Daily cranberry consumption significantly improves cardiovascular function in men

Lena Weib

March 29, 2022

2 min read


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Men who consumed the equivalent of 1 cup of cranberries per day experienced a significant improvement in cardiovascular function after 1 month, according to results of a randomized controlled trial published in Food & Function.

“The increases in polyphenols and metabolites in the bloodstream and the related improvements in flow-mediated dilation after cranberry consumption emphasize the important role cranberries may play in cardiovascular disease prevention,” Ana Rodriguez-Mateos, PhD, RNutr, FRSC, FHEA, a senior lecturer in the department of nutritional sciences at King’s College London, said in a press release from the Cranberry Institute.



Men who consumed cranberries daily improved their cardiovascular function after 1 month. Source: Adobe Stock.

During a double-blind, parallel-group, randomized controlled trial, Rodriguez-Mateos and colleagues investigated the sustained effects of acute and daily consumption of freeze-dried whole cranberries for 1 month in 45 healthy men. Participants were asked to avoid polyphenol-rich foods 48 hours before baseline. In total, 23 participants were randomly assigned to 9 g of cranberry powder solubilized in water, equivalent to 100 g of fresh cranberries, with 525 mg total polyphenols daily. The rest of the participants were randomly assigned to 9 g of a control powder with no polyphenols daily (placebo). The mean age of the men was 25 years and the mean BMI was 23 kg/m².

The researchers compared the vascular effects of cranberry consumption vs. placebo at baseline, after 2 hours on day 1 and after 1 month. They also analyzed participants’ plasma and 24-hour urine samples.

Men who consumed cranberries had a significantly greater increase in flow-mediated dilation after 2 hours and after 1 month compared with those who received the control powder (1.1%; 95% CI, 1.1-1.8), according to the researchers. On day 1, 13 of 56 plasma metabolites and 13 of 74 urinary metabolites significantly increased 2 hours after cranberry consumption. After 1 month, four plasma and 13 urinary metabolites were significantly higher compared with the participants who consumed the control powder.

“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,” Rodriguez-Mateos said.

The results indicate that consuming cranberries can significantly impact vascular health, according to Christian Heiss, MD, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Surrey in the U.K. and an honorary consultant of interventional cardiovascular medicine at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.

“This study further indicates that specific metabolites present in blood after cranberry consumption are related to the beneficial effects,” Heiss said in the release.

References:

Healthy heart benefit from daily cranberry consumption. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/healthy-hearts-benefit-from-daily-cranberry-consumption-301507826.html. Published March 22, 2022. Accessed March 23, 2022.

Heiss C, et al. Food Funct. 2022;doi:10.1039/D2FO00080F.

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