Too much Apple juice

The Real Reason Kids Shouldn’t Drink Apple Juice

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30, 2011 — Two months ago, prominent TV doctor Mehmet Oz, MD, host of The Dr. Oz Show, found himself under fire when he reported on air that several popular brands of apple juice contained unsafe levels of arsenic. At the time, critics slammed his “faulty methods,” and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) denounced his findings as “irresponsible and misleading,” explaining that most of the arsenic found in fruit juices is the harmless organic kind, not the carcinogenic inorganic kind associated with increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

This morning, however, Consumer Reports released a study that backs up Dr. Oz’s claims and dispels the FDA’s previous reassurances. According to the latest research, roughly 10 percent of the apple and grape juice samples that were tested by the magazine contained total levels of arsenic that exceeded federal standards set for drinking water — and the majority of that arsenic, contrary to what the FDA said previously, was the harmful inorganic kind.

For the study, researchers tested 88 samples and found that nine of them from five brands — Apple & Eve, Great Value, Mott’s, Walgreens, and Welch’s — had “unsafe” levels of arsenic up to 27 parts per billion (ppb), well above the federal standard of 10 ppb. Great Value, Walgreen’s, and Welch’s also had elevated levels of lead, as did America’s Choice, Gerber, Gold Emblem, Joe’s Kids, Minute Maid, and Seneca.

The results of the study have prompted the advocacy group Consumers Union to seek action from the FDA, but experts say parents need to make changes at home, too. According to a Consumer Reports poll, 26 percent of toddlers up to age 2 and 45 percent of kids up to age 5 drink seven or more ounces of juice a day. That’s too much — and not just because of the potential exposure to arsenic and lead.

The Problem With Too Much Juice

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns that kids who drink a lot of juice are more prone to diarrhea, cavities, malnourishment, and obesity. And that’s true even of brands that don’t have elevated arsenic levels. The real villain, experts say, is sugar, which sounds far less menacing but is every bit as damaging to your child’s health.

“Research has shown that kids who drink a lot of sugary drinks are at increased risk of obesity and diabetes,” explains Mallika Marshall, MD, Everyday Health’s medical director and a physician at the Massachusetts General Hospital Chelsea Urgent Care Clinic. Indeed, one recent study found that drinking just one eight-ounce sugar-sweetened drink every day increases a child’s odds for becoming obese by 60 percent. Another study found that male teens guzzle nearly 300 calories every day from drinks alone — more than half the weekly intake suggested by the American Heart Association.

But it’s not just what they’re putting in their bodies that causes problems; it’s what they’re not putting in, too, Marshall says. “When kids drink a lot of juice or soda, they’re drinking less milk and may not be getting enough calcium and other nutrients in their diet.”

Drinking too many calories from juice, soda, or other sugary beverages is unhealthy, adds Joy Bauer, MS, RD, Everyday Health and Today show nutrition expert and founder of “You really want to minimize all juices — not just the varieties recently found to have high levels of arsenic.”

Which is not to say that kids can’t ever have juice. “It’s certainly fine for kids to drink juice on occasion, but the majority of their liquid intake should be from low-fat milk or water,” Dr. Marshall says. “My kids rarely ask for juice, and when they do, they know it’s a treat, not a staple.”

Marshall says she allows her children at most one juice box a day, which is in line with the AAP’s guidelines recommending no juice for infants under 6 months, no more than six ounces daily for kids up to age 6, and no more than 12 ounces for older children and teens. Marshall also notes that she prefers to buy brands with reduced sugar.

“One hundred percent fruit juices are better picks than juice drinks or cocktails, because they offer up more naturally occurring nutrients,” Bauer says, adding that you can also water down the juice by 50 percent to cut calories and sugar.

However, the healthiest thing you can do for your kids is provide them more fresh fruit to chow down instead of juice. The whole fruit supplies the same sweet or tangy taste with more fiber, fewer calories, and less sugar.

4 Benefits of Apple Juice (And 5 Downsides)

Juicing apples results in the loss of some benefits and creates potential health risks.

Here are the top 5 concerns related to drinking apple juice, along with ways to overcome some of them.

1. May contribute to weight gain

The juice can be consumed faster than a whole apple, which can cause you to take in a large number of calories over a short period of time.

Additionally, juice isn’t particularly good at satisfying hunger or helping you feel full. This may lead you to consume excess calories (19).

In one study, adults were given a whole apple, applesauce, or apple juice in equal amounts based on calories. Whole apples satisfied their hunger best. Juice was the least filling — even when fiber was added to it (20).

For these reasons, the risk of taking in too many calories and gaining weight from drinking juice is greater, compared to eating whole apples. This is true for both adults and children (18, 21, 22).

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following daily juice limits:

Age Juice limit
1–3 1/2 cup (120 ml)
3–6 1/2–3/4 cup (120–175 ml)
7–18 1 cup (240 ml)

One cup (240 ml) is also the recommended daily limit for adults (23, 24).

2. Low in vitamins and minerals

A 1-cup (240-ml) serving of apple juice is not a good source of any vitamins or minerals, meaning it doesn’t supply at least 10% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for any micronutrient (1).

That said, vitamin C — or ascorbic acid — is commonly added. In many cases, apple juice is fortified to provide 100% or more of the RDI for vitamin C per serving (25).

If not fortified, apple juice provides around 2% of the RDI for this vitamin per serving. For comparison, one medium apple averages 9% of the RDI (1).

If you eat a variety of whole fruits and vegetables, you can easily meet your quota for vitamin C without drinking fortified juice.

3. High in sugar — low in fiber

Choose 100% juice varieties rather than drinks that are a blend of apple juice, added sugar, and water.

Still, virtually all of the calories in 100% apple juice come from carbs — mostly from fructose and glucose, two naturally-occurring sugars (1).

At the same time, a 1-cup (240-ml) serving of juice — whether clear or cloudy — supplies only 0.5 grams of fiber.

For comparison, a medium apple with the peel has 4.5 grams of fiber — or 18% of the RDI — for this nutrient (1, 7).

