Research Shows Health Benefits of Cranberries
among the top foods with proven health benefits,
according to Amy Howell, a researcher at Rutgers University.
Cranberries are full of antioxidants, which protects cells from
damage by unstable molecules called free radicals.
The National Institutes of Health is funding research on the
cranberry’s effects on heart disease, yeast infections and other
conditions, and other researchers are investigating its potential
against cancer, stroke and viral infections.
So far, research has found:
Drinking cranberry juice can block urinary infections by binding
to bacteria so they can’t adhere to cell walls. While women often
drink unsweetened cranberry juice to treat an infection, there’s
no hard evidence that works.
A compound Howell discovered in cranberries,
proanthocyanidine, prevents plaque formation on teeth;
mouthwashes containing it are being developed to prevent
In some people, regular cranberry juice consumption for months
can kill the H. pylori bacteria, which can cause stomach cancer
Preliminary research also shows:
Drinking cranberry juice daily may increase levels of HDL, or
good cholesterol and reduce levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol.
Cranberries may prevent tumors from growing rapidly or starting
in the first place.
• Find out which foods contain compounds that help our bodies
Extracts of chemicals in cranberries prevent breast cancer cells
from multiplying in a test tube; whether that would work in
women is unknown.
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