Recent and ongoing research is providing us a clearer picture of what health benefits may occur with citrus consumption, and to discover what mechanisms are at work. Much of what has been historically described as benefits to human health has been in terms of individual components found in citrus fruit and citrus juices, such as specific vitamins and minerals.
Current and historical studies have clearly shown that citrus contains a large complement of individual natural plant biochemicals (‘phytochemicals’) including vitamins, minerals, other nutrients, and minor components that have been positively associated with providing the potential for better health. Interestingly, some of these phytochemicals appear to be less effective in health benefits when provided as an isolated chemical compound or in a manufactured form, particularly when provided as a single chemical or in a diet supplement.
Citrus products may provide more of their beneficial effects when consumed as the complete food product—the whole piece of fresh fruit, or the container of 100% juice. Clinical and other studies are providing evidence that there is a ‘synergy’ of beneficial effects that is greater than, or more effective than, the individual components provided separately. Artificial blends or mixtures of some of the components from citrus have not been shown to provide this symphony of beneficial effects being identified with fresh fruit and 100% juice consumption. Citrus fruit, and citrus juices, appear to provide the natural balance and combination of vitamins and minerals, sugars and acids, along with certain ‘minor’ phytochemicals such as pigments, ‘polyphenols’, and various other organic components—a highly beneficial ‘whole food delivery system’.
For a more in-depth review of the sponsored research programs supporting specific citrus health benefits, please visit our web pages at SRD & Clinical Research : Sponsored Studies.
Research on citrus fruit and citrus juices has been carried out for many years with extensive efforts to determine their positive Health & Wellness associations, as well as nutritional, benefits. Summaries and technical discussions of specific health issues may be found on this website at the SRD Health & Wellness Support Programs page.