Fiber, as well as protein and fat, helps slow digestion and promotes a more moderate rise in blood sugar. The combination of high sugar and low fiber in the juice can spike your blood sugar.

If you drink apple juice, pair it with something that contains protein and healthy fat to reduce its impact on your blood sugar (26).

For example, when healthy adults ate a breakfast of apple juice, bread, and peanut butter, their rise in blood sugar was 30% less compared to the same meal without peanut butter (26).

4. Encourages tooth decay

Drinking fruit juice is linked to tooth decay. Bacteria in your mouth consume the sugars in juice and produce acids that can erode tooth enamel and lead to cavities (27).

In a test-tube study that assessed the dental effects of 12 different types of fruit juice, apple juice was found to erode tooth enamel the most (28).

If you drink apple juice, avoid swishing it around in your mouth. The longer your teeth are exposed to sugar, the more likely you’ll get cavities. Using a straw may also reduce your risk of tooth decay (27, 29).

5. Contaminated with pesticides

If you drink nonorganic juice, pesticide contamination is another concern. Pesticides are chemicals used to protect crops from insects, weeds, and mold.

When the U.S. Department of Agriculture tested 379 samples of nonorganic, 100% apple juice, about half of them contained detectable levels of at least one pesticide (30).

Though these residues were below the limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, children are more vulnerable to pesticide exposure than adults. If your child regularly drinks apple juice, it’s probably best to choose organic (30, 31, 32).

Organic juice is also preferable for adults, as it’s uncertain how long-term exposure to small amounts of pesticides may increase your risk of certain cancers, fertility problems, or other health concerns (31, 33).

Summary You should limit apple juice in your diet because it isn’t very filling, is high in sugar, encourages tooth decay, and is low in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Nonorganic juice is also commonly contaminated with pesticides.
Many of us already know that apple cider vinegar is great for a number of things. It can do a lot of good inside and outside of your body from your skin to weight loss, etc.

But some of us take the healing power of apple cider vinegar a little too literally and take too much of it. Remember that age old saying that “too much of a good thing is bad for you”? Well, it’s true with apple cider vinegar too. Take a look at what happens when you have too much of it.

1. Tooth Enamel
Too much apple cider vinegar can erode tooth enamel. The acetic acid can damage the enamel on your teeth, making them more susceptible to tooth decay. Diluting the vinegar before use can help, but it’s wise to talk to your dentist before you consume apple cider vinegar.

The effects of apple cider vinegar on teeth are particularly significant because people often consume it directly and can drink a considerable amount at a time.

For example, in one reported case a teenager was consuming a glass of apple cider vinegar (undiluted) each day, in an effort to lose weight.

That behavior resulted in significant damage to her teeth. Research has also indicated that vinegar can lead to a loss of minerals in teeth, which could contribute to tooth decay.

Now, this issue is likely to be most significant when you’re drinking the apple cider vinegar straight, especially as vinegar is acidic and fairly harsh on the body.

2. Blood Sugar
Apple cider vinegar can also have an antiglycemic effect on blood sugar, meaning it can lower glucose levels in the bloodstream. This may benefit the management of type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance, but people with uncontrolled blood sugar levels could find its use problematic. Blood sugar may drop to the point of diabetic hypoglycemia. This could deprive the brain of glucose, leading to seizures and loss of consciousness. If you have type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance, talk to your doctor before taking apple cider vinegar in any amount.

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Dr. Oz delivered a startling allegation on his show on Tuesday: Some of the best-known apple juice brands in America contain arsenic (a heavy metal known to cause cancer).

The show says it hired an independent lab to test samples of apple juice produced overseas, and one-third of the samples contained levels of arsenic higher than what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows in drinking water.

However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is calling the information presented on the show “misleading” and “irresponsible.” After conducting its own tests on the same apple juice lots, the FDA found arsenic levels well within safe margins (almost zero).

Plus, according to the FDA, there are different types of arsenic — some dangerous, a.k.a., inorganic (like from pesticides) — and some that are naturally occurring, or organic, that aren’t as dangerous. The Dr. Oz show only counted the total amount of arsenic without differentiating. (Oz admits that inorganic arsenic is what we should focus on, but isn’t convinced that organic arsenic is safe.)

UPDATE 12/1/11: An investigation by Consumer Reports finds that roughly 10 percent their apple and grape juice samples, from five brands, had total arsenic levels that exceeded federal drinking-water standards. Most of that arsenic was inorganic arsenic. One in four samples also had lead levels higher than the FDA’s bottled-water limit of 5 ppb.
“The call to action here is not to condemn apple juice,” Dr. Oz said on the “Today” show. “I love apple juice; I’m a big fan of it. And part of the reason I wanted to do the show is because I’ve been talking about the benefits of things like apple juice.”

Still have questions about your favorite brand? Stick to organic juice, at least for now. None of the organic apple juice samples that Dr. Oz’s lab tested came back with arsenic levels higher than what the EPA deems safe for drinking water. Oz also says that juice concentrate made in the USA is highly regulated and thus a safer choice, so check your labels.

But according to the FDA, you have nothing to worry about.

“We’re concerned that people are going to start thinking their juice is unsafe when that’s not case,” agency spokeswoman Stephanie Yao told The Washington Post.

Our take? Willow Jarosh and Stephanie Clarke, contributing editors at SELF and co-founders of C&J Nutrition, believe the issue needs further research.

“One thing the experts seem to agree on is that the safety of arsenic (even when talking about total amounts vs. segmenting the inorganic vs. organic types of arsenic) is dose dependent. For this reason, it seems as though drinking small amounts of apple juice shouldn’t be a concern at this time,” they say.

Plus, apple juice is a good source of vitamin C, so it’s actually healthy in moderation. But the whole apple is the better, with far more fiber and disease-fighting plant compounds found in the flesh and skin and more power to fill you up.

“The volume of food that you get from an apple is going to fill your stomach more than an equally caloric equivalent of apple juice — so for that reason, people looking for weight control should skip the juice and eat the fruit.”

