The Impact of Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) and Cranberry Products on Each Component of the Metabolic Syndrome: a Review
Background: Some studies have shown that cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) has beneficial effects on the components of the metabolic syndrome (MetS), a condition characterized by a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors such as central obesity, hypertension, impaired glucose homeostasis, elevated triglycerides, and decreased HDL cholesterol levels. Cranberry is very rich in polyphenols, which may significantly reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Main body of the abstract: Nutritional intervention studies have indicated that the intake of cranberries and cranberry products may have the following impact on metabolic health: (1) attenuate markers of obesity such as body weight, body mass index, and waist circumference; (2) reduce systolic and diastolic pressures; (3) decrease plasma concentrations of triglycerides and oxidized LDL-cholesterol, as well as increase HDL cholesterol; and (4) promote glucose homeostasis. In addition, nutritional intervention with cranberries could confer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to reduce biomarkers of atherosclerosis associated with the MetS, such as homocysteine. Short conclusion: Although there has been promising results, particularly related to lipid profile and blood pressure, further research is needed to support the recommendation of cranberry intake as a nutritional intervention for the treatment of MetS.