Bacterial flora determines, for better or worse, the health of the entire body. More and more researches link, indeed, the bacterial flora to the functioning of the immune system, to the levels of cholesterol and blood sugar but also to the health of the brain. The bacterial flora is given by all the bacteria that live in our gut and it has been created a specific name to indicate it, microbiota. It results clear that taking care of the microbiota has an impact also on the body. Well, the scientists, in a research published a few months ago in the Journal of medicinal food (Lima et al, 2019), have observed that a so simple gesture such as drinking every day a glass of orange juice is able to bring benefits to the microbiota but also to improve several metabolic parameters such as blood sugar, insulin sensitivity and cholesterol.
In particular, 10 healthy women, mean age 28, were recruited and asked to drink every day a glass of commercial and pasteurized orange juice. After two months the scientists analyzed the biometabolic parameters of the participants to the study and what emerged was that, after the intake of orange juice, the good bacteria of microbiota such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli have increased with a beneficial impact on the digestion, the energy and the immune system. Moreover, scientists observed also a decrease of the values of bad LDL cholesterol and blood sugar levels while the insulin sensitivity was higher. The beneficial effect of orange juice is supposed to be caused by bioactive compounds such as esperidin and naringin.
The study shows important limits. Indeed, it has been performed on a very small sample, just 10 persons, healthy and young. It would be very interesting to see the effect on larger samples of population, but also to analyze the difference between the fresh orange juice and that purchased at supermarket. Another aspect could be trying to understand what may happen with health conditions with already altered values of blood sugar and cholesterol. In any case, the research is for sure useful to understand that even little choices such as drinking some orange juice may play a role in improving the health and in preventing possible health problems.