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Does organic apple juice contain less arsenic than non-organic juice?

The current Oz vs. FDA debate is really about organic vs. inorganic arsenic — where it is the inorganic arsenic that our body has a far worse time coping with.
Arsenic is naturally present in water, air, food and soil in small amounts and organic arsenic — the kind the FDA said is in apple juices — passes through the body quickly and supposedly isn’t harmful. Arsenic can also accumulate in fish (and in some fish oil). The jury is still out on whether or not there is too much in apple juice. But, many interpret the word “organic” as “harmless” or “natural.” It is not so cut and dry. Organic arsenic may be easier to manage, but still likely poses a threat when consumed in high amounts over time. Organic arsenic is not as safe as authorities believe.
We can distinguish long-term low level exposure from acute by the symptoms they cause. Long-term low level exposure may cause skin, lung, urinary bladder and kidney cancer as well as wart-like skin growths that have the potential of becoming cancerous.
It is important to note that Arsenicum album (white arsenic) is also a homeopathic remedy prepared from arsenic trioxide powder (As2O3) mixed with lactose and then diluted to a ultra-low concentration and no longer toxic. This is NOT the same as the arsenic found in apple juice. Homeopathic Arsenicum has been studied and used to treat asthma, inflamed eyes that water and sting, headaches with vomiting and dizziness, and mouth ulcers, treatment of anxiety and even suspected chronic arsenic poisoning.
We know from recent studies that arsenic acts by creating “superoxide” in cells, a very unstable free radical species that rapidly converts into hydrogen peroxide by enzymes in the cells. This creates mutations in the cell and are a key step in cancer development. Some recent evidence suggests that environmental carcinogens — such as low level chronic arsenic exposure — acts predominantly through a free radical pathway. The good news is that these vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can help:

  • Folic acid
  • Alpha lipoic acid
  • Spirulina
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Green tea (polyphenols)

Speak to your health care provider before starting any new supplement routine.
Get tested! If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to higher than acceptable arsenic levels, consider getting tested by having your doctor submit samples to any/all of these labs:


Juice cleanses, juice bars, late night ads for juicing machines and the occasional celebrity endorsement all seem to be fueling a national juice-drinking craze. Fruit is healthy and fruit juice is a fast and convenient way to drink your nutrients, so what could possibly be wrong with a daily dose of orange, apple or cranberry juice or a trendy juice cleanse?

More than you ever imagined! While I am a fan of green vegetable juices, most juices contain too much fruit and therefore sugar. Here are 5 thoughts on how fruit juice seriously undermines your health – and why you should quit the stuff:

1. Think of your morning O.J. as soda — minus the bubbles.

OK, so you swapped your favorite sugary soda for cranberry juice, thinking that it’s better for you. Though I applaud the effort to ditch the soda, replacing it with a fruit juice sugar-bomb is a lateral move. Unfortunately, most fruit juices (organic or otherwise) flood your body with just as much sugar as soda pop.

For example, the average 12 ounce soda contains roughly 35 to 45 grams of sugar. The same amount of orange juice comes in at about 30 grams; apple juice delivers about 40 grams and pomegranate juice can top 45 grams. That’s simply an insane amount of sugar to consume in one sitting, no matter what type of beverage it is.

What’s an acceptable amount of sugar intake? Ideally, no more than 10 grams a day at the most, which certainly takes fruit juice off the table!

2. There’s nothing to chew on.

Converting whole fruit into liquid requires a lot of processing. Along the way, the once-healthy fruit gets pasteurized, pulverized, filtered, pureed and stored in massive vats for months at a time, all of which chips away at the nutrients, vitamins and belly-filling fiber the fruit once had.

Then, they pump the liquefied fruit full of sugar. All that added extra sugar spikes your blood sugar because there’s no fiber to slow its release into the blood stream. Next, you get the crash, followed by hunger and cravings, none of which you’d experience had you eaten the whole fruit instead. And be aware of clever marketing claims.

No matter how they parse it, a glass of juice — with “pulp” or without, organic or otherwise — is not nutritionally equivalent to whole fruit, nor will it ever be. Remember, fruit juice consumption is not an acceptable short-cut on the road to good health. It’s more like the highway to health problems! So grab a real, whole, organic piece of fruit and start chewing!

3. How about a tall glass of heart disease and diabetes?

Another problem with a diet that’s heavy on fruit juice? Recent studies have indicated that it’s linked with increased insulin resistance and diabetes risk, whereas whole fruit consumption appears not to have the same health-eroding effect.

Fruit juices aren’t kind to your ticker either, according to one Harvard study. In it, researchers reported that daily doses of sugary drinks boosted heart disease risk in men. Fruit juices fall under the sugary drink umbrella, so my advice is to avoid all of them if you want to keep your heart, insulin levels, and waistline in check.

4. Hope you like going to the dentist!

If sugar highs and lows, increased insulin resistance, heart disease and diabetes risk weren’t enough of a disincentive, then at least consider your teeth. The acids in fruit juices, not to mention the mounds of sugar, can take a big bite out our your tooth enamel, resulting in weak spots that can blossom into costly cavities, which will eventually need fixing.

If the damage is significant enough, tooth bonding or crowns might also be needed to patch up the mess, so your wallet takes a hit as well. At that point you need to ask yourself if a fruit juice habit is really worth the damage, hassle and expense? Didn’t think so.

5. Did you know that 12 oranges died to make your orange juice?

In other words, it takes a heck of a lot of raw fruit materials and resources to produce a bottle of juice. Considering the resources used to fuel industrial farming operations – the pesticides, the millions of gallons of water for irrigation and the trucking all that fruit and juice — your morning beverage gives the earth a black-eye as well. Once again, you have to ask, is it worth it to batter your external and internal environments just for a fix of bottled sugar water?

