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From the Fall 2013 issue of Cranberry Health News.

Meet the Polyphenols Researcher: Dr. Helmut Sies, Research Professor at Heinrich-Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany

Meet Dr. Helmut Sies, Research Professor at Heinrich-Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany

Helmut Sies, M.D., Ph.D., is one of the world’s foremost authorities on bioactive compounds and oxidative stress, oxidants and antioxidants. He has published more than 600 original research papers and book chapters about nutrition, antioxidants and human health. Dr. Sies serves as member of the Cranberry Marketing Committee’s Scientific Advisory Board and provides guidance on current cranberry health research, as well as future directions for scientific investigations. 

According to Dr. Sies, the polyphenols in cranberry are unique in their chemical linkage to form the characteristic longer chains. This sets them apart from other polyphenol-rich food sources including colorful fruits and vegetables; herbs; cocoa and tea. Dr. Sies affirms that the urinary tract health benefits of cranberry are clinically relevant.  Cranberry constituents may provide long-term benefits in the oral cavity and the gastrointestinal tract.

Dr. Sies Recommendations for Future Research

Due to the growing research in the area of polyphenols for cardiovascular health benefits, Dr. Sies contends that the cardiovascular benefits of cranberry should be a continued area of focus. However, in order to better compare research results from around the world and advance the study of cranberries and health, Dr. Sies suggests that the industry work together to create a standardized “cranberry research product” that contains the same nutrient and bioactive profile.

Helmut Sies, M.D., Ph.D., studied Medicine at the Universities of Tubingen, Paris and Munich.  He served as Professor and Chairman at the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I at Heinrich-Heine-University Dusseldorf, Germany, where he now is a Research Professor. In May 2013, Dr. Sies was awarded the Linus Pauling Institute Prize for Health Research, and most recently the Outstanding Flavonoid Research Award at the International Conference on Polyphenols and Health, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Dr. Sies lives in Germany.  He enjoys dried cranberries in trail mixes for mountain hikes and when his wife puts them on top of salads.