1 min readResearchers Find Cranberry Juice May Help Protect Against Heart Disease and Diabetes
Lakeville-Middleboro, MA — A new study reveals that drinking low-calorie cranberry juice cocktail may help lower the risk of chronic diseases that rank among the leading causes of death worldwide, including heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
The research shows that cranberries provide a rich source of protective compounds – polyphenols – that support our body’s natural defenses and help us achieve a balanced lifestyle to improve health.
To discover the extent to which polyphenol-rich cranberries can bolster whole-body health, researchers from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided eight weeks’ worth of meals to 56 healthy adult volunteers (average 50 years of age). One group drank a glass (8 oz) of low-calorie cranberry juice twice daily (16 oz total), while the other group drank a placebo beverage with a similar colour and flavour.
“At the start and end of the experiment, the researchers measured things like blood pressure, blood sugar levels, blood lipids, as well as C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation,” explained Dr. Christina Khoo, Director of Research Sciences at Ocean Spray.
“All of these measurements come together to tell a story. The worse off these numbers are in an individual, the more likely he or she will face a health condition like diabetes, heart disease or stroke in the future.”
Individuals drinking two glasses of low-calorie cranberry juice a day improved across all these measures. It’s a change that adds up, and could be associated with a 10 percent lower risk of heart disease and a 15 percent lower risk of stroke.
“These findings suggest that polyphenols help to protect our bodies, and may be adept at keeping a large number of ailments at bay,” said Dr. Khoo.
“Luckily for us, a rich source of polyphenols is only a glass of cranberry juice away. Among the commonly consumed fruits in our diets, cranberries boast some of the highest levels of polyphenols – more than apples, blueberries, grapes or cherries.”
Incorporating these tart-tasting berries into our daily diets is a sustainable and practical lifestyle approach that holds notable promise for improving health. In addition to the cardiometobolic effects of polyphenols, cranberries also contain unique proanthocyanidins (PACs) that may help prevent certain bacteria from sticking inside the body.
Article adapted from a Weber Shandwick Worldwide news release.
Publication: Cranberry Juice Consumption Lowers Markers of Cardiometabolic Risk, Including Blood Pressure and Circulating C-Reactive Protein, Triglyceride, and Glucose Concentrations in Adults. Novotny, J et al. The Journal of Nutrition. 2015