Cranberry juice protects against heart disease
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin - Madison School of Veterinary Medicine studying the effects of cranberry juice powder found that regular consumption of cranberry juice over a six month period produced a significant improvement in vascular function in subjects who had high cholesterol levels and artherosclerosis.
Cranberries contain natural antioxidants, flavonoids, and polyphenols that protect against heart disease. The research team says that their goal now is to find which components of cranberries are most important to the improvements in heart health, the mechanism that causes relaxation of the blood vessels, and how diets can be modified to most easily take advantage of the disease-fighting properties. If you enjoy this article, you may also be interested in an article entitled 'Milk and dairy products cause heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis -- interview with Robert Cohen.'
Cranberries over the years have been identified with preventing or ameliorating urinary tract infections and playing a positive role gum disease, ulcers and even cancer.
Recent work shows that cranberries contain naturally derived compounds (antioxidants, flavonoids, and polyphenols) that may help protect against heart disease.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine studied the effects of taking cranberry juice powder regularly over six months and found a pronounced improvement in the vascular function -- the ability of blood vessels to relax - in subjects with high blood cholesterol and atherosclerosis.
"Since the abnormal functioning of blood vessels is an important component of heart disease, finding ways to improve vascular function in patients with high cholesterol and atherosclerosis is critical to helping protect these patients from consequences such as heart attack or stroke," according to lead researcher Kris Kruse-Elliott.
"The value of fruits and vegetables in our diet has recently been an area of intense research and studies like this help us to understand the specific mechanisms by which the nutrients we consume can protect against heart disease," Kruse-Elliott said.
According to Reed, "the equivalent consumption of dried cranberries would be 4-8 servings, or 10-20 servings of cranberry juice, in order to achieve the levels in the current study.
She noted that the FH pigs' blood vessels don't function normally, such as not relaxing well, compared with normal pigs.
The Congress (iups2005.org) is organized by the six member societies of the U.S. National Committee of the IUPS, the American Physiological Society, the Society for Neuroscience, the Microcirculatory Society, the Society of General Physiologists, the Biomedical Engineering Society, and the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, under the auspices of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
The IUPS conference, held every four years, runs concurrently this year with Experimental Biology 2005 at the San Diego Convention Center.