Besides the magical, mesmerising bogs in which they grow, what’s so special about these little red berries?
From being known to fight scurvy, to being ground up and placed on open wounds to fight off infections, these vibrant red gems have numerous health benefits encompassed in their tart fruit.1
Interestingly, when pilgrims first ate cranberries to fight scurvy, they believed salt to be the root of the cause, and that the sourness of the berry would remove the salt from their body. They were not wrong in thinking that the berry helped to cure scurvy, but it was actually due to its high vitamin C content that it was so beneficial.1
What makes it so special?
Cranberries are well known for their flavonoid and phytonutrient content.2 Flavonoids are phytonutrients found in most fruits and vegetables, making up the bright colours in the plants, addition to being found in tea and wine.3 These plant chemicals are so beneficial because they are a great form of antioxidant, anti inflammatory, and immune system booster.3 They have been shown to help heart disease prevention, in addition to having anti cancer and anti virus properties, and playing a large role in protecting the brain.3They work together to gather the cell-damaging free radicals, protecting the body against damage to the cells.
Urinary Tract Infections
A specific flavonoid known as Proanthocyanidins (PAC) is the component in cranberries that gives them their ability to fight off Urinary Tract Infections (UTI). UTIs are often caused by microorganisms, such as Gram-negative bacteria (resistant to most antibiotics) invading and adhering to the urinary tract. Often, E. coli is responsible for many of the cases.4
Cranberries are able to inhibit UTIs, due to their ability to prevent type 1 and p-fimbriae strains (present in bacteria, such as E. coli) to adhere to the urothelium (tissue lining the urethra). The PACs prevent UTIs by preventing E. coli to sticking to the epithelial cells by altering the surface properties of the bacteria.5
Infections of the Mouth
On top of being known to prevent infections of the urinary tract, this wondrous berry is also known to prevent infections of the mouth, such as gingivitis and dental cavities. This can prevent gum cancer, and boost the immune system by ridding the mouth of bad bacteria.6
Due to its high presence of flavonoids being rich in antioxidants, cranberries can have a positive impact on cardiovascular health and heart disease. By drinking two glasses of cranberry juice a day, it is possible to raise your HDL (good) cholesterol, and inhibit LDL (bad cholesterol) oxidation.7 The polyphenols present in the berry can prevent the plaque accumulation on blood vessel walls. The antioxidants have been also shown to lower blood pressure.8
The phytonutrients present in the fruit provide anti-inflammatory benefits. This gives them the ability to help reduce gum cancer, since inflammation around the gums can cause damage to the tissues in our mouth, as well as cause the gums to recede, which can lead to infection. The phytonutrients stop inflammation by stopping the overproduction of cytokines in the body (messengermolecules that tell the body to provide an inflammatory response).9
The cranberry extract found in our supplements contains a high level of PAC, the flavonoid responsible for fighting off infection. Whereas it would take many berries to equal the level of PAC you are receiving from the extract.
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