Cranberry Juice Benefits

Stories about cranberry juice benefits for urinary tract infections have been 'out there' for some time - and have contributed significantly to the demand for cranberry products in the last 20 years.

Cranberry research isn't yet to the point where we can say for sure, but there are some strong indications that cranberry juice may help the following:

Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections

Contrary to popularly held beliefs, cranberry juice benefits do not cure urinary tract infections, but do seem to help prevent them. It appears that the flavanoid proanthocyanidins in cranberries prevent bacteria (inlcuding e.coli) from adhering to the intestinal wall. This makes it much harder for them to multiply effectively to the level where an infection can take place.

A research update in the June 2002 Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the antiadhesion can last for up to 10 hours after drinking 8 ounces of cranberry juice.

If think you might have a urinary tract infection - don't self-treat with cranberry products. Once an infection is established, you should seek the advice of your health care provider.

Prevention of Peptic Ulcer Disease

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the bacteria known to be a major cause of peptic ulcer disease. It is also suspected in the development of gastric cancer. It has also been linked to acid reflux amd gastritis.

Research published in 2002 in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition indicates that cranberry juice appears to prevent the bacteria from attaching itself to the both stomach mucus and the stomach wall itself. This makes it difficult for the bacteria to multiply to the point where infection can set in.

Again, it is critical to understand that this is a prevention effect, and not intended for the treatment of an existing condition.

Prevention of Gum Disease

In 2004 a study was published in the Journal of the American Dental Association that indicates that 4 ounces a day of cranberry juice makes it harder for the bacteria largely responsible for plaque and peridontal disease to stick to your teeth and form colonies. The component responsible appears to be what they called nondialysable material (NDM). This structure is also found in other fruits, but the effects were not the same - reason as yet unknown.

Experiments are being conducted with mouthwashes containing cranberry NDM. So far, results are very encouraging. Peridontal disease is thought to contribute to other inflammatory conditions such as heart disease. So this isn't just good news for your mouth, but for your overall health.

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Cranberry Juice Benefits