Cranberries’ Untapped Potential
As a young adult I suffered from UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). If you have ever experienced one in the past then you know how much pain I would be in… and to have them frequently was very frustrating. Of course I would treat them at home with different methods that I had researched. The best medicine was preventing them by using a cranberry extract daily. I also enjoy them in juices or smoothies when I can, here is a tip… you can keep them in the freezer so you always have it on hand! Cranberries are loaded with antioxidants, loaded with vitamin C, fiber and vitamin E… so when I came a crossed this new study that there is a possibility that cranberries may diminish the size and number of tumors that may cause colon cancer I just had to share it with all of you! Check out the bottom of the article for a list of ways to add cranberry to your daily diet!
According to information presented recently at the 250th annual meeting of the venerable American Chemical Society, cranberry is good for more than November suppers and treating the occasional urinary tract infection without drugs. It may also thwart cancer.
While cranberry juice—and now extract—have long been touted for their alleged ability to alleviate some of the worst symptoms of urinary tract infections, new research suggests that cranberry compounds may also act to diminish the size and number of tumors in a mouse model of human colon cancer. "There may be some synergy between polyphenol and non-polyphenol constituents,” investigators remarked.
Researchers were careful to provide only reasonable amounts of cranberry, to better reflect what’s possible for use among humans. The amount used in the study was “…approximately equivalent to a cup a day of cranberries if you were a human instead of a mouse," said Catherine Neto, Ph.D. She noted, however, that the same effect might not be achieved by drinking cranberry juice; test animals received the whole fruit, including skins, which might contain some key compounds not found in juice alone.
Previous research has identified compounds in cranberry that kill cancer cells in test tubes. "We've identified several compounds in cranberry extracts over the years that seemed promising, but we've always wanted to look at what happens with the compounds in an animal model of cancer," Neto said. Animals received one of three formulations, including whole fruit, an extract containing antioxidant polyphenols compounds primarily, and an extract that contained non-polyphenol compounds.
"Basically, what we found was pretty encouraging. All preparations were effective to some degree, but the whole cranberry extract was the most effective," said Neto. And there you have it. Once again, eating whole foods proves to be the most healthful behavior of all. While this research does not—yet—prove that cranberries can be an important part of a diet that discourages colon cancer in humans, it suggests that you might want to hedge your bets and learn to love this tart, native American fruit.
More tips for enjoying cranberries:
- Make a homemade trail mix with unsalted nuts, seeds and dried cranberries.
- Include a small handful of frozen cranberries in a fruit smoothie.
- Add dried cranberries to your oatmeal or whole grain cereal.
- Toss dried or fresh cranberries into your favorite muffins or cookie recipe.
- Include fresh cranberries in an apple dessert like pie or cobbler for an extra kick of flavor.
American Chemical Society. "Powdered cranberry combats colon cancer in mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 2015. .