BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Eating foods containing flavonoids -- orange juice, in this case -- along with a high-fat, high-carbohydrate fast-food meal neutralizes the oxidative and inflammatory stress generated by the unhealthy food and helps prevent blood vessel damage, a new study by University at Buffalo endocrinologists shows.
Free radicals, or reactive oxygen species, are known to induce inflammation in blood vessel linings and contribute to the risk of heart attack and stroke. Study researchers say the potent preventative effect of orange juice likely is linked to its heavy load of the flavonoids naringenin and hesperidin, which are major antioxidants.
"Our data show, for the first time to our knowledge, that drinking orange juice with a meal high in fat and carbohydrates prevented the marked increases in reactive oxygen species and other inflammatory agents," says UB's Husam Ghanim, PhD, first author on the study.
"This did not happen when participants drank water or a sugary drink with the meal," he says. "These issues of inflammation following a meal are important because the resultant high glucose and high triglycerides are known to be related to the development of cardiovascular events."
Ghanim is a research assistant professor in UB's Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. The study appears in the March issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and appeared online ahead of print.
The study involved three groups of 10 normal-weight healthy men and women between the ages of 20 and 40. After an overnight fast, participants ate a 900-calorie breakfast composed of an egg "muffin" sandwich, a sausage "muffin" sandwich and a serving of hash browns. The meal contained 81 grams of carbohydrates, 51 grams of fat and 32 grams protein.
Along with the breakfast, one group drank 300 calories of "not-from-concentrate" orange juice, a second group drank a 300-calorie glucose drink and the third group drank an
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