Health benefits of Cranberries


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Health benefits of Cranberries

  1. 1. ries No. 41Pennington Nutrition Se medicine in nutrition and preventiveHealt hier lives through education Cranberries Great for your health Berries come in many varieties: blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, red and black raspberries, loganberries, currants, gooseberries, lingonberries, and bilberries. Berry fruits contain two main types of antioxidants: polyphenols and ascorbic acid. Polyphenols are composed of a wide range of compounds, including anthocyanins, flavanols, quercetin, ursolic acid, and ellagic acid derivatives. The polyphenolic composition of berries varies with the species, variety, degree of ripeness and type of processing. Berries also contain lutein, calcium, magnesium, folic acid, and potassium, and are low in calories. Why do we need antioxidants? In normal metabolism, the levels of oxidants and antioxidants in humans are maintained in balance. This is important for sustaining optimal physiological conditions. Certain conditions can cause an overproduction of oxidants, leading to an imbalance of oxidants and antioxidants in the body. The result of this imbalance is oxidative damage to lipids, DNA, and proteins. Oxidative damage is cancer-inducing, and may be prevented or limited by dietary antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. Recent studies have shown that phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables are compounds that help to eliminate harmful oxidants and are, therefore, beneficial to human health.
  2. 2. Total Phenolic Content & Total Antioxidant Activity of 11 Fruits Fruit Total Phenolic Content Total Antioxidant Activity Why do we need antioxidants? mg/100 g µmol of vitamin C equiv. perAntioxidants, particularly phenolic antioxidants, (soluble free+ bound) g of fresh wt of edible fruitprovide great health benefits. A study tested boththe total phenolic content and the total antioxidant Apple 296.3 ± 6.4 97.6 ± 4.6activity in eleven selected common fruits. In Banana 90.4 ± 3.2 32.8 ± 1.5addition, the study examined antiproliferation Cranberry 527.2 ± 21.5 177.0 ± 4.3properties in cell culture. Among all tests on theeleven fruits, cranberries ranked first, suggesting Grapefruit 49.6 ± 2.6 24.7 ± 0.17that these berries are superior to all ten of the Lemon 81.9 ± 3.5 42.8 ± 1.0other fruits and berries tested in regards to Orange 81.2 ± 1.1 31.5 ± 0.27potential health benefits. Peach 84.6 ± 0.7 49.5 ± 2.8 Pear 70.6 ± 1.6 34.2 ± 0.3 Pineapple 94.3 ± 1.5 16.9 ± 0.3 Red Grape 201.0 ± 2.9 64.7 ± 1.6 Strawberry 160.0 ± 1.2 64.4 ± 1.1 The top 5 are highlighted in each category. Antiproliferative Activities of Fruit Extracts Antiproliferative Activities Fruit Antiproliferative activities, Antiproliferative means preventing expressed as the median effective rapid cell growth. dose (EC50) [mg/ml]* Among the eleven selected common Cranberry 14.5 ± 0.5 fruits: cranberry, lemon, apple, Lemon 30.6 ± 0.8 strawberry, red grape, banana, and Apple 49.4 ± 1.6 grapefruit showed relatively potent antiproliferative activities on Strawberry 56.3 ± 1.5 cell cultures. Red Grape 71.0 ± 2.2 Since these fruits were effective, they Banana 110.1 ± 2.5 can prevent rapid cell growth, e.g. Grapefruit 130.1 ± 4.5 cancer cells. * Lower EC50 values indicate a higher antiproliferative activity
  3. 3. Research Findings on Cranberries Overview In herbal medicine, cranberry fruits and leaves have been used for a variety of medical conditions, such Urinary Tract Infections as wounds, urinary disorders, diarrhea, diabetes, stomach ailments and liver problems. Recently, cranberry products have been used in the Cranberry juice has been used for the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections prevention of urinary tract infections (UTI). and Helicobacter pylori infections (which leads to Research has now linked this property to stomach ulcers or even gastric cancer over time). the ability of cranberry proanthocyanidins Cranberries have also been reported to have to inhibit the adhesion of Escherichia coli , antioxidant properties useful in the the bacteria responsible for these in- prevention of heart disease and fections, in the urinary tract. cancer. H. Pylori Infections Cranberry constituents can also inhibit Cancer the adhesion of H. pylori to humanCranberry flavonoids (flavanols and anthocyanins) have an gastric mucus. A randomized,important role in chemoprevention and may act synergistically. In double-blind human trial found signifi-several studies, they stopped the growth of various cancer cells and cantly lower levels of H. pylori infectionsignificantly reduced proliferation of cancerous cells. in adults consuming cranberry juice.Cyclooxygenase is an enzyme responsible for various enzymaticreactions in the body. Cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) may beincreased in cancer, while cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is an enzymeproduced during inflammation. Inhibition of COX-1 and-2 bycranberry phytochemicals, particularly anthocyanins, may lead toa decreased risk for the development of some cancers. A UCLA study showed that water-soluble cranberry phenolic extracts inhibited the proliferation of several human tumor cell lines, including mouth, colon, and prostate cancer cells. This study provided support that cranberry flavonoids act synergistically in preventing cell line growth and proliferation. The anthocyanin and proanthocyanin subfractions were less effective alone than in total Helicobacter Pylori extract.
  4. 4. Heart DiseaseCranberries have also been suggested to play a role in theprevention of heart disease. This is likely largely due to the highantioxidant capacity of cranberries. References Seeram N. Blackberry, black raspberry, blueberry, cranberry, red raspberry and strawberry extract inhibit growth and stimulate apoptosis of human cancer cells in vitro. J Agric Food Chem. 2006; 54: 9329-39. The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is a world-renowned nutrition research Neto C. Cranberry and its phytochemicals: a review of in vitro center. anticancer studies. J Nutr. 2007; 137: 186S-193S. Mission: Sun J et al. Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of com- mon fruits. J Agric Food Chem. 2002; 50: 7449-7454. To promote healthier lives through research and education in nutrition and preventive medicine. Herbs at a Glance. Cranberries. National Center for Comple- The Pennington Center has several research areas, including mentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Available at: Clinical Obesity Research Experimental Obesity Functional Foods Health and Performance Enhancement Nutrition and Chronic Diseases Nutrition and the Brain Dementia, Alzheimer’s and healthy aging Pennington Nutrition Series No 41 10/07 Diet, exercise, weight loss and weight loss maintenance Authors The research fostered in these areas can have a profound impact on healthy living and on the prevention of common chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabe- Heli J. Roy, PhD, RD tes, hypertension and osteoporosis. Shanna Lundy, MS The Division of Education provides education and information to the scientific commu- Chad Eriksen, BA nity and the public about research findings, training programs and research areas, and Beth Kalicki coordinates educational events for the public on various health issues. Division of Education We invite people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the exciting research Phillip Brantley, PhD, Director studies being conducted at the Pennington Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. If you would like to take part, visit the clinical trials web page at or call (225) Pennington Biomedical Research Center 763-3000. Claude Bouchard, PhD, Executive Director Edited : October 2009