Cranberry Fruit

Cranberries have moderate levels of vitamin C, dietary fiber and the essential dietary mineral, manganese, as well as a balanced profile of other essential micronutrients.[8]

By measure of the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity with an ORAC score of 9,584 units per 100 g, cranberry ranks near the top of 277 commonly consumed foods in the United States.[9]

Phytochemicals

Cranberries are a source of polyphenol antioxidants, phytochemicals under active research for possible benefits to the cardiovascular system and immune system, and as anti-cancer agents.[11][12]

Cranberry juice contains a chemical component, a high molecular weight non-dializable material (NDM), as noted above, that is able to inhibit and even reverse the formation of plaque by Streptococcus mutans pathogens that cause tooth decay.[13][14] Cranberry juice components also show efficacy against formation of kidney stones.[15][16]

Raw cranberries and cranberry juice are abundant food sources of the anthocyanidin flavonoids, cyanidin, peonidin and quercetin.[17][18] These compounds have shown promise as anti-cancer agents in in vitro studies. However, their effectiveness in humans has not been established, and may be limited by poor absorption into cells and rapid elimination from the blood.

Since 2002, there has been an increasing focus on the potential role of cranberry polyphenolic constituents in preventing several types of cancer.[19][20][21][22][23] In a 2001 University of Maine study that compared cranberries with twenty other fruits, cranberries had the largest amount of both free and total phenols, with red grapes at a distant second place.[24]Cranberry tannins have anti-clotting properties and may reduce urinary tract infections and the amount of dental plaque-causing oral bacteria, thus being a prophylaxis for gingivitis.[25]

Anti-adhesion properties

There is potential benefit of cranberry juice consumption against bacterial infections in the urinary system. Research shows that an effect occurs from a component of the juice inhibiting bacterial attachment to the bladder and urethra.[26][27][28]

Although promising for anti-bacterial activity, long-term consumption of cranberry juice has only limited evidence for beneficial effects against urinary tract infections in women.[29] It has also been observed to have a relaxing effect, reducing stress. Similar applications have not been successfully proven in other clinical trials of consuming cranberry juice or tablets by people with spinal cord injury associated with bladder catheterization, neurogenic bladder or infrequent urination, any of which may be associated with increased susceptibility to bacterial infections.[30][31][32]

{Information courtesy Wikipedia}