How to kick the juice habit for good

For those of you with a serious juice jones, kicking the habit can be easier said than done, so here are a few pointers on how taper off and kick the juice bottle for good:

1. Buy green juices with as little fruit and sugar as possible. The less sugar the better.

2. Cut your dose. In a tall glass, add lots of ice, plus 3 to 4 parts water or seltzer to 1 part fruit juice.

3. Make your own. Blend your fruit and add water. Leave the peel on the fruit (unless it’s a banana).

4. Toss in spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and a drop of stevia if needed.

5. Try a shot glass of portion control. In the morning, drink your O.J out of a 1-ounce shot glass, and stop at one shot.

6. Grow up – and switch to tea. It’s time. Tea is where it’s at. It’s tastes great and its body benefits are legion. Here are some tips on how to make the switch to tea.

Say Word? Too Much Apple Juice Can Be Bad For Your Health

– AP It’s true – apple juice can pose a risk to your health. But not necessarily from the trace amounts of arsenic that people are arguing about.

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Despite the government’s consideration of new limits on arsenic, nutrition experts say apple juice’s real danger is to waistlines and children’s teeth. Apple juice has few natural nutrients, lots of calories and, in some cases, more sugar than soda has. It trains a child to like very sweet things, displaces better beverages and foods, and adds to the obesity problem, its critics say.

“It’s like sugar water,” said Judith Stern, a nutrition professor at the University of California, Davis, who has consulted for candy makers as well as for Weight Watchers. “I won’t let my 3-year-old grandson drink apple juice.”

Many juices are fortified with vitamins, so they’re not just empty calories. But that doesn’t appease some nutritionists.

“If it wasn’t healthy in the first place, adding vitamins doesn’t make it into a health food,” and if it causes weight gain, it’s not a healthy choice, said Karen Ansel, a registered dietitian in New York and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says juice can be part of a healthy diet, but its policy is blunt: “Fruit juice offers no nutritional benefit for infants younger than 6 months” and no benefits over whole fruit for older kids.

Kids under 12 consume 28 percent of all juice and juice drinks, according to the academy. Nationwide, apple juice is second only to orange juice in popularity. Americans slurp 267 ounces of apple juice on average each year, according to the Food Institute’s Almanac of Juice Products and the Juice Products Association, a trade group. Lots more is consumed as an ingredient in juice drinks and various foods.

Only 17 percent of the apple juice sold in the U.S. is produced here. The rest comes from other countries, mostly China, Argentina, Chile and Brazil, the association says.

Television’s Dr. Mehmet Oz made that a key point a few months ago when he raised an alarm – some say a false alarm – over arsenic in apple juice, based on tests his show commissioned by a private lab. The Food and Drug Administration said that its own tests disagreed and that apple juice is safe.

However, on Wednesday, after Consumer Reports did its own tests on several juice brands and called along with other consumer groups for stricter standards, the FDA said it will examine whether its restrictions on the amount of arsenic allowed in apple juice are stringent enough.

Some forms of arsenic, such as the type found in pesticides, can be toxic and may pose a cancer risk if consumed at high levels or over a long period.

All juice sold in the United States must be safe and meet U.S. standards, said Pat Faison, technical director for the juice association. As for making good nutrition choices, “a lot of the information that people need about fruit juices is on the label,” she said.

So what’s on those labels?

Carbohydrates, mostly sugars, in a much higher concentration than in milk. Juice has a small amount of protein and minerals and lacks the fiber in whole fruit, the pediatrics academy notes.

Drinking juice delivers a lot of calories quickly so you don’t realize how much you’ve consumed, whereas you would have to eat a lot of apples to get the same amount, and “you would feel much, much more full from the apples,” Ansel said.

“Whole fruits are much better for you,” said Dr. Frank Greer, a University of Wisconsin, Madison, professor and former head of the pediatrics academy’s nutrition committee.

He noted that the WIC program – the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children – revised its rules in 2005 to replace juice with baby food fruits and vegetables for children over 6 months. More than half of all infants born in the U.S. are eligible for WIC, and the government “really cut back severely on the ability of mothers to get fruit juices” through the program, Greer said.

If you or your family drinks juice, here is some advice from nutrition experts:

-Choose a juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D-3.

-Give children only pasteurized juice – that’s the only type safe from germs that can cause serious disease.

-Don’t give juice before 6 months of age, and never put it in bottles or covered cups that allow babies and children to consume it throughout the day, which can cause tooth decay. For the same reason, don’t give infants juice at bedtime.

-Limit juice to 4 to 6 ounces per day for children ages 1 to 6, and 8 to 12 ounces for those ages 7 to 18.

-Encourage kids to eat fruit.

-Don’t be swayed by healthy-sounding label claims. “No sugar added” doesn’t mean it isn’t full of naturally occurring sugar. And “cholesterol-free” is silly – only animal products contain cholesterol.

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Often called a “miracle food” and a “nutritional powerhouse,” an apple a day really may keep the doctor away as they’re one of the healthiest foods a person can eat. These round and juicy fruits are high in fiber and vitamin C, and they are also low in calories, have only a trace of sodium, and no fat or cholesterol.

“Apples are high in polyphenols, which function as antioxidants,” said Laura Flores, a nutritionist based in San Diego. “These polyphenols are found in both the skin of the apples as well as in the meat, so to get the greatest amount of benefits, eat the skin of the apple.”

All of these benefits mean that apples may mitigate the effects of asthma and Alzheimer’s disease, while assisting with weight management, bone health, pulmonary function and gastrointestinal protection.

Here are the nutritional facts from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates food labeling through the National Labeling and Education Act:

Nutrition Facts Serving size: 1 large apple (8 oz / 242 g) Raw, edible weight portion Calories 130 Calories from Fat 0 *Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Amt per Serving %DV* Amt per Serving %DV*
Total Fat 0g 0% Total Carbohydrate 34g 11%
Cholesterol 0mg 0% Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sodium 0mg 0% Sugars 25g
Potassium 260mg 7% Protein 1g
Vitamin A 2% Calcium 2%
Vitamin C 8% Iron 2%

Health benefits

Apples are loaded with vitamin C, especially in the skins, which are also full of fiber, Flores said. Apples contain insoluble fiber, which is the type of fiber that doesn’t absorb water. It provides bulk in the intestinal tract and helps food move quickly through the digestive system, according to Medline Plus.

