Human glycemic response and phenolic content of unsweetened cranberry juice
This cross-sectional study determined the phenolic composition of an over-the-counter cranberry juice (CBJ) with high-performance liquid chromatography and examined the effects of low- and normal-calorie CBJ formulations on the postprandial glycemic response in healthy humans. The CBJ used in this study contained seven phenolic acids, with 3- and 5-caffeoylquinic acid being the primary components, and 15 flavonol glycosides, with myricetin-3-galactoside and quercetin-3-galactoside being the most prevalent. CBJ proanthocyanidins consisted of three different tetramers and a heptamer, which were confirmed with matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight-mass spectrometry analysis. Participants received one of the following six treatments: nothing (no water/beverage), water (480 mL), unsweetened low-calorie CBJ (38 Cal/480 mL), normal-calorie CBJ (280 Cal/480 mL), isocaloric normal calorie (high fructose corn syrup [HFCS]), or isocaloric low-calorie beverages. No significant differences in postprandial blood glucose or insulin were observed in the groups receiving nothing, water, or low-calorie treatments. In contrast, the ingestion of normal-calorie CBJ and normal-calorie control beverage resulted in significantly higher blood glucose concentrations 30 minutes postprandially, although the differences were no longer significant after 180 minutes. Plasma insulin of normal-calorie CBJ and control (HFCS) recipients was significantly higher 60 minutes postprandially, but not significantly different 120 minutes postprandially. CBJ ingestion did not affect heart rate or blood pressure. This study suggests that the consumption of a low-calorie CBJ rich in previously uncharacterized trimer and heptamer proanthocyanidins is associated with a favorable glycemic response and may be beneficial for persons with impaired glucose tolerance.