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What to Know on Cranberry Top Shelf Supplements
What is cranberry?
You've likely used juicy, tart cranberries to make cranberry sauce for your Thanksgiving meal or eaten dried cranberries as a flavorful snack. But did you know these red berries are packed with active, health-boosting compounds?
In this article, we explore how to harness the health benefits of cranberries by taking a convenient supplement.
Cranberry extract is a popular supplement derived from dried cranberries. These nutrient-rich berries are packed with fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium, anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, and flavonols. They have long been used in traditional medicine, and now science confirms cranberry extract may support the health of the urinary, immune, and cardiovascular systems.
Taking a cranberry supplement allows you to get potent health benefits without having to eat mountains of cranberries each day!Shop Now
How does cranberry work?
Cranberry products have become famous for naturally cleansing the body and treating urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Proanthocyanidins provide cranberries with their vibrant red color and improve the balance of "healthy" and "unhealthy" bacteria in the body by inhibiting the growth and proliferation of pathogenic bacteria. For example, proanthocyanidins prevent the bacteria that cause UTIs, Escherichia coli, from binding to the hair-like proteins that line the urinary tract (1). These bacteria are then easily washed out of the body via urine stored in the bladder.
Cranberries also contain D-mannose, a simple sugar poorly absorbed by the body. Much like proanthocyanidins, when D-mannose is excreted via urine, it blocks E. coli bacteria from colonizing the urinary tract wall (2).
Additionally, the antioxidants in cranberry extract defend your cells from damage caused by unstable free radicals. An interesting study found that, compared to blueberry juice, consuming 500 ml of cranberry juice once per week increases antioxidant capacity in the body and boosts vitamin C levels by up to 30% (3). This is significant for your well-being and longevity because oxidative cell damage leads to chronic inflammation and signs of premature aging.
Health Benefits of Cranberry
Before you start to buy fresh fruit, blueberries, cranberry sauce, and other nutritional support foods, you should take a look at how cranberry, in particular, supports digestive and urinary health and also provides critical aid throughout your body. Here are 4 note-worthy health benefits of taking cranberry extract.
Treats Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs affect millions of otherwise healthy women and men annually, causing symptoms of urgent urination, burning and pain when urinating, fever, and confusion. Some activities can even increase the risk of UTIs for otherwise healthy women and men, even those following an ultimate hygiene plan. To mitigate this risk of UTIs, many medical professionals turn to cranberries. Most commonly caused by E. coli bacteria, UTIs often recur in sufferers and result in frequent antibiotic prescriptions. Luckily, cranberry extract is a popular natural UTI treatment that banishes bacteria from the urinary tract and supports your immune system. A 2017 study looked at the impact of 120 mg of standardized cranberry extract (containing 36 mg of proanthocyanidins) on young women with a history of recurrent UTIs (4). Promisingly, researchers found that supplementing with cranberry extract for two months resulted in 63% of subjects being symptom-free. It also significantly lowered the incidence of recurring UTIs among participants. Thanks to the lower incidence of UTIs, it makes treatment more manageable and effective.
Promotes Digestive Wellness
If you've ever experienced symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or other digestive concerns, cranberry may very well be able to help with your health care needs. Cranberry’s anti-adhesion properties could support digestive health by preventing pathogenic bacteria like E. coli and ulcer-causing H. pylori from increasing in the digestive system and causing infections (5). In addition, emerging research suggests that cranberries are rich in a prebiotic carbohydrate called xyloglucans that feeds beneficial probiotic bacteria (6). This promotes overall wellness by promoting the growth and proliferation of "healthy" microorganisms in your gut and reducing the growth of pathogenic bacteria (7).
Cranberry extract's sources of vitamin C, polyphenols, and flavonoids help to support a robust immune system. Laboratory studies have found that cranberry extract may even prevent the flu virus from adhering to healthy cells (8). In a 2013 study, the research found a beverage made from powdered cranberries to improve levels of specific infection-fighting immune cells and reduce the severity of colds and flu (9).
One of the most widespread impacts of cranberry extract is its ability to give your heart some much-needed nutrition and support. People value cranberries (often alongside other medications) for their cardioactive health boosts worldwide. Cranberry extract is packed with heart-healthy antioxidants that work to reduce inflammation, cholesterol oxidation, and damage to the cardiovascular system. Several studies have shown this supplement may improve markers of cardiovascular disease, including lowering levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and boosting "healthy" HDL cholesterol levels (10). In a 2015 study, adults consumed cranberry juice rich in polyphenol compounds daily for two months. The results found cranberry juice exhibited cardioprotective effects by improving blood pressure, blood triglyceride levels, blood sugar levels, and markers of inflammation (11).
Make cranberry part of your daily diet.
Okay, you knew it was coming. It's time for a shameless plug. Whether it's cranberry juice or an effective cranberry supplement with antioxidants and nutritious vitamins, we could all use a bit more cranberry in our lives. Instead of drinking large quantities of cranberry juice, do yourself a favor and try a customized vitamin kit that contains all the minerals, supplements, and nutritional support you need for your lifestyle and activity levels. Do you think the benefits of adding cranberry to your daily diet could help? Create a personalized daily vitamin pack that includes cranberry and any other vitamins, minerals, or supplements you think could help. Start by adding cranberry to your kit and look at other VitaRx products to create your personalized regimen.
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