What Are the Benefits and Harms of Cranberry Juice?

People call cranberries a superfood for good reason because they have all sorts of health-boosting benefits. They are high in antioxidants. For example, one study found that of the 20 common fruits, cranberries had the highest levels of phenol, a type of antioxidant. You can find more information below.

Are there any benefits of cranberry juice?

The benefits of cranberry juice are many. Unsweetened cranberry juice is a low-calorie detox drink. Polyphenols, vitamins and other active ingredients found in cranberries are also found in its juice.

Scientific studies prove the therapeutic equivalence of cranberry with cranberry juice. Cranberry juice is a rich source of polyphenolic compounds, especially anthocyanins. ( Source )

Drinking two glasses of cranberry juice a day can protect you from cardiovascular diseases. It also keeps diabetes, kidney problems and dental plaque at bay. ( Source )

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This juice can also help protect from fungal, yeast and bacterial pathogens. It can effectively control chronic urinary tract infections and keep your sexual areas healthy. ( Source )

What are the benefits of cranberry juice?

Here are the benefits of cranberry juice ingredient by ingredient:

1- It is good for urinary tract infections

Cranberry contains flavonoids, terpenoids, anthocyanins, catechin and organic acids such as citric, malic, quinic, benzoic and glucuronic acids. Benzoic acid is excreted from your body as hippuric acid. It has been determined that the aforementioned hippuric acid inhibits bacterial growth. It maintains the acidic pH of the urine, making it difficult for bacteria to survive. ( Source )

Several controlled trials were conducted in the study in which women drank cranberry juice for 12 months. Cranberry juice has been reported to reduce the recurrence of urinary tract infections in these women. ( Source )

In another study, 225 children were given cranberry juice and a placebo for 6 months. Children who took cranberry juice needed less time for antibiotic treatment. However, the acidity of cranberry juice makes it less palatable for kids. ( Source )

2- It is good for heart health

The active ingredients of cranberry juice have vaso relaxant properties. In simpler terms, drinking cranberry juice can relax the stiff blood vessels in your body. Thus, it lowers blood pressure or hypertension. This property of cranberry juice has been proven in rat and pig studies. ( Source1 – Source2 )

Related article: All about high blood pressure (hypertension)

A study was conducted on 30 women and 26 men who were given 8oz of cranberry juice. After 8 weeks, volunteers given cranberry juice had lower levels in the blood of 5 of the 22 cardiometabolic risk indicators. (Source)

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This means they have a lower combined risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke.

If you are looking for a heart-friendly meal, you can add a glass of cranberry juice to your daily diet.

3- Improves dental health and hygiene

Cranberry juice creates a protective layer on your teeth. The cranberry juice film makes it harder for cavities-causing bacteria to adhere to the surface of your teeth. ( Source )

Glucan is the building block of plaque. Oral bacteria use glucan to form dental plaque. Ultimately, plaque covers your teeth and triggers decay. However, cranberry juice disrupts this glucan formation. ( Source )

Cranberry juice inhibits these enzymes and prevents bacteria from forming plaque. Also when added to dental products, this juice can prevent additional bacteria from adhering to the surface of your teeth. ( Source )

4- Prevents kidney calcification and infection

Cranberry juice is a traditional remedy that has been used for decades to treat urinary tract infections and kidney ailments. The causative agents of cranberry can inhibit the adhesion of pathogens. ( Source )

A 2003 study on healthy men reported a positive effect of this juice. Drinking about 500ml of cranberry juice per day reduced oxalate excretion in these men. Oxalate ions interact with calcium to form calcium oxalate kidney stones. ( Source )

In this study, it was also found that phosphate ion excretion decreased while citrate increased. Together with oxalate, citrate and phosphate, it controls the calcification of the kidneys. Therefore, drinking this water can prevent chronic kidney disease, kidney calcification, nephritis and other kidney diseases. ( Source )

5- Reduces liver diseases

Recent studies in mice reported that cranberry extract can reduce lipid accumulation in the liver. It has been found to prevent the occurrence of oxidative stress in high-fat-fed mice. ( Source )

A daily dose of cranberry extract can improve blood cholesterol and lipid profile in humans. As a result, subjects fed this extract had higher HDL levels. Expression of anti-inflammatory genes and substances is also increased. ( Source )

Dietary supplementation of cranberry extracts can alleviate liver diseases. These diseases include fatty liver, steatohepatitis, and cirrhosis. Such nutrients ensure that these conditions do not progress to hepatocarcinoma and other cancers. ( Source )

6- It has anti-inflammatory properties

Among the benefits of cranberry juice is that it is good for inflammatory conditions.

Studies have found that low-calorie intake of cranberry juice reduces biological signs of inflammation. Daily consumption of this juice or cocktail lowers the level of C-reactive protein (CRP) in your body. The concentration of CRP in your blood usually increases when there is inflammation. ( Source )

Drinking cranberry juice can therefore reduce the severity of chronic and acute inflammatory diseases. These include atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis , Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease , ulcerative colitis , periodontitis, and diabetes. ( Source )

7- Fights vaginal infections

Women are more prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs) because their urethra is close to the vagina and anus. Escherichia coli causes most UTIs in women. These bacteria can easily pass from the anus to the urethra during urination or sexual intercourse. ( Source )

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Therefore, it is imperative for women to monitor their vaginal health. Dietary changes can naturally increase immunity to several vaginal pathogens, and various forms of cranberry are known to prevent UTIs.

