Just 9g cranberry powder a day improves heart health

March 28, 2022
Just 9g cranberry powder a day improves heart health

Men who drank 4.5g (0.16 oz) of freeze-dried cranberry powder twice a day were seen to have increased antioxidant metabolites in the blood critical to cardiovascular disease prevention. When researchers from King’s College London measured a metric known as flow-mediated dilation (FMD), an established biomarker of cardiovascular health, they detected improvements in vascular function in these men almost immediately.

The study indicates that natural compounds in cranberries, known as polyphenols, may improve blood vessel function and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease – the researchers looked into these benefits after consumption of cranberry powder, not juice.

Some 45 healthy men were recruited for a clinical study: half the participants were tasked with drinking a fixed amount of cranberry powder while the other half received a placebo powder. Just 9g (0.3 oz) of the cranberry powder could be considered equivalent to eating 100g (3.5 oz) of fresh cranberries.

The researchers noted improvements in FMD measurements both immediately after the initial consumption of cranberry powder and one month later, as well as a correlation between FMD improvements and increases in polyphenol metabolites in blood and urine samples. The researchers hypothesise the latter change may potentially be a sign of how chronic cranberry consumption alters gut bacteria populations which is known to play a major role in polyphenol metabolism.

“The increases in polyphenols and metabolites in the bloodstream and the related improvements in flow-mediated dilation after cranberry consumption emphasise the important role cranberries may play in cardiovascular disease prevention,” said Dr. Ana Rodriguez-Mateos, Senior Lecturer in Nutrition at the Department of Nutritional Sciences, King’s College London.

“The fact that these improvements in cardiovascular health were seen with an amount of cranberries that can be reasonably consumed daily makes cranberry an important fruit in the prevention of cardiovascular disease for the general public.”

The researchers, however, stress that the findings are not proof of a direct or causal connection between cranberry polyphenols and FMD improvements.

Read: Women reported to have poor heart health before pregnancy

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Category: Features, Wellness and Complementary Therapies

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