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Link F

Cranberries will probably do you good anyway!




As if helping to eliminate atrial fibrillation was not enough potential benefit, it transpires that there may be multiple other reasons to give them a go. It seems that they have more different factors already known to be in their favour than literally any other readily available fruit. (There is a very good, logical reason why this is the case -- discussed in Link G.) One of these factors is old news, but three of them are newly emerging stories.


  • Cranberries have long been known, and proven, to assist with urinary tract infections. This was thought to be related to their acidic effects on metabolism, but is now thought to be a result of their very high proanthocyanidin content. The mechanism which affects the relevant urinary tract bacteria is also suspected to have beneficial effects on Helicobacter pylori infections.


  • In recent years, Resveratrol has received huge attention in relation to possible treatment of numerous diseases, including as a possible explanation for the “French Paradox” (see next item). Research is ongoing. Cranberries are amongst the fruits with the very highest resveratrol concentrations, although this is not well publicised.


  • In the last few years, the argument is gaining currency in several scientific papers that the so-called French Paradox, whereby the people of that country have low rates of heart disease in relation to their high saturated fat intake, is not due to their intake of resveratrol in red wine as had been previously suggested, but to a group of different components in red wine. They are known as oligomeric proanthocyanidins (“OPC’s”) and, unlike resveratrol, their abundance in various grapes and regional wines correlates closely with geographic variations in rates of heart disease within France [1]. Probably the only commercial fruit which compares with or surpasses the high-OPC grape varieties is cranberry, and, furthermore, it contains a wider variety. [2]


  • From 2011 on, research has been published showing that Ursolic acid possesses natural muscle and brown-fat building qualities and obesity-lowering activity [3,4]. It has mainly been publicised as being present in apple skins (a small part of that fruit). But considering the fruit as a whole, levels are much higher in cranberries: apparently the highest for commercially available fruits.


Overall, partly due to suggestions of observable positive effects in numerous diseases, and partly due to the extremely high levels of so many polyphenols, antioxidants and other phytonutrients thought or known to have beneficial health effects, cranberries are under investigation in a dramatic range of areas: digestive tract effects; anti-cancer effects; cardiovascular effects; anti-inflammatory effects; immune effects; antioxidant effects; etc.






[1] Corder, R., Mullen, W., Khan, N. Q., Marks, S. C., Wood, E. G., Carrier, M. J., & Crozier, A. (2006). Oenology: red wine procyanidins and vascular health. Nature, 444(7119), 566-566.


[2] Caton, P. W., Pothecary, M. R., Lees, D. M., Khan, N. Q., Wood, E. G., Shoji, T., ... & Corder, R. (2010). Regulation of Vascular Endothelial Function by Procyanidin-Rich Foods and Beverages†. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 58(7), 4008-4013.


[3] Kunkel, S. D., Suneja, M., Ebert, S. M., Bongers, K. S., Fox, D. K., Malmberg, S. E., ... & Adams, C. M. (2011). mRNA expression signatures of human skeletal muscle atrophy identify a natural compound that increases muscle mass. Cell metabolism, 13(6), 627-638.


[4] Kunkel, S. D., Elmore, C. J., Bongers, K. S., Ebert, S. M., Fox, D. K., Dyle, M. C., ... & Adams, C. M. (2012). Ursolic acid increases skeletal muscle and brown fat and decreases diet-induced obesity, glucose intolerance and fatty liver disease. PloS one, 7(6), e39332.


Paroxysmal lone atrial fibrillation diet F

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