Anti-cancer - In 1996 laboratory studies conducted by University of Illinois scientists and published in Planta Medica demonstrated the potential anticarcinogenic properties of cranberries. More recently researchers at the University of Western Ontario demonstrated, using an animal model, that human breast cancer cells showed significantly lower incidence of tumor development when the experimental group's diet was supplemented with cranberries. Although these results are very preliminary, compounds in cranberries may prove to be a potent cancer fighter.
Anti-aging - Using an animal model James Joseph, Ph.D. and Barbara Shukitt-Hale Ph.D. have been experimenting with cranberries and their ability to protect brain cells from free radical damage and subsequent motor and cognitive function losses. Rats feed diets supplemented with cranberries are put through a series of tests to evaluate their neural function compared to a control group. Preliminary results indicate that there will be compelling evidence that cranberry can help protect the brain from neurological damage (unpublished results).
Dental - Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition (2002) reported on a preliminary clinical trial using a mouthwash containing cranberry NDM. Saliva samples of the experimental group showed a two order of magnitude reduction in Streptococcus mutans colony forming units compared with the placebo group (unpublished data). A large percentage of dental caries (cavities) can be attributed to S. mutans.
Heart - Flavonoids have been shown to function as potent antioxidants both in vitro and in vivo and may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. Cranberries contain significant amounts of flavonoids and polyphenolic compounds that have been demonstrated to inhibit low density lipoprotein oxidation. Ongoing research continues to suggest that cranberries may offer a natural defense against atherosclerosis.
Ulcers - Peptic ulcers are increasingly
being attributed to infection by Helicobacter pylori bacteria,
as opposed to stress and/or stomach acidity. A high-molecular-weight
nondialysable constituent of cranberry juice has been shown to inhibit
the adhesion of H. pylori to human gastric mucus in vitro.
These preliminary results suggest that cranberry may be beneficial in
the prevention of peptic ulcers through the inhibition of H. pylori adhesion
to gastric mucus and stomach epithelium.