Cardiovascular Disease: Drinking Cranberry Juice Protects Heart Health

First Posted: Oct 13, 2015 06:36 AM EDT

A recent study revealed that drinking cranberry juice may protect your heart and it significantly improves cardiovascular health, according to a news release.  

Consuming cranberry juice helps to protect against cardiovascular diseases and it improves blood flow in men, according to principal investigator, according to lead investigator Ana Rodriguez-Mateos, PhD, from the Division of Cardiology, Pulmonology and Vascular Medicine at the University Duesseldorf, Germany.

The research uncovered a potent, dose-dependent relationship between cranberry juice and improved vascular function. Vascular dysfunction and limited blood flow is a central characteristic in the development of atherosclerosis, which is a disease where plaque builds up inside the arteries. Therefore, improving vascular health is beneficial to a person's overall cardio vascular health, according to the research.  

"Cranberry juice is a rich source of phytonutrients, including proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins and phenolic acids," said Dr. Rodriguez-Mateos.

"Due to this robust profile of polyphenols, our team sought to evaluate the immediate vascular impact of drinking one, 450 ml (or 16 ounces) glass of cranberry juice with a different range of concentrations of cranberry-polyphenols."

Cranberry-polyphenols are the micronutrients found in cranberry juice. 

In their study, the researchers gave ten healthy males between the ages of 18-40 years, 450 milliliters (under 2 cups) of sweetened cranberry juice made from concentrate. After 24 hours the blood and urine samples were collected to detect the changes from the cranberry urinary cranberry-derived polyphenols (micronutrients). There were improvements in blood flow and blood pressure, according to the study.

Improvements blood circulation and in blood pressure are essential to vascular health and also in kidney function, hormone delivery and waste filtration. Thus drinking cranberry juice significantly improves these areas of health.

"Our results lay the groundwork to better understand the array of potential vascular and cardiovascular health benefits of cranberry polyphenols," said Dr. Rodriguez-Mateos.

"Significant improvements in vascular function from drinking two cups of cranberry juice suggest an important role for cranberries in a heart-healthy diet."

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