In addition to digestion-aiding insoluble fiber, apples have soluble fiber, such as pectin. This nutrient helps prevent cholesterol from building up in the lining of blood vessels, which, in turn, helps prevent atherosclerosis and heart disease. In a 2011 study, women who ate about 75 grams (2.6 ounces, or about one-third of a cup) of dried apples every day for six months had a 23 percent decrease in bad LDL cholesterol, said study researcher Bahram H. Arjmandi, a professor and chair of the department of nutrition at Florida State University. Additionally, the women’s levels of good HDL cholesterol increased by about 4 percent, according to the study.

When it comes to polyphenols and antioxidants, Flores explained that they “work in the cell lining to decrease oxidation resulting in lowering risk of cardiovascular disease.” A 2017 article published in Trends in Food Science & Technology adds that blood pressure may also be reduced in those with or at risk of hypertension, which also lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. A decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes, which can also lead to cardiovascular disease, was found in a study of more than 38,000 women and was also attributed to certain polyphenols and the high-fiber content of apples.

There may be respiratory benefits to eating apples, as well. “Apples’ antioxidant benefits can help lower the risk of asthma,” Flores told Live Science. A 2017 study published in the journal Nutrients indicates that the antioxidants in a variety of fruits and vegetables, including apples, potentially decrease the risk of asthma by helping control the release of free radicals from inflamed cells in the airways and in the oxygen-rich blood coming from the heart.

Health risks

“Eating apples in excess will not cause many side effects,” Flores said. “But as with anything eaten in excess, apples may contribute to weight gain.”

Furthermore, apples are acidic, and the juice may damage tooth enamel. A study published in 2011 in the Journal of Dentistry found that eating apples could be up to four times more damaging to teeth than carbonated drinks.

However, according to the lead researcher, David Bartlett, head of prosthodontics at the Dental Institute at King’s College in London, “It is not only about what we eat, but how we eat it.” Many people eat apples slowly, which increases the likelihood that acids will damage tooth enamel.

“Snacking on acidic foods throughout the day is the most damaging, while eating them at meal times is much safer,” Bartlett said in a statement from King’s College. “An apple a day is good, but taking all day to eat the apple can damage teeth.”

Dentists recommend cutting up apples and chewing them with the back teeth. They also recommend rinsing the mouth with water to help wash away the acid and sugars.

Apples come in shades of red, green and yellow. The seeds contain a tiny bit of cyanide but you’d have to eat well over a hundred in one sitting for a lethal dose. (Image credit: )

Apples and pesticides

“Most apples will have pesticides on them, unless they are certified organic,” Flores said. In 2018, the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit environment and human health organization, concluded that 98 percent of conventional apples had pesticide residue on their peels. However, the group also said that “the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure.”

Washing apples well helps remove pesticides, according to the Colorado State University Extension Service. “Washing apples and making sure you rub the skin in some way will do the trick,” Flores said. “You can do this with your hands or a fruit scrubber.” However, using chemical rinses and other treatments for washing fresh produce is not recommended because the Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated those products for safety or effectiveness.

Some researchers say not to worry about pesticides. Dr. Dianne Hyson, a research dietitian at the University of California, Davis, writes that laboratory tests have shown very low levels of pesticide residue on apple skins.

Are apple seeds poisonous?

Apple seeds, also called pips, contain a chemical compound called amygdalin, which can release cyanide, a powerful poison, when it comes into contact with digestive enzymes. Whole seeds pass through your digestive system relatively untouched, but if you chew the seeds you may be exposed to the toxins. One or two will not be harmful, as the body can handle small doses of cyanide, but if you or a child chews and swallows a lot of seeds, you should seek medical attention immediately.

How many seeds are harmful? According to John Fry, a consultant in food science, about 1 milligram of cyanide per kilogram of body weight will kill an adult person. Apple seeds contain about 700 mg (0.02 ounces) of cyanide per kilogram; so about 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of apple seeds would be enough to kill a 70-kilogram (154 lbs.) adult. However, an apple seed weighs 0.7 grams (0.02 ounces), so you would have to munch on 143 seeds to get that amount of cyanide. Apples typically have about eight pips, so you’d have to eat the seeds of 18 apples in one sitting to get a fatal dose.

The first apples grown in North America were planted by European settlers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. (Image credit: )

Apple history and facts

Apples originated in the mountainous region of present-day Kazakhstan. The trees grew 60 feet tall and produced fruit in all sizes between a marble and a softball in shades of red, green, yellow, and purple, according to Cornell University. According to the University of Illinois Extension service, apples were consumed at least as far back as 6500 B.C.

Various trade routes passed through these trees, and apples were likely picked by hungry traders, who then discarded the seeds along their paths and probably carried the seeds with them to plant in other destinations. The seeds naturally hybridized with other local species, producing thousands of different types of apple trees across Europe and Asia. The seeds eventually made it to other continents and countries, including North America and New Zealand.

The first apples grown in North America were planted by European settlers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Newton Pippin apples were the first type of apple to be exported from the colonies, when they were sent to Benjamin Franklin in London. Today, nearly 25 percent of apples grown in the U.S. are exported around the world.

More fun facts about apples from the University of Illinois Extension service:

  • There are 7,500 varieties, or cultivars, of apples grown throughout the world and 2,500 varieties in the U.S.
  • The world’s top apple producers are China, the United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy.
  • Apples are grown in all 50 states.As of 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that 60 percent of the apples produced in the U.S. were grown in Washington state, 13 percent in New York, 6 percent in Michigan, 5 percent in Pennsylvania, 3 percent in California and 2 percent in Virginia.
  • In 1730, the first apple nursery was opened in Flushing, New York.
  • The science of apple growing is called pomology.
  • Apples are members of the rose family, Rosaceae

Further reading:

  • Check out even more fun facts about apples from the University of Illinois.
  • Review more apple crop yield statistics from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.
  • Find information on fruit and vegetable safety from the CDC.

