Cranberries Benefit Much More
Than Just Your Urinary Tract
The health benefits of cranberries include mouth, bone, urinary,
and stomach. The fruit has long been considered an effective method
of fighting urinary tract infections, something that has led to
almost one third of parents in the US giving it to their children,
according to a recent study.
In 2004 France became the first country to approve a health claim
for the North American cranberry species Vaccinium macrocarpon,
which states that it can 'help reduce the adhesion of certain
E.coli bacteria to the urinary tract walls'.
A health claim has also recently been awarded in Korea for Decas
Botanicals PACran product. PACran is the only cranberry
ingredient in the world to have a health claim, said Dan
Souza, director of sales and marketing.
Another branded ingredient with sound science is Cran-Max. Once
recent study showed the product approximately matched the efficacy
of the antibiotic Trimethoprim for UTIs (Journal of Antimicrobial
Chemotherapy, doi:10.1093/jac/dkn489). Another study reported
the prevention UTIs in people with spinal cord injuries, a segment
of the population at increased risks of infection (Spinal Cord,
Recently, researchers from St. Francis College, Mt. Sinai School
of Medicine, and New York University reported that the anti-bacterial
benefits may be matched by anti-viral benefits (Phytomedicine,
Vol. 14, pp. 23-30).
Stomachs, and possibly anti-cancer
In terms of stomach health, the focus has been on cranberrys
effects on the Helicobacter pylori bacterium - the only bacteria
that can survive in the acidic environment of the stomach and
known to cause peptic ulcers and gastritis.
Several reports have shown that the berries and their constituents
are effective at inhibiting adhesion of the bacterium to the stomach
wall, while a
There are also some reports in the literature for other health
conditions. For example, researchers from Ohio State University
and the Blueberry and Cranberry Research Center at Rutgers University
reported that a proanthocyanidin-rich cranberry extract was found
to inhibit the growth and spread of human oesophageal adenocarcinoma
(a cancer in glandular tissue) cells (Journal of Agricultural
and Food Chemistry, doi: 10.1021/jf071997t).
And earlier this year, a lab study from the University of Prince
Edward Island in Canada reported that extracts from cranberry
may prevent colon cancer via an anti-inflammatory mechanism (Journal
of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Vol. 89, pp. 542-547).
Finally, a study presented earlier this year at the Experimental
Biology conference by Ted Wilson from Winona State University
found that sweetened dried cranberries with a reduced sugar and
increased fibre content may benefit type-2 diabetics by delivering
healthier glycemic and insulin responses.
Reference Sources 184
December 9, 2009