Due to the high amounts of flavonoids and despite the fact that it’s loaded with fructose, orange juice was found to be a healthy drink, especially beneficial for diabetics.

Flavonoids are known of suppressing destructive oxygen free radicals a.k.a reactive oxygen species, or ROS that can damage all components of the cell, proteins, fats and DNA, and lead to the development of many chronic diseases like heart disease and stroke as well as diabetes if present in overabundance.

The study involved 32 healthy participants aged 20 to 40 with normal weight. They were divided into four groups with each group having to drink 300 calories-worth of glucose, fructose, orange juice or saccharin-sweetened water.

After consuming the drinks, the researchers took their blood samples and found that there was an increase in ROS within 2 hours in samples from the glucose group but not in those from the fructose, orange juice or water group.

It was surprising to them to find that there was no increase in ROS following orange juice consumption, although its glucose concentration was the same as in participants in the glucose group. Further study showed that it was neither fructose nor vitamin C from orange juice that suppressed the oxygen free radicals but two types of flavonoids-- hesperetin and naringenin. They inhibited ROS generation by 52% and 77 %, respectively.

Researchers report that it is essential that the search for safe non-inflammatory foods continues. This is very important to the diabetes patients who may develop atherosclerosis if exposed to stress from ROS. Being overweight or obese and developing type 2 diabetes are all associated with oxidative stress and inflammation.