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Is there an association between drinking pure fruit juice and diabetes risk?

A recent study determined whether there is an association between the consumption of pure fruit juice and diabetes risk.

Pure fruit juice is freshly squeezed or bottled juice that never contains added sugars, artificial sweeteners, flavours, or preservatives, and is considered different from sugar-sweetened beverages.

A recent study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, analyzed data from over 36,000 people to investigate the incidence of diabetes in people who drank pure fruit juice.

Patients who participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Netherlands Study (EPIC-NL) from 20 to 69 years old were asked about the frequency, amount, and type of fruit juice and fruits they habitually consumed. Most people preferred apple, orange, and grapefruit juice, whereas apple/pear, citrus fruit, and banana were the most popular choice among whole fruits.

Low whole fruit consumers were considered people who ate less than 120 g/day and high consumers were classified as those who consumed more than 120 g/day. The average pure fruit juice intake among participants was 40 g/day and the average whole fruit intake 128 g/day.

Apart from pure fruit juice and fruit intake researchers also took into account other factors including age, sex, educational level, physical activity, BMI, family history of diabetes, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

Among all participants one-fourth were men and almost 75% were women with average age of 49 ± 11.9  years old. Over the fifteen-year period 1,477 patients were diagnosed with diabetes. Initially, after adjustment for age and sex, people who drank fewer than eight glasses of pure fruit juice per week seemed to have lower incidence of diabetes. However, after adjustment for other factors, there was no difference in diabetes occurrence between participants who drank either less or more than eight glasses of pure fruit juice per week.

The researchers concluded that neither high nor low pure fruit juice or fruit intake were associated with the incidence of diabetes. In addition, people with these dietary habits were more physically active, did not smoke or heavily consume alcohol, had a healthier lifestyle, and a higher educational level.

Written by Anna Otvodenko


  1. Scheffers, F., Wijga, A., Verschuren, W., van der Schouw, Y., Sluijs, I., Smit, H. and Boer, J. (2020). Pure Fruit Juice and Fruit Consumption Are Not Associated with Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes after Adjustment for Overall Dietary Quality in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition–Netherlands (EPIC-NL) Study. The Journal of Nutrition.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay



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