Skip to content

Secret Side Effects of Drinking Orange Juice, Says Science

You're getting more than just a heaping portion of vitamin C with every sip.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Whether you typically start your morning by uncapping a carton of OJ or make your own fresh-squeezed version on weekends, orange juice is a tasty part of many people's regular routines. While you may recognize the popular drink as an excellent source of vitamin C—frequently packing more than the RDA of the nutrient in every cup—that's not all you're getting with every sip.

Before you pour yourself another glass of this golden elixir, read on to discover the secret side effects of drinking orange juice, according to science. And for some great ways to improve your diet, check out The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

1

Orange juice may lower your cholesterol.

Orange juice with fresh oranges
Shutterstock

If you're dealing with high cholesterol, adding some orange juice to your regular routine may help get those numbers into healthier territory.

According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, individuals who consumed 236 mL of not-from-concentrate orange juice over a three-week period saw reductions in their LDL to HDL cholesterol ratio. Yet another study published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine found that citrus flavonoids, like those found in orange juice, were effective at lowering both total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in individuals with high cholesterol. And if you want to keep those numbers in a healthy range, nix these Eating Habits to Avoid if You Don't Want High Cholesterol, Say Dietitians.

2

Orange juice may lower your blood pressure.

orange juice
Shutterstock

Approximately 45% of U.S. adults have high blood pressure—and if you number among them, adding some orange juice to your regular routine may be able to help.

A 2021 study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that among a group of 159 people who drank either a control drink, orange juice, or orange juice enhanced with hesperidin (a polyphenol found in oranges), over 12 weeks, those who received either the regular or enhanced orange juice saw reductions in their systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure.

3

Orange juice may reduce inflammation in your body.

Woman drinking juice while looking through a window.
Shutterstock

Inflammation can wreak havoc on practically every body part from head to toe, but adding a little orange juice to your regular routine could help head it off at the pass.

A 2012 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that non-obese adults with increased cardiovascular risk who received 500 mL of orange juice over a 12-week period had lower inflammation at the end of the study than those given the same portion of a placebo drink. And if you want to keep your body healthy, avoid The Worst Eating Habits for Inflammation, Says Science.

4

Orange juice may reduce your risk of obesity.

Unhealthy orange juice bottle held in front of fridge
Shutterstock

While fruit juice may have a bad reputation when it comes to weight gain, studies suggest that individuals who regularly consume orange juice may be less predisposed to weight struggles than those who abstain.

A 2012 study published in BMC Nutrition Journal found that individuals who regularly consumed orange juice not only had a better overall diet quality, but a lower risk of obesity, as well.

5

Orange juice may improve your immune system.

orange juice
Shutterstock

If you're trying to give your immune system a boost, vitamin C-rich orange juice might just be the answer you're looking for.

A 2021 study published in Frontiers in Immunology found that regular consumption of orange juice was effective at reducing inflammation, which may benefit consumers' overall immune health.

For more great ways to stave off illnesses, check out the 30 Best Immune-Boosting Foods., and for the latest healthy living news delivered to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter!

Read this next:

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more