Celebrate Good Nutrition this Month by Adding America’s Original Superfruit® to your Diet
From Urinary Tract to Heart Health, Numerous Studies Tout the Significant Benefits of Cranberries
CARVER, MA. March 3, 2016 – March is a time to take note of your nutrition habits and make changes that will improve your overall diet. If you aren’t already a cranberry lover, this is the perfect time to consider adding this unique berry to your meals to boost taste and your health. Cranberries, also known as America’s Original Superfruit®, have gained a venerable reputation in the nutrition world because they boast a myriad of health benefits, including improving urinary tract health and heart health, as well as protecting against cancer. In fact, more than 440 scientific abstracts verifying the health benefits of cranberries can be accessed through the Cranberry Institute’s online library at www.CranberryInstitute.org.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend choosing foods in nutrient dense forms that contain essential vitamins and minerals, dietary fiber and other naturally occurring compounds that may have positive health effects.1 For cranberries, these naturally occurring compounds are unique types of flavonoids, called PACs. Because of this, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have made an exception for naturally tart, low-sugar foods, like cranberries, that may be sweetened to improve taste.1 And that’s not all! Here are three key reasons to enjoy cranberries this month and beyond:
- All cranberry products, including cranberry juice cocktail, contain PACs – a powerful nutrient known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits, as well as its bacterial anti-adhesion effects. According to Amy Howell, PhD, a leading cranberry research scientist at the Marucci Blueberry and Cranberry Research Center at Rutgers University, NJ, “There are PACs in cranberry juice cocktail, about 36 mg in a 10-ounce glass. This is the amount that has been shown to have protective health benefits in clinical trials.” In 2012, the Journal of Food Science tested the content of the active, health-relevant flavonoids (including PACs) in a variety of commercial cranberry products, and identified meaningful amounts in all products, from homemade cranberry sauce to fresh/frozen and cranberry juice cocktail.2
- Cranberry products, including cranberry juice cocktail, support urinary tract health. Decades of scientific studies from independent research institutions globally have demonstrated that regular consumption of cranberry products helps promote a healthy urinary tract.3,4The Journal of Infection and Chemotherapy published a randomized clinical trial involving female patients with UTIs suffering from multiple relapses and the impact of cranberry juice.5 The results showed that cranberry juice prevented the recurrence of UTIs in a subgroup of this female population with 24-week intake of the beverage. Additional UTI clinical studies indicated significant benefits of cranberry consumption in children and adults, with the participants experiencing as much as a 65% reduction in UTIs and subsequent use of antibiotics.6-10 In the July 9, 2012 publication of the Archives of Internal Medicine, scientists reviewed thirteen cranberry and urinary tract health trials with 1,616 subjects and concluded that cranberrycontaining products are associated with protective effects against UTIs.11
- Cranberry products have health benefits above and beyond the urinary tract. Novel research suggests positive effects on oral health, cardiovascular disease, cancer prevention, glycemic response, and in treating or preventing infections such by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria, a cause of gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.4 The PACs found in cranberries may help maintain cardiovascular health by improving blood cholesterol levels, reducing blood pressure and improving inflammation and oxidative stress.12
“The overwhelming evidence supporting the health benefits of all forms of cranberry products makes a compelling case to incorporate cranberries in a nutritious diet,” says Terry Humfeld, Executive Director of the Cranberry Institute. “Not only are cranberries healthy, but they are available in a variety of forms – from juice, fresh, dried, or sauce – to appeal to every palate.”
For more information about the Cranberry Institute, along with the health benefits of cranberries and current scientific research, visit www.CranberryInstitute.org.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. Available at http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/.
- Grace, et al. Comparison of Health-Relevant Flavonoids in Commonly Consumed Cranberry Products. J Food Sci. 2012;77(8).
- Howell AB. Cranberry proanthocyanidins and the maintenance of urinary tract health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2002;42(3 Suppl):273-8.
- Blumberg JB, et al. Cranberries and their bioactive constituents in human health. Adv Nutr. 2013;4:1–15.
- Takahashi, et al. A randomized clinical trial to evaluate the preventive effect of cranberry juice (UR65) for patients with recurrent urinary tract infection. J Infect Chemother. 2013;19(1):112-7.
- Sobota AE. Inhibition of bacterial adherence by cranberry juice: potential use for the treatment of urinary tract infection. J Urol. 1984;131(5):1013-6.
- Avorn J, Monane M, Gurwitz JH, Glynn RJ, Choodnovskiy I, Lipsitz LA. Reduction of bacteriuria and pyuria after ingestion of cranberry juice. JAMA. 1994;271(10):751-754.
- Avorn J. The effect of cranberry juice on the presence of bacteria and white blood cells in the urine of elderly women. What is the role of bacterial adhesion? Adv Exp Med Biol. 1996;408:185-6.
- Fleet JC. New support for a folk remedy: cranberry juice reduces bacteriuria and pyuria in elderly women. Nutr Rev. 1994;52(5):168-70.
- Ahuja S, Kaack B, Roberts J. Loss of fimbrial adhesion with the addition of Vaccinum macrocarpon to the growth medium of P-fimbriated Escherichia coli. J Urol. 1998;159(2):559-62.
- Wang, et al. Cranberry-Containing Products for Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections in Susceptible Populations: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(13):988-996. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3004.
- Rodriguez-Mateos, A. (2015, October). The influence of cranberry juice on cardiometabolic risk. Presentation conducted at the Cranberry Health Research Conference, Madison, WI.