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The Effect of Daily Fruit Juice Drinking on Fasting Serum Triglycerides

1 August 2007


Background: Waist circumference appears to be the most predictive factor for the metabolic syndrome and many researchers note its incidence is increasing in epidemic proportions in.the United States. Abdominal obesity is strongly correlated with insulin resistance, atherogenic dyslipidemia and hypertension. The recent increase in the· incidence of the metabolic syndrome, and its most common abnormality abdominal obesity, may be due, in part, to the consumption of a high simple carbohydrate diet. Simple is defined as a refined carbohydrate source that has no fiber. Simple carbohydrate intake is associated with elevation of triglycerides: an effect known as carbohydrate induced hypertriglyceridemia. Although less robust than low and high density lipoprotein, elevated triglycerides are recognized as all independent risk factor for coronary heart disease. Reducing the intake of readily available carbohydrate is a therapeutic lifestyle change which may reduce serum triglycerides.

Hypothesis: We hypothesize that eliminating daily juice intake would reduce serum triglycerides when compared to daily juice drinking in subjects with hypertriglyceridemia.

Study Design: Twenty eight non-diabetic patients with modest hypertriglyceridemia (fasting triglycerides 150-400 mg/dL) were alternately subjected to two 14 day experimental juice drinking periods in a cross-over design: 14 days of daily ingestion of 12 ounces of the 100 percent fruit juice of their choice and 14 days of no juice drinking. Patients were instructed to maintain their usual diet throughout the study. Fasting triglycerides were measured after each 14 day period and the mean of the daily juice drinking period was compared with the juice-free period using a student t-test.

Results: The mean (SD) fasting serum triglyceride level was 190.7 (88) mg/dL in subjects while on the juice-free regimen and 247.2 (87) mg/dL during the daily juice drinking period (P < .02).

Conclusion: Eliminating daily juice drinking from the diets of hypertriglyceridemic patients significantly reduces fasting triglyceride levels, a therapeutic lifestyle change which may reduce risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease.


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