Background: Vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals and, dietary fiber and contribute to the prevention and improvement of obesity and metabolic syndrome. However, inadequate intake of vegetable and fruit is a concern in Japan.We therefore produced a juice mixture of fresh fruit and komatsuna (Brassica rapa L. var. perviridis: B. rapa) with the aim to investigate the effects of this juice mixture on anthropometric data, blood parameters, and dietary intake differences.
Methods: This study was performed as a single blind and randomized controlled trial. Subjects were 16 men (mean age, 46.4 ± 7.1 years), and they were divided into two groups (control group and intervention group). The intervention group consumed the juice mixture of fresh fruit and B. rapa. The control group consumed commercial vegetable juice. Subjects consumed juice twice a day throughout the weekday, for 4 weeks. We prepared both juices with an equivalent energy balance.
Results: Weight and body mass index (BMI) of the control group after 4 weeks were significantly increased compared with baseline values. Serum total cholesterol (T-Chol) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-Chol) of the intervention group after 4 weeks were significantly reduced compared with baseline values. Furthermore, intake of total vegetables and fruits were significantly increased compared with baseline values in both groups.
Conclusions: Both vegetable juices contributed to improved intake of total vegetables and fruit. Compared with the intake of commercial vegetable juice, the intake of fresh fruit and B. rapa juice is highly effective in reducing serum cholesterol. Short-term intake of fresh fruit and B. rapa juice was shown to enhance cholesterol metabolism.