The Guardian of Urinary System Health——Cranberry

Jun 03, 2021

Cranberry, also known as cranberry and cranberry, is a subgenus of Cranberry Cranberry in the Rhododendron family. It grows in swamps or wetlands. It is an evergreen shrub and is related to blueberries and cranberries. Because the cranberry flowers resemble the head of a crane swaying in the wind, it is also known as the "crane fruit". Red berries are eaten as fruits. The berries themselves are small and have a very sour taste. The pH value is between 2.3 and 2.5. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C.

Cranberry Extract

Health benefits of cranberry

In addition to anthocyanins, cranberries also contain active ingredients such as phenolic acids, terpenes and flavonoids. These active ingredients give cranberries a variety of health benefits. Historically, the fruit or leaves of cranberry have been used to treat bladder, stomach and liver diseases, as well as diabetes, wounds and other diseases. Now more and more studies have discovered more effects of cranberry.

1. Dyslipidemia:

Animal and human studies have shown that intake of cranberry juice and cranberry anthocyanins can lower LDL-C and increase HDL-C.

2. Diabetes and hypertension:

It is proved in diabetic animal models that cranberry powder or cranberry-derived flavonoids can lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity; in vitro studies have shown that cranberry extract inhibits angiotensin-converting enzyme, so it may help lower blood pressure .

3. Oxidative stress:

A large number of in vitro and in vivo experiments show that cranberry has antioxidant effects. In healthy volunteers and patients with cardiovascular risk factors, consumption of cranberry juice or cranberry bioactive substances can reduce oxidative stress markers in the blood.

4. Inflammation:

A number of in vitro studies have shown that cranberry bioactive substances can inhibit the activation of macrophages and T cells exposed to related pro-inflammatory stimuli. It can inactivate the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 after microvascular endothelial cells are exposed to pro-inflammatory cytokines.

5. Stomach ulcer

A study of 189 adults showed that drinking 2.1 glasses (500 ml) of cranberry juice a day can significantly reduce Helicobacter pylori infection.

Another study conducted in 295 children found that daily consumption of cranberry juice for 3 weeks can inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori in about 17% of infected people.

6. Endothelial dysfunction

7. Atherosclerosis

8. Platelet function


In addition to the health benefits mentioned above, cranberry has another well-known benefit:

Prevent urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infection is one of the most common bacterial infections, especially in women. The most common cause is the intestinal bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli), which attaches to the inner surface of the bladder and urethra. Cranberry can prevent bacteria from adhering to cells, and its metabolites can bind to the hair of bacteria, thereby preventing bacteria from adhering to cell receptors.

This is due to the special substance in cranberry: type A proanthocyanidins.

For women, the lifetime probability of suffering from urinary tract infection is 50%. 36% of women under 55 years of age and 53% of women over 55 years of age have repeated infections within one year.

Studies have shown that cranberry can prevent urinary tract infections, thanks to the special active ingredient in cranberry-type A proanthocyanidins.

Procyanidins refer to oligomers/multimers composed of monomers with a basic structure of flavan-3-ol.

Many fruits and vegetables contain PACs. But these plants generally contain B-type PACs, and B-type PACs have no anti-adhesion ability.

And cranberry contains A-type PACs, which has strong anti-adhesion ability.

Scientific research has shown that taking standardized cranberry extract containing 72mg PACs every day can prevent the adhesion of urinary tract bacteria and the threat of disease 24 hours a day.

In 2004-2007, the French Food Safety Agency AFSSA (now ANSES) validated the health claim that “36 mg of cranberry PAC per day helps prevent P-Escherichia coli from adhering to bladder cells”.

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