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Fruit and Vegetable Supplements

August 22, 2011 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

There is much debate within alternative and conventional medical circles about the appropriate role of dietary supplements in patient care. Opinions range from absolute avoidance to daily dependence. However, there is one thing that just about everyone agrees on. A healthy diet should be the primary source of essential nutrients. But, what constitutes a wholesome diet? According to many nutritional authorities, an emphasis on low-glycemic fruits and non-starchy vegetables is an excellent starting point. If you have a hard time achieving this goal, I think it’s worth considering supplements that consist of concentrated fruit and vegetable extracts. The latest support for my position comes courtesy of a study published in the August 2011 issue of the journal Skin Pharmacology and Physiology. It found that a 12 week course of supplementation with “an encapsulated fruit and vegetable juice concentrate” resulted in statistically relevant improvements in skin quality (dermal density, hydration and thickness) in a group of 26 middle aged women. Two other publications from earlier this year go on to report that the same supplement decreased LDL cholesterol and oxidative stress in “heavy smokers” and reduced the incidence of common cold symptoms by 20% in a relatively large sampling of healthcare professionals. These are real world results that mimic what you might expect to find by eating a fruit and vegetable rich diet. This is also precisely the sort of data needed for patients and physicians to consider the validity of dietary supplements in their personal lives and public practices.

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 – An Encapsulated Fruit and Vegetable Juice Concentrate Increases Skin … (link)

Study 2 – Effects of Encapsulated Fruit and Vegetable Juice Powder Concentrates … (link)

Study 3 – Reduction of Common Cold Symptoms By Encapsulated Juice Powder (link)

Concentrated Fruit and Vegetable Extracts May Reduce Cardiovascular Risk Markers

Source: J Nutr. 2003 Jul;133(7):2188-93. (link)

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Posted in Heart Health, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements

4 Comments & Updates to “Fruit and Vegetable Supplements”

  1. jason reeves Says:

    Hey JP,

    Funny, those are the initials I go by for friends and family. I actually have a hard time getting enough veggies into my diet. I don’t always like the taste, so I try and sneak em’ in by grilling them or smothering them in to sauce etc. Supplements might be an option. I never thought of that, so thanks.

    Jason Reeves

  2. Greg Harris Says:

    For anyone interested, the supplement referred to in those studies is called Juice Plus+, and it is the number one selling whole food supplement worldwide. They now have about 23 or more published studies on the health benefits. I’ve been taking it for about 4 months now and have already been noticing health differences in my whole family. I have three kids and none of them have come home with a cold from school – which normally happens every year. Our allergies were nearly non-existent this season, and my wife says her migraines are less frequent and not as bad as they were. Anway I highly recommend it.

  3. JP Says:

    Thank you for sharing your success with us, Greg. Much appreciated!

    Be well!


  4. JP Says:

    Update: Juice supplements benefit pulmonary function and health in smokers …


    J Am Coll Nutr. 2013;32(1):18-25. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2013.767652.

    An encapsulated juice powder concentrate improves markers of pulmonary function and cardiovascular risk factors in heavy smokers.

    OBJECTIVE: Cigarette smoking is associated with reduced pulmonary function and increased risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study evaluated the effects of two different combinations of mixed fruit and vegetable juice powder concentrate (Juice Plus+, NSA, Collierville, TN) on heavy smokers.

    METHODS: At baseline (T 0) and after 3 months’ supplementation (T 1), pulmonary function parameters and cardiovascular risk factors-that is, plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) with related B vitamins and cysteine (tCys) concentrations-were assessed in 75 apparently healthy smokers (aged 49.2 ± 10.6 years, >20 cigarettes/d, duration ≥10 years) randomized into 3 groups: placebo (P), fruit/vegetable (FV) and fruit/vegetable/berry (FVB).

    RESULTS: T 0: most smokers showed abnormalities in tHcy and tCys concentrations. T 1: respiratory function was unchanged in P and slightly, but not significantly, improved in FV, whereas FVB showed a significant improvement in forced expiratory flow at 25% (FEF25; p < 0.0001 vs P and FV) and significant improvement in CO diffusion lung/alveolar volume (DLCO/VA). FV and FVB (50%) showed significant reduction in tHcy and tCys compared to T 0 ( p < 0.0001) and P ( p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: At T 1, both supplemented groups, but to a greater extent the FVB group, showed improvements in some pulmonary parameters, cardiovascular risk factors, and folate status. The beneficial effects of Juice Plus+ supplementation could potentially help smokers, even if smoking cessation is advisable. Be well! JP

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