Mounting Body of Research on Cranberry Bioactives Further Supports the Fruit's Whole Body Health Benefits
New data suggest cranberry polyphenols, including proanthocyanidins (PACs), offer wide range of benefits from urinary tract and immune function support to improved cardiometabolic profiles
LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Research presented at this week's Experimental Biology 2013 conference indicates the power of cranberries is broader than previously thought. Several new studies demonstrate the health benefits of cranberry's chief bioactives, proanthocyanidins (PACs), and other polyphenols on a wide variety of cell types within the human body and point to the exceptional benefit of cranberry PACs in multiple forms, including juice, dried and supplemented powder beverage. From urinary tract and immune function support to improved cardiometabolic profiles, new research presented at this week's Experimental Biology 2013 supports the cranberry's whole body health benefits. For more information, visit www.cranberryhealth.com. (Photo: Business Wire) "The body of evidence supporting health benefits from phytonutrients is rapidly mounting," said Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, Director, Antioxidants Research Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University. "It is time to clearly identify the cranberry bioactives at work and to quantify how many milligrams of PACs and polyphenols we need in a day. We may not have a clear recommended daily allowance for PACs like we have for vitamin C, for example, but we should press ahead to a better understanding of their mechanisms and the amount needed in a day for overall better health."
Professor Blumberg was among the speakers at an Ocean Spray sponsored dinner preceding the conference which brought together members of the scientific and health communities to discuss the wide range of cranberry health benefits and implications for the upcoming 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Among the studies highlighted at the conference and the preceding event was emerging research linking consumption of cranberry juice cocktail (CJC) to better cardiometabolic profiles.1 An observational study conducted in collaboration with the University of North Carolina using the CDC National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data found that adolescents (ages 12-18 years) and adults (19+ years of age) who drink an average of two glasses (14 fl. oz.) over two non-consecutive days have better cardiometabolic profiles than those who do not consume CJC. In this study, adolescent and adult CJC consumers had significantly higher intakes of total polyphenols and proanthocyanidins from drinking CJC, which have proven health-promoting benefits. Each group also demonstrated significantly lower body weight and waist circumference, were less likely to be overweight and demonstrated lower odds of having high C-reactive protein levels, a marker of inflammation. Additionally, adolescent CJC consumers demonstrated significantly lower fasting glucose and better lipid profiles, including lower odds of high total cholesterol and high LDLs, indicating that while CJC must be sweetened to be palatable, it can be part of a healthy lifestyle with a potential positive effect on overall cardiometabolic health.
"These health benefits may be due to higher polyphenol intake from the cranberry bioactives," said Lisa Sutherland, PhD, Principal, LA Sutherland group, who led the observational study. "While these data are preliminary, we believe something as simple as adding a serving of cranberry juice cocktail to the diet could help support a healthy lifestyle."
In a double blind placebo controlled randomized trial presented at American Heart Association meetings last year by researchers at USDA Human Nutrition Center at Beltsville, consumption of a low calorie CJC also resulted in significant lowering of the C reactive protein in the group drinking CJC compared to placebo.2 Both studies, the randomized clinical trial and the observational study, clearly support each other's findings.
Tied closely to these findings, another study investigates the polyphenolic content of CJC compared to sweetened dried cranberries.3 This research finds CJC has about 35 mg PACs (per 240 milliliter serving) and sweetened dried cranberries have 38 mg PACs (per 40 gram serving), suggesting the two forms - juice and dried - offer nearly equivalent levels of the cranberry bioactive.
"We are excited by these findings, because they suggest people who enjoy cranberry juice cocktail, sweetened dried cranberries, or a mix of the two forms on a regular basis can experience the same apparent benefits of a higher polyphenolic diet," said Christina Khoo, PhD, Ocean Spray.
Urinary Tract Health
Further findings presented this week confirm the cranberry's urinary tract health benefits. A new study conducted in collaboration with Rutgers University found that a polyphenol rich cranberry powder offers the same bacterial anti-adhesion effect as CJC, suggesting that polyphenol bioactives are important in preventing unwanted pathogens, like Escherichia coli, from entering cells in the bladder.4 This effect is thought to contribute to urinary tract health, potentially translating to fewer urinary tract infections, which are believed to cost patients $500 million in prescription drug costs each year.
Rounding out the research at this week's conference were findings supporting the growing body of research linking cranberry consumption to improved immunity. Research from Susan Percival, PhD, and her team at the University of Florida, Gainesville, confirms that cranberry PACs and polyphenols interact with pathogen recognition receptors on innate immune cells.5 The results of the study suggest that cranberry PACs activate a signaling pathway that ultimately allows for an enhanced response to an immune challenge.
