Cranberries and Cancer: An Update of Preclinical Studies Evaluating the Cancer Inhibitory Potential of Cranberry and Cranberry Derived Constituents
Cranberries are rich in bioactive constituents reported to influence a variety of health benefits, ranging from improved immune function and decreased infections to reduced cardiovascular disease and more recently cancer inhibition. A review of cranberry research targeting cancer revealed positive effects of cranberries or cranberry derived constituents against 17 different cancers utilizing a variety of in vitro techniques, whereas in vivo studies supported the inhibitory action of cranberries toward cancers of the esophagus, stomach, colon, bladder, prostate, glioblastoma and lymphoma. Mechanisms of cranberry-linked cancer inhibition include cellular death induction via apoptosis, necrosis and autophagy; reduction of cellular proliferation; alterations in reactive oxygen species; and modification of cytokine and signal transduction pathways. Given the emerging positive preclinical effects of cranberries, future clinical directions targeting cancer or premalignancy in high risk cohorts should be considered.