The polyphenols in cranberry, especially the proanthocyanidins, are said to show this property. These proanthocyanidins prevent the aggravation of vaginal infections by reducing the adhesion of E. coli and Candida fungus to uroepithelial and vaginal epithelial cells. ( Source )

8- Reduces the risk and severity of diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes typically have a low fruit and vegetable intake. This is likely due to its negative effect on glycemic control. Low-calorie cranberry juice can be a healthy way to increase fruit intake in such cases. ( Source )

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In a study of 58 men with type 2 diabetes, half were given a glass of cranberry juice a day and the rest a placebo. After 12 weeks, there was a significant decrease in serum glucose in the experimental group. ( Source )

High LDL (bad cholesterol) levels are often seen in people with diabetes. Oxidation of LDL worsens diabetes. Thus, ultimately cranberry juice can reduce the severity of diabetes. This beverage can also reduce the risk of metabolic disorders. ( Source )

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9- Prevents bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract

How do you think urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur? It is an interesting model of bacteria-human cell interaction.

E. coli (bacteria) is the primary cause of most UTIs. Some types of infectious E. coli are covered with tiny hair-like projections known as fimbriae. The fimbria act like hooks and latch onto the cells that line the urinary tract, thereby triggering the infection. ( Source )

The best way to prevent this type of UTI is to disrupt human-bacterial cell attachment, and that’s exactly what cranberry juice does! When exposed to cranberry juice, the fimbriae in E. coli cells curl. Thus, the ability of bacteria to attach to and infect your urinary tract is reduced multiplex. ( Source )

This is why unsweetened cranberry juice is one of the best remedies for urinary tract infections and vaginal infections.

10- It is a great detox drink

Cranberries contain plenty of antioxidants such as phenolic acids and flavonoids. Cranberry juice phenolics are also known to increase antioxidant capacity. Therefore, it can effectively reduce oxidative stress. ( Source )

Cranberry juice is rich in potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamins C, A and K. Therefore, this excellent drink replenishes your body’s electrolytes. ( Source )

Pure cranberry juice is also said to aid weight loss. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to support this fact.

Related article: Things to do to lose weight fast

11- Improves gut health

Cranberry extracts may protect your gut health and digestion. This fruit has strong antimicrobial activity that inhibits pathogenic infections in your gut. ( Source )

Cranberry juice can also inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori, Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli bacteria. ( Source )

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The proanthocyanidins, flavonols, and hydroxycinnamic acids in cranberries can inhibit this type of bacterial adhesion and control inflammation in your gut by causing less biofilm formation. ( Source )

These active ingredients also exert a prebiotic effect on your stomach lumen and increase the growth of the gut microbiota. This is probably why cranberry juice is given when you feel nauseous. It is clear, rich in vitamin C and soothes your stomach. ( Source )

12- May reduce the severity of flu and colds

Cranberry juice inhibits the process of bacterial and human interaction. A 2005 study examined an active ingredient called NDM in this juice. This substance is thought to interfere with the life cycle of the influenza virus. ( Source )

It has been suggested that NDM may inhibit the adhesion and activity of this virus. Laboratory findings suggest that NDM may target some vital proteins of the influenza virus. ( Source )

This juice can also prevent the development of secondary bacterial complications as it increases the proliferation of immune system cells such as NT cells and the like. ( Source )

A glass of cranberry juice is health. It repairs, recharges and rejuvenates your body. Above all, its benefits have been proven experimentally.

Is cranberry juice harmful?

It is generally safe to drink cranberry juice. However, large amounts can cause stomach upset. It can also increase the risk of kidney stones over time. ( Source )

High doses of cranberry or its extracts may also exhibit drug interactions. Blood thinners or anticoagulants are particularly reactive to cranberry juice. Drugs such as warfarin, heparin, aspirin are examples of drugs in this class. ( Source )

Drugs that suppress the immune system, such as tacrolimus, may also interact with cranberry extract. Such situations can occur especially in a person who has had an organ transplant. ( Source )

Such drug interactions can cause blood pressure fluctuations. If left untreated, fruit and herb-drug interactions can be fatal.

What is the recommended dosage of cranberry juice?

There is no set value or range for this.

Ideally, 1-2 glasses of cranberry juice per day is recommended for the prevention of UTI. You can also have about 3-6 glasses a day. But you have to make sure it is pure, unsweetened or less sweet and low in calories.

The safety of cranberry juice for pregnant and breastfeeding women is not yet clear. It is best to consult a gynecologist before you start using it.

Also, if a UTI is diagnosed, a urologist or nephrologist should be consulted. You should clearly explain your eating habits to your doctor. This will help the doctor choose the right supplements and doses for you.

As a result

The benefits of cranberry juice are not limited to the above 12 items. But in summary, cranberry juice is one of the best summer drinks with all the necessary bioactive components. So, now you can taste cranberry cocktails without feeling guilty!

However, you must stick to the set limit. You should review the instructions given by your doctor. You can try eating raw, whole cranberries for more fiber. You can also take jams, powders, capsules, and other cranberry supplements.

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