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Food Nutr Res. 2014 May 8;58. doi: 10.3402/fnr.v58.22179. eCollection 2014.

Consumption of grapefruit is associated with higher nutrient intakes and diet quality among adults, and more favorable anthropometrics in women, NHANES 2003-2008.

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  • 1Exponent , Inc., Center for Chemical Regulation & Food Safety, Washington, DC, USA.
  • 2University of Florida, Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, Gainesville, FL, USA.



Dietary guidance recommends consumption of a nutrient-dense diet containing a variety of fruits. The purpose of this study was to estimate usual nutrient intakes and adequacy of nutrient intakes among adult grapefruit consumers and non-consumers, and to examine associations between grapefruit consumption and select health parameters.


The analysis was conducted with data collected in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2008. Respondents reporting consumption of any amount of grapefruit or 100% grapefruit juice at least once during the 2 days of dietary recall were classified as grapefruit consumers.


Among adults aged 19+ years with 2 days of dietary recall (n=12,789), 2.5% of males and 2.7% of females reported consumption of 100% grapefruit juice or fresh, canned, or frozen grapefruit during the recalls. Grapefruit consumers were less likely to have usual intakes of vitamin C (males: 0% vs. 47%; females: 0% vs. 43%; P<0.001) and magnesium (P<0.05) below the estimated average requirement (EAR) compared to non-consumers, and they were more likely to meet adequate intake levels for dietary fiber (P<0.05). Potassium and β-carotene intakes were significantly higher among grapefruit consumers (P<0.001). Diet quality as assessed by the Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HEI-2005) was higher in grapefruit consumers (males: 66.2 [95% CI: 61.0-71.5] vs. 55.4 [95% CI: 54.4-56.4]; females: 71.4 [95% CI: 65.1-77.6] vs. 61.2 [95% CI: 59.8-62.6]). Among women, grapefruit consumption was associated with lower body weight, waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), triglycerides, C-reactive protein (CRP), and higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (P<0.05), However, risk of being overweight/obese was not associated with grapefruit consumption.


Consumption of grapefruit was associated with higher intakes of vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, dietary fiber, and improved diet quality. Grapefruit may provide a healthful option for adults striving to meet fruit recommendations.


BMI; NHANES; adults; anthropometrics; body weight; citrus; grapefruit; juice; nutrient intake

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