Jumbo juice

If mine is the only voice of reason to be heard here, so be it. I’ll say it one more time. Enough with the juice already!

Last week, it was apple juice. This week, researchers are trying to push another glass of liquid sugar on the world’s fastest growing population.

The study included 106 women with an average age of 23 who were classified as either obese or overweight. Researchers randomly assigned subjects to drink either 330 mL of tomato juice (about 11 ounces) or the same amount of water every day for 20 days.

At the end of the study period, blood tests revealed significant reductions in inflammatory markers–including interleukin-8 (IL-8) and TNF-alpha–among the women drinking tomato juice.

Of course, there was one catch. Those women classified as obese didn’t seem to respond to the tomato juice as well as those who were classified as overweight. In fact, benefits were largely limited to the latter group alone.

This shortcoming surprised the researchers. But really, it’s not surprising at all.

Juice is juice, whether it’s from an orange, an apple, or a tomato (which is a fruit, after all). It often delivers as much sugar as soda. That makes it flat out dangerous for obese people to drink–and just plain unhealthy for the rest of us.

Needless to say, there are far better ways to get your nutrients.

My advice? Take a daily lycopene supplement. That way, you know you’re getting all the inflammation-fighting benefits this critical antioxidant has to offer…without a side of high blood sugar.

“Tomato juice consumption reduces systemic inflammation in overweight and obese females,” British Journal of Nutrition 2012: epub ahead of print 10/15