This article was updated on Dec. 12, 2018 by Live Science Contributor Rachel Ross.

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Most of us love apple juice and can take plenty of it, but is there such a thing as too much apple juice? Apples are juiced for their nutritional value and also because they are such a relaxing calming drink, but what would happen if someone took too much apple juice?

It different from person to person; some people will react to some of the components found in apples. In fact, some people get reactions from eating certain kinds of apples or drinking their juice.

Drinking Large Quantities Of Apples Juice – Apple Juice Diets Side Effects

The most common reaction is usually diarrhoea, especially if you drink large quantities of apple juice at once. There are other reported side effects although these happen if someone is on too much apple juice. There are some diets that recommend that you take nothing but apple juice and these side effects will be experienced by the people on these kinds of diets.

These will include a sudden surge of pimples – unsightly zits that will stay with you until you get off the apple juice diet. These people will usually complain that they are tired, dizzy, that they have headaches, they may complain of constipation and usually, they eventually develop hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar. This may lead to fainting, heart arrhythmias, hunger, sometimes vomiting and of course weight loss.

Some people who take nothing but apple juice will also eventually develop a kind of body odour that’s unpleasant as well as bad breath.

It’s hard to say if these side effects are brought on by the apple juice itself or from the body lacking a more balanced diet. If you want to go on a diet like this (some people say that its good for cleansing the blood), make sure that you don’t do it for more than a day or two; you cannot sustain your body well enough with just apple juice no matter how much of it you take every day.

Apple Juice Recommended Dosage?

Is there a recommended dosage? Not one that’s written in stone, but you can take a glass of apple juice with each meal every day without suffering any negative effects. Make sure that you juice only sweet apples too as tart ones can lead to heart burns and an acidic feeling in the stomach.

Sometimes, when you first get to juicing apples, it can get really exciting and you might be tempted to drink lots of it at once; this will more than likely lead to a bout of diarrhoea. Take a glass or two and keep the rest chilled for later.

There is really nothing else that you should be worried about when it comes to apple juice. If you drink apple juice and start to feel nauseous or get diarrhoea, the best cure for this is water – drink as much of it as you can to flush out anything in the apple juice that you may be reacting to. If you really want to use it as a detox, do it under the supervision of a nutritionist – they will tell you how you can keep your body well balanced during the detox period.

16 Best Benefits of Apple Juice

Apple juice is one of the most popular and widely available fruit juices in the world due to its impressive health benefits and dense nutritional value. The many excellent health benefits of this beverage include improved heart health & digestion, detoxification of the body, increased hydration, boosted immunity, better cognition, strengthened metabolism, weight loss, and improved respiratory health.

What is Apple Juice?

Apple juice is made through the pressing of apples, of which there are hundreds of varieties in the world. It takes two medium-sized fruits to make one cup of juice, which is why these fruits are grown in such huge numbers. After the apples are pressed, most juices are further filtered or pasteurized, which helps to remove any particulate matter, resulting in a thinner consistency of the final juice.

McIntosh apples are the most common types of apples used to make this delicious juice and China is the largest producer of apples in the world. Apple cider, which is often confused with apple juice, is unfiltered and unpasteurized liquid initially pressed from apples, in addition to being fermented.

Fresh apple juice Photo Credit:

Apple Juice Nutrition

Apple juice retains many of the key nutrients of apples, including vitamin C and various B vitamins, as well as many different minerals, such as magnesium, iron, calcium, manganese, and copper. Some of the fiber is also retained in this juice, as are the phytochemicals, flavonols, and procyanidins. A single cup also represents about 10% of your daily required carbohydrates, thanks to the natural sugars found in it. Potassium is the most notable mineral in this juice, with a single serving delivering roughly 7% of your daily required intake.

Apple Juice Calories

According to the USDA, 100 g of unsweetened apple juice contains about 46 calories. Given the calorie count, make sure you do not drink this beverage in excess.

Benefits of Apple Juice

Apple juice has many health benefits, let us discuss them in detail below.

Improves Heart Health

Potassium is found in higher concentrations than any other mineral in this juice, which is good news for your heart health. Potassium is a vasodilator, which means it can help to lower tension in your arteries and blood vessels. It also helps in relieving pressure and strain on the cardiovascular system. Apple juice also prevents cholesterol formation in your arteries, which is often the major reason for heart attacks and other cardiovascular ailments.

Relieves Symptoms of Asthma

There are certain anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic substances found in apple juice that can soothe the respiratory system and decrease irritation in the throat and lungs, helping to relieve asthma attacks and prevent respiratory infections.

Gives Relief from Constipation

One of the lesser-known substances in apples is called malic acid, which can improve the digestive rate and support liver function. In combination with fiber and other stimulating minerals in apple juice, this juice can quickly relieve symptoms of constipation, cramping, bloating, and diarrhea. It also contains sorbitol which helps in smoothening the digestive tract, by extracting water from the large intestine and pushing it into the colon, thereby easing the movement of stool.

Anticancer Potential

Owing to the presence of certain vitamins, fibers, and phytochemicals like flavonoids, apples and some of the products derived from it are packed with antioxidant properties. This was pointed out in a 2014 paper titled, ‘The chemopreventive activity of apple against carcinogenesis: antioxidant activity and cell cycle control’.

Through another study published in the Planta Medica journal, it was suggested that apples every day could keep doctors away! Based on case-control studies, the paper established a potential link between regular apple consumption and a reduced risk of getting cancer.

Skin Care

Packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, apple juice is very beneficial for the skin. It helps in reducing acne, inflammation, scars, and wrinkles. It is also known to prevent premature aging. By helping in collagen production, this drink makes the skin soft and healthy.

Improves Eye Health

The vitamin A present in this juice helps to sharpen the vision and prevents the development of any eye ailments.

Prevents Osteoporosis

Due to the presence of vitamin C, boron, iron, and other minerals in apple juice, it is known to promote bone health and prevent osteoporosis.

