Not a day passes that you don’t see one news story or another about just how terrible this flu season is, stirring up a lot of anxiety. According to recent reports, this has more Americans reaching out for orange juice “in a frantic effort to avoid the illness.”
Sales of the drink rose by 0.9%, to 38.7 million gallons, in the four weeks ending January 20, The Wall Street Journal reported, marking the first time since 2013 that Nielsen data showed a year-over-year increase in sales.
It’s the vitamin C, of course – even though other fruits and veg contain far more of this essential antioxidant. Yet the juice doesn’t necessarily retain all of that C once you’ve bought it. Research out of Arizona State University East found that after a week or so, the C content actually drops. After four weeks, less than half of it may be left, depending on how it’s been stored.
But more importantly, fruit juice is essentially concentrated sugar. Twelve ounces of OJ contains nearly as much sugar as the same amount of Coca Cola – just one gram less, in fact. It’s more sugar than you’d get from a Snickers bar; nearly twice as much as you’d get from a package of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Where research suggests that mega doses of vitamin C may help prevent or relieve symptoms of colds and flu, you would need to drink more than a gallon of OJ to get even a low mega dose of 1 gram (1000 mg).
Could you manage to drink that much, you’d have also ingested over 450 grams of sugar, or well over 100 teaspoons’ worth.
That sugar not only feeds the bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens involved in tooth decay. It fuels inflammation and weakens the immune response – the very opposite of what you need when trying to prevent infection.
Then there’s the matter of acidity. Orange juice is nearly as acidic as some sodas. Along with the sugar, this is extremely damaging to tooth enamel, eroding it and leaving the teeth more vulnerable to decay.
And remember: Once that enamel is gone, there’s no growing it back. Once your teeth are developed, you no longer have the cells needed to create new enamel. (This is why there’s so much excitement about the possibility of one day using stem cells to generate new tooth structure. It’s something that just can’t be done naturally.)
Suffice it to say, there are better ways of getting large doses of C than guzzling fruit juice. If you want to mega dose, liposomal C or IV drip therapies are far better options for obtaining this nutrient – for flu prevention or otherwise.
It’s been estimated that we each inhale hundreds of thousands of viruses every single minute of our lives. When we get sick, it’s not just because we’ve been exposed to a virus but because we’re vulnerable. Your body was designed with amazing defense systems in place.
Supporting their health and proper function is the best thing you can do to keep yourself from succumbing to the latest bugs going around.
For more on protecting yourself from the flu, check out this recent article from Dr. Mercola.