The majority of physicians and other health care professionals believe that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced risk of many chronic diseases. Phytonutrients (naturally derived plant compounds), particularly polyphenols, are increasingly being shown to help optimize human health. The current body of research reveals:
- Cranberries are thought to provide health benefits due to their flavonoid and phytonutrient content. These naturally occurring compounds have antioxidant and antimicrobial benefits that are evident in the oral cavity, gastrointestinal (GI) tract and urinary tract.
- A specific type of flavonoid, proanthocyanidins (PAC), in cranberries provide urinary tract benefits by interfering with the ability of pathogenic P-fimbriated Escherichia coli (E. coli ) to cause infections in the urinary tract.
- The majority of studies have focused on the cranberry’s role in urinary tract health, but the benefits extend beyond the urinary tract. Other key areas include the berry’s antimicrobial activities, cardiovascular and Type 2 diabetes, and anti-cancer properties.
- Cranberries provide numerous cardiovascular benefits. They have been shown to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-oxidation, maintain or improve high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, reducing platelet aggregation and improve vascular function.
The Cranberry Health Research Library includes a comprehensive collection of abstracts of the latest research on the health benefits of cranberries in the diet.