Inflammation, Oxidative Stress and Florida Orange Juice

What is Oxidative Stress and Inflammation?

Oxidative stress refers to the imbalance of the body’s defense systems from damage, like free radicals in our environment. Inflammation often occurs from oxidative stress, and it is a response of the immune system that sometimes results in redness and swelling. Food allergies or an infection, like the cold or flu, are among the causes of short-term inflammation. Long-term chronic inflammation and oxidative stress are thought to play a significant role in the onset and progression of several diseases, including cardiovascular disease.

Vitamin C, found in Florida Orange Juice, is a dietary antioxidant6 which means it may help lessen the effects of oxidative stress.


Florida Orange Juice is an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin C, containing more than 100% of the Daily Value in one cup (250 mL).*

Nutrition Research Corner for Health Professionals

Reducing Inflammation and Oxidative Stress

Nutrients in 100% orange juice have been associated with reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.1-5

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a dietary antioxidant6, which in turn may help lessen oxidative stress and inflammation.7  For example, vitamin C deactivates free radicals in the skin providing photo protection against sunburn and premature aging.8

Orange juice is an excellent source of vitamin C providing more than 100% of the Daily Value in one 8 ounce (1 cup / 250 mL) glass.*

Flavonoids: Plant compounds called flavonoids, such as hesperidin and naringenin found in oranges and grapefruit, may play a role in cell health. Some research indicates these flavonoids may be able to reduce inflammation and support health of blood vessel cells.2,9 Orange juice and hesperidin have been shown to have some positive effects on cognition10-12 and cardiovascular health .9,13,14 The flavonoid hesperidin is found in high amounts in citrus and is rarely found in other foods.15

Hesperidin is concentrated in the peel of the orange, and commercial orange juice can have higher amounts of absorbable flavonoids compared to fresh-squeezed orange juice,16,17 likely due to increased pressure during processing.

Carotenoids: Carotenoids are colorful plant pigments that affect inflammatory and oxidative stress pathways, thus can inhibit the production of inflammation in our cells.18 Ultraviolet sunlight is a source of oxidative stress which can contribute to age-related eye diseases including cataracts and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Several studies have observed reduced risk of AMD with increased intake of carotenoids.19 Carotenoids have also been shown to protect against sunburn20,21 and premature aging.22 Since carotenoids are stored under the skin, regular consumption of orange juice can increase carotenoid levels in the skin.23 100% orange juice has many carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin and may be part of a healthy diet for managing inflammation.

Several studies have shown the effects of 100% orange juice on inflammatory markers:

  • Consuming 750ml of orange juice for eight weeks as part of the usual diet was associated with improvements in several anti-inflammatory and oxidative stress markers in adults.1
  • A study in healthy adults reported that daily consumption of 500ml of orange juice for two weeks resulted in a significant reduction in 8-epiPGF2α, a marker for oxidative stress.24
  • Postprandial benefits of orange juice and hesperidin on endothelial function was observed in overweight older men consuming 500ml of orange juice or a drink with hesperidin.9
  • Upregulation of genes associated with anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic activities were observed in overweight middle-aged men with four week daily consumption of either 500ml of orange juice or a drink with hesperidin.4
  • Two clinical studies demonstrated that the consumption of orange juice helped attenuate the inflammatory response caused by the consumption of a high carbohydrate and/or high fat meals.2,3
  • Daily consumption of 500 mL of 100% orange juice for eight weeks decreased markers of lipid peroxidation (TBARS) in HCV-infected (Hepatitis C Virus) patients on antiviral therapy; improvement of liver enzymes in patients with elevated baseline levels was also observed.25
  • A systematic review supports 100 percent fruit juice and 100% orange juice to have positive impacts on antioxidant status and lipid profiles in adults.26 

* Values based on a 2000 calorie diet. Nutrient values may vary based on manufacturer, brand, and product types.


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