SPRING 2018| Volume 15 - Issue 1

 

Happy Spring! This season, we are excited to unveil The Cranberry Institute’s refreshed logo! While still dedicated to the same mission of supporting research and spreading awareness for cranberries’ health benefits, our new logo reflects our fresh perspective on health research and sharing information on cranberries’ whole-body benefits with you.

Read on for the latest in cranberry and health research, as well as to discover our new resources and delicious cranberry recipes!

The Cranberry Chronicles

Discover our latest comprehensive chronicle of cranberry’s existing and emerging whole-body health benefits.

The Cranberry Chronicles are consistently updated with breaking scientific abstracts, articles, sharable resources, infographics and story ideas. You’ve probably heard that cranberries may help prevent UTIs, but did you know they may affect heart health, help reduce inflammation, influence the gut microbiota and play a role in glucose metabolism?!

Learn more by reading The Cranberry Chronicles – and check out our newest resources, A Berry for Every Body handout and shareable graphic!


Cranberry Health Research Library

Our collection of cranberry research just got a fresh look! Explore the extensive database of cranberry health research abstracts with our easy-to-follow breakdown by topic area. You can also browse the selections by year to find the most recent publications: Cranberry Health Research Library.

 

Cooking Up Cranberries

We've got you covered with delicious cranberry recipes that are perfect for spring!

This tangy Homemade Cranberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing, by Anne Danahy of Craving Something Healthy will be the magic touch on your next salad.

This recipe works well with any type of cranberry sauce (organic, whole berry or jellied)!

Looking for a way to kick of grilling season? Cranberry Pesto Chicken Burgers are super simple, and super delicious!

 

Cranberries & Human Health

Cranberries may improve glucose response in type 2 diabetes


Postprandial hyperglycemia, hypertriglyceridemia, increased oxidative stress and inflammation have been shown to be significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) among individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Recent research suggests that cranberries may have cardiometabolic benefits in this population. Researchers Schell and colleagues hypothesized that when consumed with a high fat meal, cranberries may reduce the degree of postprandial hyperglycemia, hypertriglyceridemia and inflammation in obese type 2 diabetics.

The hypothesis was tested by a randomized crossover trial of 25 participants, with an average BMI of 39.5 kg/m2 and hemoglobin A1C of 8.6%, who were not currently on insulin therapy. Participants were given a high fat (70 g) study meal along with dried cranberries (40 g). The control meal was matched for calories, fat, carbohydrate, protein and cholesterol. Researchers found that the addition of cranberries to a high fat meal resulted in lower postprandial serum glucose and inflammation. There was no significant difference in triglycerides. This study contributes to the existing literature supporting the benefits of cranberries in cardiometabolic health, demonstrating that when eaten with a high fat meal, cranberries may lower postprandial blood sugar levels.

Schell J, et al. Cranberries improve postprandial glucose excursions in type 2 diabetes. Food Funct. doi: 10.1039/c7fo00900c.

 

Assessing the consumption of berries and associated factors in the United States using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2007-2012


The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is a collection of 24 hour recalls designed to understand the eating patterns of Americans. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommend Americans consume 2 cups of fruit daily. However, the Guidelines note that only 18% of Americans meet this recommendation. On average, most people consume 1 cup of fruit daily, 10% of which comes from berries. Less than 1% of people consume 1 cup equivalent of berries daily. According to NHANES, fruit and berry consumption varies based on age, education level, importance of nutrition and perceived diet healthfulness.

NHANES observed that overall fruit intake, especially of berries, in the U.S. is remarkably low.

    • Fruit consumption varies with age. Children aged 2 to 5 and adults over 65 eat more fruit.
    • Higher levels of education and greater socioeconomic status are associated with more fruit and berry consumption.
    • Participants’ beliefs about nutrition and perception of their own diet were also associated with fruit consumption. Those who rank nutrition as very important or somewhat important consumed 12% more total fruit and 70% more berries than those who ranked nutrition as less important (other category). When asked “how healthy is your overall diet,” respondents who chose excellent or very good consumed 43% more total fruit and 96% more berries than those who view their diet as less than or equal to good (other category).

Burton-Freeman BM, et al. Assessing the consumption of berries and associated factors in the United States using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2007-2012. Food Funct. doi: 10.1039/cfo01650f

 

Evolution of Cranberry Research

Over the past 25 years, research on the health benefits of cranberries has significantly evolved to reveal cranberry’s whole-body benefits. A recent review of history and evidence was published by Zhaoa, et al., in the Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture. Here’s a snapshot of what the authors had to say…

Urinary Tract Health
Since the 1990’s, the beneficial effect of cranberries’ on urinary tract infections (UTIs) has been explored in variety of populations. A meta-analysis of 28 clinical trials concluded that cranberry products may reduce the incidence of UTIs in men, women and children. Several pediatric clinical trials have shown that cranberry juice can reduce the risk for recurrent UTIs, as well as decreasing the number of days on antibiotics.

Cancer Prevention
Studies have shown that quercetin, an abundant flavonol in cranberries, may inhibit the growth of human cancer cells. Also, a review on cranberries and cancer demonstrated that bioactive components of cranberries may limit the viability of cancer cells. More research is needed in this area to determine cranberry’s potential role in cancer prevention.

Cardiometabolic Health
Research on cranberries and cardiovascular health has grown since the early 2000’s. Some studies have assessed the potential benefits of cranberries on lipid profile, but they have conflicting results.  Cranberries may also have a positive impact on vascular function. A double-blinded, placebo controlled, crossover study observed an increase in blood flow and improvements in blood vessel function in the group that consumed cranberry.

Glycemic Control
According to Zhaoa, researchers have started assessing whether cranberries and their component have a favorable influence blood glucose management. As an important area of investigation in diabetes prevention and management, more research with cranberries is warranted.  

Digestive Health
Investigations into cranberries and digestive health continue to increase in number. Studies have focused on their potential impact on intestinal inflammation and improving the gut microbiota profile with promising results. In addition, cranberry juice may help reduce H. pylori infections and improve the intestinal barrier integrity.

Zhaoa S, et al. American Cranberries and Health Benefits – an Evolving Story of 25 years. J Sci of Food & Agric. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.8882.

 

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