Additionally, two studies from the University of Wisconsin scientists provide further evidence that cranberry bioactives not only play an important role in supporting immune function,6 but also provide more insight on how these compounds prevent bacterial adhesion and infection of cells in the gut.7 In the first study, the researchers provided cranberry powder to 10 human study participants for one week. The study results suggest that the cranberry powder- amounting to 38 mg PAC equivalents per day - has a meaningful impact on the urinary proteins profile. Specifically, the supplementation resulted in the statistically significant lowering of eight urinary peptides tied to regulation of immune responses and tumorigenesis.8 In the cell study, treatment of cells with cranberry actives resulted in an inhibition of the ability of the uropathogenic bacteria to invade the cells, potentially leading to decreased number of uropathogens that can infect the body.9
"Ultimately, from in vitro to epidemiological and clinical evidence, we continue to have new and emerging data pointing towards the exceptional ability of cranberries to support whole body health," added Dr. Khoo. "There are significant opportunities to move forward the discussion around cranberry polyphenols' contribution to health, and we're confident that this type of research and dialogue will continue to support our long-term hypothesis that cranberries are an important part of a daily balanced diet and healthy lifestyle."
For more information about the whole body health benefits of cranberries or to review the abstracts highlighted above, visit www.cranberryhealth.com.
About Ocean Spray
Ocean Spray is a vibrant agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry and grapefruit growers in the United States, Canada, and Chile who have helped preserve the family farming way of life for generations. Formed in 1930, Ocean Spray is now the world's leading producer of cranberry juices, juice drinks and dried cranberries, and is the best-selling brand in the bottled juice category. The cooperative's cranberries are currently featured in more than 1,000 great-tasting, good-for-you products in over 50 countries worldwide. With more than 2,000 employees and nearly 20 cranberry receiving and processing facilities, Ocean Spray is committed to managing our business in a way that respects our communities, employees and the environment. In fiscal year 2012, Ocean Spray posted record-high gross sales of $2.2 billion and net proceeds of $338 million.
1 Duffey, K., Sutherland, L.A. and Khoo, C., (2013) Cranberry juice cocktail consumers have healthier cardio-metabolic profiles. FASEB J. 27, 359.8
2 Novotny, J.A., Baer, D.J., Khoo, C. and Gebauer, S.K., (2012) Low Calorie Cranberry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure in Healthy Adults. Hypertension. 60, A299
3 Marais, J. and Khoo, C., (2013) Polyphenolic content of sweet dried cranberries compared to cranberry juice cocktail. FASEB J. 27, 1079.19
4 Kaspar, K.L., Howell, A.B. and Khoo, C., (2013) Ex vivo anti-adhesion activity of a proanthocyanidin standardized cranberry powder beverage. FASEB J. 27, 1079.42
5 Creasy, R.A., Khoo, C. and Percival, S.S., (2013) Cranberry bioactives induce TLR signaling and promote a state of immune preparedness in THP-1 monocytes/macrophages. FASEB J. 27, 637.29
6 Krueger, C.G., Meudt, J.J., Howell, A.B., Khoo, C. and Shanmuganayagam, D., (2013) Consumption of cranberry powder shifts urinary protein profile in healthy human subjects. FASEB J. 27, 637.32
7 Shanmuganayagam, D., Johnson, R.E. Meudt, J.J., Feliciano, R.P., Kohlmann, K.L., Nechyporenko, A.V., Heintz, J.A., Krueger, C.G. and Reed, J.D., (2013) A-type proanthocyanidins from cranberry inhibit the ability of extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli to invade gut epithelial cells and resist killing by macrophages. FASEB J. 27, 637.16
8 Krueger, C.G., Meudt, J.J., Howell, A.B., Khoo, C. and Shanmuganayagam, D., (2013) Consumption of cranberry powder shifts urinary protein profile in healthy human subjects. FASEB J. 27, 637.32
9 Shanmuganayagam, D., Johnson, R.E. Meudt, J.J., Feliciano, R.P., Kohlmann, K.L., Nechyporenko, A.V., Heintz, J.A., Krueger, C.G. and Reed, J.D., (2013) A-type proanthocyanidins from cranberry inhibit the ability of extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli to invade gut epithelial cells and resist killing by macrophages. FASEB J. 27, 637.16
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Source: Ocean Spray