Hair Care

Apples contain a compound called procyanidin B-2, which is responsible for promoting hair growth and adding luster to your locks. This compound is what makes apple juice is beneficial for hair health.


Apple juice is a diuretic, helping you shed the excess water in your body. This means that it promotes urination and prevents swelling and bloating.


By balancing the pH levels of your body, apple juice prevents the growth of the UTI causing bacteria in your body, thereby preventing the possibility of urinary tract infections.

Estrogen level

Loaded with a chemical called phytoestrogen, apple juice makes sure that your estrogen levels don’t dip down, thereby regulating menstruation, reproduction, and other features among women.

Boosts Immunity

Apple juice has a notable amount of vitamin C, which is a key component of the body’s immune system. Vitamin C not only stimulates the immune system but also functions as an antioxidant compound that can prevent oxidative stress and reduce inflammation.

Protect Brain Health

Antioxidants are known for more than their potential to protect against cancer. These substances prevent oxidative stress in other parts of the body, such as the brain.

According to a 2011 comprehensive study by Dianne A. Hyson, California State University, apple juice may have the potential to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s. Further, it may help to prevent depletion of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that declines as we age. Another study conducted in 2010 showed that antioxidants present in this fruit juice may help relieve symptoms of neurological diseases.

Boosts Metabolism

Long-term research has linked the consumption of apple juice with smaller waistlines, lower levels of body fat, lower cholesterol levels, lesser chance of developing diabetes and lower blood pressure, all of which are risk factors known as metabolic syndrome. For this reason, apple juice can help optimize your metabolism and protect your heart.

Improves Liver Function

As mentioned, malic acid can improve liver function. Apple juice, when combined with the large amounts of water, can stimulate urination and promote the release of excess salts and fats from the body. The high alkaline content in this juice also helps in flushing out toxins and maintains a good pH balance in the body, thereby acting as a liver cleanser.

Side Effects

Apple has amazing benefits and boasts a great nutrition profile, but too much of this juice can cause various problems, including:

  • Gastrointestinal problems: Excess of apple juice can various stomach problems ranging from diarrhea to constipation, as well as excessive flatulence.
  • Higher risk of kidney stones: This is due to the presence of oxalates, which may exacerbate pre-existing kidney problems.

This week, it looked as if fruit juice might finally lose its claim to healthiness and be put into the same category as fizzy drinks. It emerged that a headteacher, Elizabeth Chaplin, who runs Valence primary school in Dagenham, wrote to parents about a new rule to confiscate juice cartons from children’s lunch boxes. Instead, pupils would only be allowed to drink water.

Days earlier, Susan Jebb, a government advisor and head of the diet and obesity research group at the Medical Research Council’s Human Nutrition Research unit at Cambridge University, told the Sunday Times that the government’s official advice that a glass counts towards your recommended minimum five-a-day servings of fruit and vegetables should be changed.

“Fruit juice isn’t the same as intact fruit and it has as much sugar as many classical sugar drinks,” said Jebb, who has stopped drinking juice. “It is also absorbed very fast, so by the time it gets to your stomach your body doesn’t know whether it’s Coca-Cola or orange juice, frankly. I have to say it is a relatively easy thing to give up. Swap it and have a piece of real fruit. If you are going to drink it, you should dilute it.”

This comes on top of a year or so of stories about the high sugar content of fruit juice. The same US scientists who warned about the use of high-fructose corn syrup in fizzy drinks have now turned their attention to juice. “Fruit juice and smoothies are the new danger,” Barry Popkin, professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina, told the Guardian in September. Work by Dr Robert Lustig – whose book Fat Chance: the Bitter Truth about Sugar received much attention last year – and studies such as one published in the British Medical Journal in the summer, which found fruit juice is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, are starting to make people realise that fruit juice may not be as wholesome as they once believed.

So why is fruit juice still being pushed as a healthy option? “You can’t trust government health advice,” says Joanna Blythman, author of What to Eat. “They have the same advice that they’ve been recycling for 50 years and rarely change it. It’s embarrassing to admit they’ve made a mistake.”

Does she drink juice? “I don’t, really – not in any great quantity,” she says. At one point, she says, in the late 1980s and early 90s, she was “a very enthusiastic orange juicer. I remember coming back from the States, where everyone juices like mad, and I got a juicer. Then over the last couple of years there has been more and more evidence that sweet juices are basically just fructose, and have a similar effect on the body to fizzy and soft drinks in terms of sugar.”

The juice industry has long enjoyed a healthy image. Anything to do with fruit, says Blythman, “has always been used to put a halo of health around dubious products that don’t merit it. That’s business as usual for the food industry.”

For all their reliance on phrases such as “100% pure” and “pure squeezed”, many of the big commercial orange juice manufacturers make a processed product, as detailed by Alissa Hamilton in her 2009 book Squeezed: What You Don’t Know about Orange Juice.

In the early 20th century, juice was mainly sold in cans. During the second world war, the US government commissioned scientists to develop a product that would supply vitamin C to soldiers overseas. “That’s when research into developing a frozen concentrate that people would actually like started,” says Hamilton. Until then, it had been fairly tasteless – the concentrating process removed the water, but also the natural chemicals that gave orange juice its taste. “They started adding fresh juice to the concentrate and that made it taste good. The discovery was too late for the war, but after the war that’s when orange juice started to become really popular.”

One primary school in Dagenham is to start confiscating fruit juices from children’s lunch boxes. Photograph: Kidstock/Getty Images/Blend Images

However, as the market grew, it was becoming too expensive to use fresh juice to add flavour back to concentrate. “They developed the technology around the 1960s to capture and break down the essences and oils that were lost when the juice was concentrated, and came up with these things called flavour packs.”

Producers of pasteurised orange juice began storing their juice in vast tanks. In order to keep it “fresh”, the product had to be stripped of oxygen. Once this had been done, the juice could be stored for up to a year. The only problem was that this process also removed much of the taste. “You need flavour packs to make it taste like anything we know as orange juice,” says Hamilton.

