Cranberry Juice Linked to Improvements in Vascular Function
Cranberry juice is best known for its benefits related to urinary tract health. However, more research is emerging that suggests that it may also help with cardiovascular health. Most recently, a study has linked drinking cranberry juice with improved vascular function and blood pressure.
Participants in the study included 10 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 40. They were given two cups per day of water with a range of cranberry juice concentrations starting at 0 and ending at 117%.
The researchers found that all of the concentrations of cranberry juice benefited flow-mediated dilation (FMD), which is a measure of blood vessel functioning. More specifically, they noted FMD magnitudes increasing around 1 to 2.5%, depending on the dose and the time that it was assessed.
The highest decrease in systolic blood pressure was 10 mmHg and was recorded 6 hours after consuming the cranberry juice. The researchers also noted decreases of around 10-15% in Augmentation Index in some of the cranberry juices when compared with baseline. Augmentation Index is regarded as a marker of systemic arterial stiffness.
Researchers from the University Dusseldorf in Germany conducted the study. It was presented at the 2015 Cranberry Health Research Conference the week of October 12, 2015.
Cranberries 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, heart health protection, and help controlling excess inflammation. They also have been linked with lower plaque formation on teeth and improved cholesterol levels.