Health updates: fresh-squeezed orange juice and melatonin

The following is new information regarding fresh-squeezed orange juice, and melatonin and brain aging.

The shocking truth about fresh-squeezed orange juice

If you buy orange juice at the store, you may choose the kind that advertises itself as “100-percent juice” and “not made from concentrate.” But have you wondered why every glass of it tastes exactly the same? That is because the flavor of store-bought orange juice has more to do with chemistry than nature. For industrially produced orange juice, after the oranges are squeezed, the mixture is stored in giant holding tanks where the oxygen is removed, which allows the liquid to be kept for up to one year without spoiling. This process unfortunately makes the juice completely flavorless, which is why the industry then has to re-flavor it.

According to Food Renegade: “Juice companies, therefore, hire flavor and fragrance companies … to engineer flavor packs to add back to the juice to make it taste fresh. Flavor packs are not listed as an ingredient on the label because technically they are derived from orange essence and oil. Yet those in the industry will tell you that the flavor packs, whether made for reconstituted or pasteurized orange juice, resemble nothing found in nature.”

Is this natural hormone a key to slowing brain aging?

Melatonin is best known as a sleep hormone because it controls the circadian cycle. But melatonin also has antioxidant properties and may have an important anti-aging role. A recent study examined artificially aged mice to determine the effects of melatonin on aging. Such mice are used as a model to study the fundamental mechanisms of aging because they develop markers also found in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.

According to the study, as reported by Green Med Info: “… [T]reatment with melatonin … was able to reduce oxidative stress and the neurodegenerative calpain/Cdk5 pathway … and … markers of cerebral aging and neurodegeneration … indicating the neuroprotective and anti-aging effect of melatonin.”

 

Sources: Food Renegade July 28, 2011 and www.mercola.com August 16, 2011, Revista de Neurologia May 16, 2011; 52(10): 618-622, Green Med Info and www.mercola.com August 11, 2011.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 30, Number 5, Oct/Nov 2011.

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