Washington: A new research has found that cranberries provide unique bioactive compounds that may help reduce the incidence of certain infections, improve heart health and temper inflammation.
Ten worldwide experts in cranberry and health research contributed to the article, including scientists and medical experts from Tufts University, Pennsylvania State University, Boston University, Rutgers University, French National Institute for Agricultural Research, University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom and Heinrich-Heine-University in Germany.
Lead author Jeffrey Blumberg said that hundreds of studies show that the bioactive compounds found in cranberries improve health. For example, the polyphenols found in cranberries have been shown to promote a healthy urinary tract and exert protective benefits for cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions.
Based on the totality of the published cranberry research, the authors concluded that the cranberry fruit is truly special because of the A-type proanthocyanidins (a polyphenol from the flavanol family), in contrast to the B-type proanthocyanidins present in most other types of berries and fruit.
The A-type proanthocyanidins appear to provide the anti-adhesion benefits that help protect against urinary tract infections (UTI). They present evidence suggesting that cranberries may also reduce the recurrence of UTIs - an important approach for relying less on antibiotic treatment for the condition.
The authors also cite data that shows the cranberry may improve cardiovascular health by improving blood cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure, inflammation and oxidative stress.
The study is published in the international journal Advances in Nutrition.