Raw cranberries are a rich source of polyphenol antioxidants, phytochemicals under active research for possible benefits to the cardiovascular system and immune system, and as anti-cancer agents, such as in isolated prostate cancer cells. These same antioxidants have recently been termed “lifespan essentials.”
One study compared cranberries with twenty other fruits, showing that cranberries had a high amount of total polyphenols. Cranberry tannins have laboratory evidence for anti-clotting properties and may prevent recurring urinary tract infections in women. Raw cranberries and cranberry juice are abundant food sources of flavonoids such as proanthocyanidins, flavonols and quercetin. These compounds have shown possible activity as anti-cancer agents in vitro. However, there is still a need for further studies.
Urinary tract infection:
There is potential benefit of cranberry extract and juice against bacterial infections in the urinary system. Laboratory research shows that a possible effect may occur from a component of the juice inhibiting bacterial attachment to the bladder and urethra. The effect may not result from the acidic nature of polyphenols but possibly to a specific A-type proanthocyanidins which is thought to inhibit adherence of Escherichia coli and other fimbriated bacteria to uroepithelial cells.
This is how it works: The cell wall of E. coli bacteria has tiny finger-like projections that contain complex molecules called lectins on their surfaces. These lectins are cellular glue that binds the bacteria to the bladder wall so they cannot be easily rinsed out by urination. But because proanthocyanidin molecules attach themselves to these lectins and fill up all of the bacterial anchoring sites, the bacteria can no longer stick to the bladder wall and are flushed away.
The likelihood of infection is significantly reduced because bacteria must first adhere to the mucosal lining before they can proliferate—and without the ability to stick, the bacteria cannot infect.
- In a study of 153 elderly women, those who drank 10 oz of commercial cranberry drink each day had less than half the risk of developing an infection and were more likely to clear an already present infection.
- A study of 10 young women with recurrent bladder infections found that, compared with placebo, taking a capsule containing 400 mg of cranberry extract daily for three months significantly reduced new infections. Of the 21 bladder infections that arose, only six occurred among women taking Cranberry.
- A year-long Canadian study of 150 sexually active women found that cranberry juice and tablets significantly decreased the number of patients experiencing at least 1 symptomatic UTI/year compared with placebo. The study also found that taking cranberry was much more cost effective than taking antibiotics.
- In February 2004, France allowed food, drink, and dietary supplement manufacturers a “function use claim” to highlight the health benefits of products containing cranberry to consumers. In turn, this will permit the claim that the North American cranberry VM (Vaccinium macrocarpon) can ‘help reduce the adhesion of certain E. coli bacteria to the urinary tract walls.’
Stomach Ulcer Treatment:
Cranberry extract might help prevent stomach ulcers caused by the bacteria helicobacter pylori, known as the H. pylori infection. The H. pylori infection is usually asymptomatic and the bacterium is present in about half of the world’s population, according to MayoClinic.com, which also states that early studies have shown that cranberry can reduce the bacteria’s ability to live in the stomach.
One such study, at the Beijing Institute for Cancer Research in 2005, observed the effect of cranberry juice on 189 subjects with the H. pylori infection. The study yielded positive results, thus concluding that regularly consuming cranberry can quell the infection in vastly affected areas.
Cranberries may reduce brain cell damage associated with stroke
In laboratory studies using rat brain cells exposed to simulated stroke conditions, a concentrated cranberry extract reduced the death of brain cells by half in comparison to cells that did not receive the extract, said the scientists. The findings suggest that cranberries can aid recovery from stroke, particularly in its earliest stages in which the most severe damage occurs.
“This study shows that cranberries have the potential to protect against brain cell damage that occurs during a stroke event,” said Catherine Neto, an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and a lead investigator in the study. “It may not stop a stroke from occurring initially, but it may reduce the severity of stroke,” she added.
The research from the unpublished study was presented in September 2003 at an American Chemical Society meeting.
All the information that is provided by Raincure is well documented and supported by the most renowned medical databases in the world. We therefore urge the customers to click on the links below.
Caution: People who are diabetics and those with sensitive stomachs should proceed with caution when it comes to cranberry extract consumption. Too much cranberry extract may cause stomach upset, diarrhea and elevated blood sugar levels.
In some reported cases, cranberry juice has also been shown to interfere with certain heart medications.