TheBUZZ: Apple juice contains harmful substances?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
The Dr. Oz Show claims they have found arsenic in apple juice, warning consumers (especially those with young children) to avoid it.
WHAT WE KNOW
Apple juice certainly sounds healthy, doesn’t it? It’s a popular choice for many parents who serve it up as a healthy alternative to sugary drinks and sodas. Recently, however, the Dr. Oz Show entitled “Is Your Apple Juice Safe?” makes shocking claims regarding the presence of arsenic in apple juice.
Arsenic is an element in the environment that can be found naturally in rocks, soil, water, air, plants and animals. It can also be released into the environment from some agricultural and industrial sources. According the American Cancer Society, for most people food is usually the largest source of arsenic, although most of this is likely to be in the less dangerous, organic form. The highest levels of arsenic (in all forms) in foods can be found in seafood, rice, rice cereal, mushrooms, and poultry, although many other foods may contain low levels of arsenic.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) experts have concluded that the testing protocol used by the Dr. Oz Show was not appropriate and that the results should not be interpreted as fact.
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?
Test results reported by the Dr. Oz Show were based upon a method intended for testing water. Comparing the trace levels of arsenic in apple juice to the regulatory guidelines for drinking water is not appropriate. Regulatory agencies have set lower thresholds for drinking water than for food and other beverages because people consume larger amounts of water.
The show’s producers have been notified that their test methods were incorrect and that proper testing revealed very different results. Donald Zink, Ph.D., Senior Science Advisor for FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Nutrition, explains in a press release that arsenic is present in the environment as a naturally-occurring substance or as a result of contamination from human activity.
As a result, small amounts of arsenic can be found in certain food and beverage products—including fruit juices and juice concentrates. However, he says, there is no evidence of any public health risk from drinking these juices. Read more about arsenic in apple juice.
With fall right around the corner, apples are plentiful! So, enjoy them in all forms (fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice). When it comes to apples, and all fruits and vegetables, more matters! So enjoy your fruits and veggies any way you like! What really matters is that you are eating your daily recommendation to provide your body with the best combination of beneficial nutrients.
While consuming 100% juice is nutritious for you and certainly a convenient and tasty part of a healthy diet, it’s also important to consume whole fruits and vegetables to ensure you are getting adequate fiber. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends consuming only 4-6 ounces of 100% juice per day for children 1-6 years old and 8-12 ounces per day for children 7-18 years old. For adults, 4-8 ounces per day as juice is a reasonable amount.
Other Resources for this Topic
American Cancer Society
FDA: Apple Juice is Safe to Drink
Apple Juice and Arsenic Q&A
Fruit Juice Facts