enters your body very quickly. Part of that can be a challenge on folks’ metabolism,” said Dr. Dana Manning, Pharm.D., R.D., LDN from Wilkes University.
And that’s part of the hypothesis of a new study suggesting fruit juice may increase your risk of cancer. And it’s more than fruit juice which the study takes to task. Other sugary beverages like soda and energy drinks also come under fire. French researchers looked at more than 100,000 adults and their intake of both sugary and artificially sweetened drinks over a five year period. The result? An 18 percent higher rate of overall cancer for people who drank any sugary beverage.
Dr. Manning said, “The more we drink overall is associated with more risk.”
Keep in mind the study is not ’cause and effect’ but Dr. Manning says that doesn’t diminish the key takeaway. “Even when they controlled for many, many other known risk factors for cancer the sugary drinks still showed an association.”
So when it comes to the old commercial claim ‘breakfast without orange juice is like a day without sunshine’, Dr. Manning says consider something else.
“My suggestion would be to start your day with forms of food that will give you energy and glucose but that also have some fiber in them.”
While the study also looked at beverages with artificial sweeteners, it found no associated cancer risk.