From the Spring 2018 issue of Cranberry Health News
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.
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.
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.
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.
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