This is a great study, but easily misinterpreted, so let me help. Many would use it to justify eating large amounts of fruits. While fruits are loaded with great nutrients, it is my belief that for large amounts of the population, they do not move your health in the right direction. If you are a carb, and to some extent mixed, metabolic type and healthy, then they are phenomenal for your health. But this group is well under 20 percent of the population.
However, the study very elegantly demonstrates that in one of the most commonly used supplements, vitamin C, the whole food source is clearly superior. There are a variety of accessory micronutrients that work synergistically with the primary one. It is very rare where the isolated nutrient will perform better than the whole food version.
That is why, if you choose to use supplements, it is nearly always better to use whole food concentrates, NOT supplements that contain isolated or, even worse, synthetic equivalents.
Also, please understand that this study does NOT prove that drinking juice is healthy. If you choose to consume fruits, clearly the whole fruit is FAR better than the juice. What this study failed to do is analyze one additional group: Those who ate the whole orange, including some of the skin under the peel, which is loaded with healthy bioflavanoids. If they had analyzed that group, I suspect it would have been exponentially better than the fruit juice.
So, if you chose to consume fruit, at least consume it in the whole version, NOT the juice as that will minimize some of the impact of all those extra sugars.
Nature.com April 20, 2007