Heart Health May be Improved by Fortified Cranberry Juice

Cranberry Juice Concentrate

Consuming cranberries on a daily basis may reduce the markers of the cardiovascular disease revealed a new Brazilian study which builds the heart’s health benefits of berries.

It was seen that consuming 0.7 liters of cranberry juice every day for 60 days when fortified with the folic acid significantly increased adiponectin. Adiponectin is a hormone which is released from the fat cells which plays a very important role in regulating insulin sensitivity and also energy. It is also found to lower homocysteine which is an amino acid that has been linked to increasing the risk of CVD (Cardiovascular Disease).

British Journal of Nutrition published these results which showed that individuals who have metabolic syndrome experienced lowering of oxidative stress which included protein oxidation levels and lipoperoxidation. All of this was seen after regular consumption of cranberry juice and the results were compared with that of a control group.

Researchers at the UNIFIL (Philadelphia University Center) and also at University of Londrina wrote that the consumption of the juice of cranberries for 60 days had the capability to lower cardiovascular risk factors.

The present data helped in reinforcing importance of inverse association between adiponectin and homocysteine. It also emphasized the need for specifically designed researches on MetS patients.

Cranberries and UTIs

There is a well established link between the urinary tract health and cranberries and this has been linked to the proanthocyanidin content in the berries. France approved the health claim of North American cranberry in 2004 and was the first country to do so.

Our understanding of these wonderful berries has been extended with a new study which had indicated their role in improving heart health.

Mayo Clinic carried out a research and published its findings in 2012 in European Journal of Nutrition. This indicated that the cranberry juice may help in lowering the quantity of endothelial cells in the body which produces a compound known as osteocalcin which has been known to harden the arteries.

US National Institutes of Health and Ocean Spray funded this study.

Dr. Christina Khoo of Ocean Spray explained that the health benefits offered by the cranberry include improvement in LDL oxidation, dyslipidemia, vascular health and also anti – inflammatory activity.

Details of the study

56 people suffering from metabolic syndrome were recruited by Brazilian researchers for the clinical trial. Random participants were assigned either to receive cranberry juice which is enriched with folic acid or control juice. This was carried out for a period of 60 days.

The cranberry juice was seen to improve the homocystein and adiponectin levels. It was also found to lower the level of oxidative stress in the body. It was, however, not associated with the improvement in the inflammation markers including IL – 1, IL – 6 and TNF – alpha.

Hypertension, central obesity, disturbed insulin and glucose metabolism are the symptoms of metabolic syndrome. It has been linked to increase in the risk of cardiovascular diseases and type – 2 diabetes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that approximately 75 million Americans may suffer from the metabolic syndrome.