So, does she still drink juice? “I actually never did,” she says. “I try to eat the whole thing. If I have an orange, I don’t even stop at the fruit – I eat the pith, the peel. Juicing anything would not be my choice.”

For most of us it is, though, and it is not obvious that any of the sugar scare stories are affecting the fruit juice market yet. In its latest report, the research company Mintel found that 83% of people drink fruit juice, a juice drink or smoothie at least once a week. It also estimates that the market will grow by 13% by 2018. It found 34% of consumers were concerned about the amount of sugar, but “a striking 76%” believed juice and smoothies to be healthy.

As part of its end-of-year “top products” survey, the retail trade journal the Grocer found a mixed picture for juice brands. The leading brand, Tropicana, experienced a downturn in sales of 5.4% throughout 2013, though sales of Innocent smoothies, owned by Coca-Cola, were up more than 7%. However, Innocent was one of the brands highlighted last year as containing high levels of sugar: a 250ml serving of its pomegranate, blueberry and acai smoothie contains 34g of sugar, around the same as a 330ml can of Coke.

“I think the current coverage about fruit juice and sugar will have an influence on consumers,” says Heidi Lanschützer, food and drink research analyst at Mintel. “The question is whether it’s a short- or long-term impact.” She says this will depend on how ongoing the coverage is, and whether more schools ban juice, though the biggest impact will be if the government takes Susan Jebb’s advice and removes it from the five-a-day list. This, she says,”is one of the market’s biggest selling points – if the market is not allowed to use that any more, that will definitely have an impact.”

Not everybody is racing to demonise juice just yet. “It’s about portion size. 150ml of fruit juice is perfectly acceptable as one of your five-a-day,” says Azmina Govindji, dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association. “But we would suggest you have it with a meal so it doesn’t make your blood sugar go up too quickly. I think the difficulty comes when people think of fruit juice as being a really healthy drink and having half a pint, or having it throughout the day, or where children are being brought up on large amounts.

“The key message is that small amounts – a 150ml glass is quite small – as part of a healthy varied diet is fine. You get fluid and vitamin C but you need to be aware that it does contain sugar. If you can, always choose fresh fruit and veg . You’re going to get fibre, more nutrients and you’re likely to have fewer calories.”

Does she think the advice on juice being part of the five-a-day will change? “I think what needs to change is advice on portion size.”

Blythman, meanwhile, understands that the mixed messages about juice are perplexing for consumers. “People are thoroughly confused,” she says. “But I think will have an effect. The simplest way to put it is: eat whole fruit, don’t drink juice.”

The rise and fall of our favourite foods – what’s in:

Halloumi: Britons have become the biggest European consumers of the rubbery, squeaky white cheese outside of Cyprus. Tesco’s halloumi sales rose by 35% during 2011 and 2012, while Waitrose reported a 104% increase. “I don’t think it was one event that explains halloumi’s popularity,” says Louis Constantinou, director of the Cypressa food company, founded by his uncles in the 1960s, which now supplies halloumi to supermarkets. “It got exposure by celebrity chefs. It’s a versatile product in the sense you can do lots with it – grill it, eat it as it is.”

Hummus: Waitrose claims to be the first supermarket to have stocked hummus, around 20 years ago. Now, says Jonathan Moore, the supermarket’s executive chef, they have around 19 varieties. “It has become a staple – people are using it on bread instead of butter.” One recent survey found 41% of Britons had a pot of hummus in their fridge, and the British taste for the chickpea paste, which originates in the Middle East, is worth around £60m a year.

Sweeter apples: Theresa Huxley, apple technologist for Sainsbury’s, says consumers are looking for sweeter apples. The supermarket is stocking a record 57 varieties of apple, including more British varieties than before. “Royal Gala remains our most popular variety, and that’s a very sweet one, but there are lots of new varieties that are becoming more and more popular: Jazz, which has a peardroppy flavour, and Rubens which has tones of melon, and Zari, which is a sweet, juicy apple.”

Bottled water: Environmentalists have long tried to wean us off our attachment to bottles of water, and for a while it looked like it might work – in 2009 sales fell by 9%. However, as a report for the Grocer put it last month, “all is forgotten”. Last year we drank 8.7% more bottled water than in 2012.

Ceviche: The decreasing cost of international travel and the ability of a growing number of people to experience other cultures and cuisines, says Moore, have had a huge influence on our national palate. Middle Eastern influence has been strong, thanks to chefs such as Yotam Ottolenghi, but Moore is also looking at food inspired by South America, especially ceviche – raw fish cured with citrus juices. “Ceviche is, for me, the sushi of 20 years ago. Twenty years ago, would anyone have said sushi was going to be this big in the UK?”

And what’s out:

Meat: According to one survey published in November, a quarter of Britons are eating less meat, with a further 34% saying they would consider eating less. Just 2% reported eating more than they had previously. The survey was conducted for Eating Better, an alliance of groups including Friends of the Earth, launched in summer 2013 to encourage people to eat less meat. It attributed the results to the fallout from the horsemeat scandal, and growing awareness of the environmental impact of rearing animals for meat. Others blamed falling sales on rising costs – according to the Financial Times last month , British beef prices are at record highs, and sales of the most expensive cuts, such as roasting joints, are down by a quarter on the previous year.

Builders’ tea: “The mainstream tea category has lost its sparkle,” Neil Manders, Twinings’ commercial director, told the Grocer recently. In September, the trade journal published a report on the hot drinks market. It found that people are moving away from traditional tea and – if they are not drinking coffee instead – towards fruit and herbal varieties, and green tea (sales are up 15% and 19% respectively). In a more recent report, the Grocer found volume sales of tea were down 6.1% in 2013, a bigger decline on the previous year.

Whole lettuces: The 1980s were the glory years for the iceberg lettuce, but over the last few years sales of whole lettuces have been falling as consumers developed a taste for more unusual leaves and the popularity of ready-washed bagged salads took off. In a final indignity, last year the Office for National Statistics removed the round lettuce from its “typical” shopping basket to illustrate retail prices, though the iceberg lettuce remains. For now.

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