20 April 2009
The maximum benefit will be to the obese with metabolic syndrome, which is defined by a number of risk factors including excess body fat in the midsection, high blood pressure (BP), high blood sugar and abnormal blood lipids.
A study, conducted by Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), found that participants who drank at least eight ounces of low sodium vegetable juice as part of a calorie–controlled DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet lost nearly two kg over 12 weeks. In contrast, those who followed the same diet sans juice lost less than half a kg.
If left uncontrolled, metabolic syndrome increases risk for heart disease, stroke or diabetes. An estimated 47 million Americans have some combination of these risk factors and are often overweight or obese.
Participants in the study were primarily African–American and Hispanic adults, populations that typically have a higher incidence of metabolic syndrome.
Each group followed a DASH diet that emphasised eating lean meat, lower fat dairy, whole grains, vegetables and fruit daily. Saturated fat, total fat, cholesterol and sodium were kept in check.
Two of the groups were given low sodium V8 100 percent vegetable juice and instructed to drink one or two cups daily for 12 weeks, while the third group was not given any vegetable juice.
Vegetable juice drinkers significantly increased their intake of vitamin C and potassium, while decreasing their overall carbohydrate intake, said a release of the Behavioral Medicine Research Centre (BMRC).
“What this study shows is that by taking simple, proactive steps such as drinking low sodium vegetable juice while watching calorie intake, people can begin to control their weight, which helps reduce the risk of long–term health implications,” said John Foreyt, study author and director of BMRC.