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Cranberry Juice May Help Lower Cardiometabolic Risk

Cardiometabolic risk is the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes or stroke. A recent study suggests that drinking low-calorie cranberry juice may improve several cardiometabolic risk factors, including blood pressure and triglycerides.

Participants in the study included 56 men and women with a mean age of 50, a mean weight of 175 lbs., and a mean BMI of 28 kg/m2. Over the course of eight weeks they consumed one cup of cranberry juice containing 173 mg of phenolic compounds or a placebo twice daily.

At the conclusion of the study, participants who drank the cranberry juice had lower fasting serum triglyceride levels, 44% lower CRP levels, an average 2.4-mmHg lower diastolic blood pressure, and lower fasting plasma glucose. Improvements in insulin resistance were also noted.

The researchers were particularly impressed with the blood pressure improvements, which they note were on par with recommended dietary patterns to reduce blood pressure. They said this level of reduction has been associated with a 15% lower risk of stroke and a 10% lower risk of coronary heart disease.

Researchers from the Agricultural Research Service at the USDA and Ocean Spray Cranberries conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on April 22, 2015, in The Journal of Nutrition.

Cranberries have anti-microbial and anti-carcinogenic properties, and are packed with beneficial vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and antioxidants. They have been shown to provide a lengthy list of health benefits including improved urological health, protection against heart disease, and inflammatory diseases. They also have been linked with lower plaque formation on teeth and improved cholesterol levels.
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