Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the world and is the primary cause of mortality among Americans. One of the many reasons for the pathogenesis of CVD is attributed to eating diets high in saturated fat and refined carbohydrates and low in fruits and vegetables. Epidemiological evidence has supported a strong association between eating diets rich in fruits and vegetables and cardiovascular health. An experiment was conducted utilizing 24 adults with hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia to evaluate the impact of drinking 20 fl oz of freshly squeezed orange juice daily for 90 days on blood pressure, lipid panels, plasma antioxidant capacity, metabolic hormones, lipid peroxidation, and inflammatory markers. Except for addition of drinking orange juice, subjects did not modify their eating habits. The findings suggested that drinking orange juice does not affect (P>.1) blood pressure, lipid panels, metabolic hormones, body fat percentage, or inflammatory markers. However, total plasma antioxidant capacity was significantly increased (P<.05) and lipid peroxidation was significantly decreased (P<.05) after orange juice consumption. Drinking orange juice may protect the cardiovascular system by increasing total plasma antioxidant status and by lowering lipid peroxidation independent of other cardiovascular risk markers evaluated in this study.
Keywords: antioxidant status; cardiovascular disease; lipid peroxidation; orange juice.