Q. Is V8 good for your health? -Thomas

Q. You discuss the lack of nutritional content and excess of sugar in fruit juice in several of your articles (which I whole heartedly agree with).  Can you address the nutritional value of vegetable juice? I drink a large glass of V8 low sodium every day. I would hate to think that is doing more harm than good. -Thomas

Hi Thomas,

Depends on your perspective. How gray is gray and how high is high? Everyone lives under a different set of rules that guides their behavior and what is acceptable to some is too much for others. And so it goes round and round with health in general. 

How healthy do you want to be?  How do we measure it?  Am I being vague enough?  Your questions pose an interesting dilemma. Your habit of drinking V8 juice, a commercially prepared product made by Campbell soup company, should be applauded as you have chosen to drink vegetable juice over sweetened fruit juice or even soda pop. So I commend your habit and say “job well done.”   

Then there is part two of this question, the question I ask myself 100 times a day, “Would I do this for MYSELF?” My standards might be different than yours but I don’t want to undo something that you are doing that is clearly offering you some benefit. It’s better that you drink V8 than to abandon this habit because it’s not a perfect solution.  

I personally would not choose to drink V8 juice as it is a processed food. They take the vegetables and heat them which will obviously destroy some of the natural vitamins and phytonutrients contained. I don’t know how long this stuff is sitting in a vat somewhere so freshness becomes a concern as it is the enemy of good nutrition. They then add MSG “natural flavorings” to it which I will not consume in any form at any time.  It’s often placed in an aluminum can which leaches aluminum into the juice as the juice is an acid based tomato product which works to free up the aluminum from the can and put it in your body.  It can also come in a steel can, in which case I know it has a plastic liner in the can which is a source of BPA (estrogen) that’s unacceptable for me.

I commend the Campbell company for offering an organic version but most of the V8 being produced is not organic so that would be a deal breaker for me. 

How about making my own V8?  Very easy and I do it everyday.  Most mornings I have a protein shake and I put 2 or 3 different vegetables in the blender every day along with a small amount of fruit.  The vegetables are organic, fresh, and unprocessed.  No MSG or other “elements.”  No heavy metals like aluminum.  No estrogen.  And these vegetables have not been sitting in a vat so they have all of their natural phytonutrients to power my cells and keep them healthy. 

I like what you’re doing for yourself, Thomas. You are thinking your way through your nutritional day and seeking healthy options. It’s a journey and no one can eat a perfect diet because perfection does not exist. 

Make smart choices, enjoy your food and laugh every day.  These are the keys to good health.

Thanks for the great question,

Dr. Gary Huber


6 Responses to “Q. Is V8 good for your health? -Thomas”
  1. Teri says:

    Is Sunsweet prune juice beneficial or is it in the same category as other fruit juices?
    The label says there are 24 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of fiber. Would it be better to eat more fiber and drink alot of water for intestinal health?

    • Dr. Gary Huber says:

      Hi Teri,
      Many questions follow your question. Why are your drinking prune juice? The first assumption would be to aid bowel function and prevent or treat constipation. If this is true then the cure involves getting fiber in your diet with adequate water. Unfortunately your choice of Sunsweet prune juice only offers 3 measly grams of fiber. Here’s a shocker for you, I can eat an Amond Joy candy bar and get 2 grams of fiber and the exact same amount of sugar as your prune juice. If you want bowel health then you already have the right idea in your note above. Eat high fiber foods and drink more water.

      The sugar in your prune juice will suppress your immune system and encourage yeast growth in your bowel and body. It will trigger a blood sugar spike and cause a huge surge in insulin which will stimulate weight gain and create inflammation. Not a good deal. So drink 80 ounces of water and eat lots of whole natural foods. Beans are the highest fiber food on the planet. How about some hummus or bean dig with your raw veggies? Add a probiotic and you will be whistling Dixie.

      Hope that helps!
      Dr. Gary Huber

  2. Janice says:

    I read the ingredients on the V8 container and it did not list MSG. Can they hide that ingredient? If so, how can it be labeled as a “natural” flavor?

    • Dr. Gary Huber says:

      Hi Janice,
      Yes MSG can be labeled as a natural ingredient because it exists in small amounts in foods like tomatoes and others. But when it is concentrated into the “spice” version of MSG this is in far excess of what would ever be eaten naturally and becomes toxic to our bodies. MSG in hiding has been a long standing secret of the food industry.

      Dr. Gary Huber

  3. t jones says:

    I am on a yeast free diet (and I’ve also taken out gluten, as it can be confusing to know the difference between gluten free foods and yeast free foods). Recently I purchased v 8 to drink it heated as a soup. The (plastic) bottle says gluten free – can i assume yeast free also? What are the “natural ingredients” added? If these ingredietns are so “natural”, why aren’t they listed also?

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