Research: Drinking cranberry juice may protect your heart

cranberry-juice-and-sauceTwo cups of cranberry juice daily may help protect you against cardiovascular diseases, suggests new research.

“Cranberry juice is a rich source of phytonutrients, including proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins and phenolic acids,” explained Ana Rodriguez-Mateos from University Duesseldorf, Germany.

“Due to this robust profile of polyphenols, our team sought to evaluate the immediate vascular impact of drinking one, 450 ml glass of cranberry juice with a different range of concentrations of cranberry-polyphenols,” Rodriguez-Mateos noted.

Researchers gave 10 healthy men, between the ages of 18-40 years, 450 ml (just under two cups) of sweetened cranberry juice made from concentrate.

The cranberry concentrate was prepared with water to concentrations ranging from zero to 117 percent. The amount of cranberry-polyphenols increased with the concentration.

The researchers detected significant vascular function improvements and improved blood flow in the men after drinking cranberry juice.

They, however, found that improvement in vascular function was dose-dependent.

woman_drinking_juice

Defending the health of the circulatory system – and improving vascular function – not only reduces the chance of developing atherosclerosis, but plays an important role in kidney function, hormone delivery and waste filtration, the study noted.

The highest concentration of cranberry-polyphenol juice also showed improvements in systolic blood pressure.

“Our results lay the groundwork to better understand the array of potential vascular and cardiovascular health benefits of cranberry polyphenols,” Rodriguez-Mateos said.

“Significant improvements in vascular function from drinking two cups of cranberry juice suggest an important role for cranberries in a heart-healthy diet,” Rodriguez-Mateos pointed out.

The research was presented at the Cranberry Health Research Conference in Wisconsin, US.

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