Abstract: In recent years, obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes are becoming epidemic both in developed and developing countries. Recent experimental and clinical studies have raised interest in the potential health benefits of cranberry consumption in obesity and metabolic syndrome, which appear to be associated with the phytochemical composition of this fruit. Interestingly, cranberry administration has been reported to ameliorate dyslipidemia, hyperglycaemia and oxidative stress in individuals with the metabolic syndrome. This review focuses on the recent findings regarding beneficial effects of cranberry on obesity and metabolic syndrome, and discusses its potential mechanisms of action. The results of studies presented in this review have demonstrated that cranberry ameliorates insulin resistance and plasma lipid profile, decreases diet-induced weight gain and visceral obesity, and diminishes blood markers of oxidative stress. Thus, cranberry could be an effective and safe component of functional foods addressed for individuals with metabolic complications.
Abstract: Dried fruits, which serve as important healthful snacks worldwide, provide a concentrated form of fresh fruits. They are nutritionally equivalent to fresh fruits in smaller serving sizes, ranging from 30 to 43 g depending on the fruit, in current dietary recommendation in different countries. Daily consumption of dried fruits is recommended in order to gain full benefit of essential nutrients, health-promoting phytochemicals, and antioxidants that they contain, together with their desirable taste and aroma. Recently, much interest in the health benefits of dried fruits has led to many in vitro and in vivo (animal and human intervention) studies as well as the identification and quantification of various groups of phytochemicals. This review discusses phytochemical compositions, antioxidant efficacies, and potential health benefits of eight traditional dried fruits such as apples, apricots, dates, figs, peaches, pears, prunes, and raisins, together with dried cranberries. Novel product formulations and future perspectives of dried fruits are also discussed. Research findings from the existing literature published within the last 10 years have been compiled and summarised.
Recent advances in cranberry research have expanded the evidence for the role of this Vaccinium berry fruit in modulating gut microbiota function and cardiometabolic risk factors. The A-type structure of cranberry proanthocyanidins seems to be responsible for much of this fruitís efficacy as a natural antimicrobial. Cranberry proanthocyanidins interfere with colonization of the gut by extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli in vitro and attenuate gut barrier dysfunction caused by dietary insults in vivo. Furthermore, new studies indicate synergy between these proanthocyanidins, other cranberry components such as isoprenoids and xyloglucans, and gut microbiota. Together, cranberry constituents and their bioactive catabolites have been found to contribute to mechanisms affecting bacterial adhesion, coaggregation, and biofilm formation that may underlie potential clinical benefits on gastrointestinal and urinary tract infections, as well as on systemic anti-inflammatory actions mediated via the gut microbiome. A limited but growing body of evidence from randomized clinical trials reveals favorable effects of cranberry consumption on measures of cardiometabolic health, including serum lipid profiles, blood pressure, endothelial function, glucoregulation, and a variety of biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress. These results warrant further research, particularly studies dedicated to the elucidation of dose-response relations, pharmacokinetic/metabolomics profiles, and relevant biomarkers of action with the use of fully characterized cranberry products. Freeze-dried whole cranberry powder and a matched placebo were recently made available to investigators to facilitate such work, including interlaboratory comparability.
Link to full text article: http://advances.nutrition.org/content/7/4/759S.full
Abstract: Berries, especially members of several families, such as Rosaceae (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry), and Ericaceae (blueberry, cranberry), belong to the best dietary sources of bioactive compounds (BAC). They have delicious taste and flavor, have economic importance, and because of the antioxidant properties of BAC, they are of great interest also for nutritionists and food technologists due to the opportunity to use BAC as functional foods ingredients. The bioactive compounds in berries contain mainly phenolic compounds (phenolic acids, flavonoids, such as anthocyanins and flavonols, and tannins) and ascorbic acid. These compounds, either individually or combined, are responsible for various health benefits of berries, such as prevention of inflammation disorders, cardiovascular diseases, or protective effects to lower the risk of various cancers. In this review bioactive compounds of commonly consumed berries are described, as well as the factors influencing their antioxidant capacity and their health benefits.
Abstract: In the past decade, cranberry extracts have been attracting ever-growing attention by dental researchers. The potential benefits of cranberry components in reducing oral diseases, including dental caries and periodontitis, are discussed in this review. A non-dialysable cranberry fraction enriched in high molecular weight polyphenols has very promising properties with respect to cariogenic and periodontopathogenic bacteria, as well as to the host inflammatory response and enzymes that degrade the extracellular matrix. Cranberry components are potential anti-caries agents since they inhibit acid production, attachment, and biofilm formation by Streptococcus mutans. Glucan-binding proteins, extracellular enzymes, carbohydrate production, and bacterial hydrophobicity, are all affected by cranberry components. Regarding periodontal diseases, the same cranberry fraction inhibits host inflammatory responses, production, and activity of enzymes that cause the destruction of the extracellular matrix, biofilm formation, and adherence of Porphyromonas gingivalis, and proteolytic activities and coaggregation of periodontopathogens. The above-listed effects suggest that cranberry components, especially those with high molecular weight, could serve as bioactive molecules for the prevention and/or treatment of oral diseases.
Abstract: Summary of the in vitro data support a beneficial effect of cranberry or its proanthocyanin constituents by blocking adhesion to and biofilm formation on target tissues of pathogens. In vivo data partially support these beneficial effects. Consumption of various cranberry products benefited young and elderly females in preventing urinary tract infections, and in conjunction with antibiotic treatment in eradicating Helicobacter pylori infections in women. Mouthwash supplemented with an isolated cranberry derivative reduced significantly the caryogenic mutans streptococci. None of the mice infected intranasal with lethal dose of influenza virus and treated with cranberry fraction died after two weeks. Further studies should focus on the active cranberry component as supplement for food and other products especially where whole juice or powder cannot be used.