A Review of Nutrition Research Finds Cranberries Contain a Greater Concentration of Antioxidants than Other Fruit and Provide a Variety of Health Benefits — Including Heart Health
LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass., Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ — According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease remains the number one health threat affecting men and women in the United States today. Now, a recent review of scientific research suggests cranberries may offer a natural defense against the development of this dangerous disease. Researchers feel that many of these results are due to the fact that cranberries contain a greater concentration of antioxidants than other commonly consumed fruit and that these nutrients may be working together to offer even greater benefits.
The report conducted at Tufts University, and published in Nutrition Reviews, found that cranberries offered a range of different benefits that work to promote cardiovascular health. These benefits include effects on cholesterol as well as on blood pressure and the development of blood clots, all established risk factors for heart disease.
“Cranberries have long been recognized for their health benefits in the areas of urinary tract, gastrointestinal and oral health,” said Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, FACN, CNS. “Now, after years of research in the cardiovascular area, cranberries also appear to play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease.”
Several of the studies reviewed showed that cranberry juice increased circulating levels of the “good” HDL cholesterol. In fact, one such study revealed that a daily serving of Light Cranberry Juice Cocktail provided an effect that was similar to what has been reported for red wine, a beverage that has been well publicized for having a positive effect on cardiovascular health.
In addition to an increase in HDL, another study highlighted in the review reported that cranberry lowered the “bad” LDL cholesterol when consumed in increasing amounts over a period of weeks. Cranberry has also been found to inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, an effect that has been shown to further reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. Experimental evidence also suggests cranberries may act to reduce the formation of blood clots as well as blood pressure, actions known to lower the risk of stroke.
Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative owned by more than 650 cranberry growers in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and other parts of Canada as well as more than 100 Florida grapefruit growers. Ocean Spray was formed 75 years ago by three cranberry growers from Massachusetts and New Jersey. Florida grapefruit growers joined the Cooperative in 1976. Ocean Spray is North America’s leading producer of canned and bottled juices and juice drinks, and has been the best-selling brand name in the canned and bottled juice category since 1981. Ocean Spray posted fiscal 2006 earnings of roughly $1.5 billion.
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Source: Ocean Spray