Drinking 100 percent fruit juice may increase nutrient consumption in children and adolescents, according to a recent study.
Vitamins are important for the cellular functions of the body. They are chemical substances that help the body use energy, build proteins, make cells, and repair injuries. Vitamins are divided into two general categories: fat soluble and water soluble. The fat soluble vitamins are A, D and E. Vitamin A is necessary for eyes, bones, and skin. Vitamin D is necessary to make bones and teeth, and it allows the body to use calcium from the diet. Vitamin E is important for the immune system and for the cardiovascular system.
The water soluble vitamins are vitamin C and the B vitamins. Vitamin C is important for fighting infection and for using the stored energy in the body. Vitamin C is generally found in citrus fruits and other vegetables like tomatoes and peppers. The B vitamins are important for building blood cells, nerve cells and are vital for many of the body's chemical reactions. These are found in many meats and vegetables.
In a new study, scientists analyzed data on the food and nutrient intake of 7,250 participants aged 2-18 in the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They divided the subjects into two groups, one that consumed 100 percent fruit juice and one that did not.
About 71.1 percent of children between ages two and five had the highest consumption of 100 percent fruit juice, followed by 57 percent of children between ages six and 12. Among adolescents 13-18 years of age, 44.5 percent consumed 100 percent fruit juice.
Children and adolescents who did not drink 100 percent fruit juice tended to have lower levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and magnesium. Those who drank the juice were more likely to have above adequate levels of potassium intake, compared to those who did not.
The researchers concluded that children and adolescents who drink 100 percent fruit juice may consume enough nutrients in their daily diet, including potassium and vitamin C. However, more evidence is needed to better understand these findings.
For more information about nutritional deficiencies, please visit Natural Standard's Medical Conditions Database.