Cranberries therapeutic efficiency
Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) has been used as both food and medicine for centuries. It is native to North America and was used by Native Americans to treat bladder and kidney diseases. Early settlers from England learned to use the berry both raw and cooked for many conditions, including appetite loss, stomach problems, blood disorders, and scurvy, caused by not getting enough vitamin C.
Cranberry is best known for preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs), commonly caused by bacteria known as Escherichia coli (E. coli). At first, doctors thought cranberry worked by making urine acidic enough to kill the bacteria. Now, studies show that cranberry may prevent bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urinary tract. Good scientific studies support using cranberry, either in capsules or as juice,
Studies has shown that cranberries are rich in antioxidants, which can protect cells from free radicals . Now, new research is being funded by the National Institutes of Health in order to discover cranberries’ effects on yeast infections, heart disease and other conditions, while concurrent studies are analyzing the fruit’s effect on cancer, stroke and infections.
Research has already shown that cranberry juice binds to bacteria, preventing them from sticking to cell walls and causing urinary tract infections, and regular cranberry juice consumption can reduce the risk of stomach cancer and ulcers in some people by killing the H. pylori bacteria. Your teeth can even benefit from cranberries, as Howell has discovered that a compound in the fruit — known as proanthocyanidine — can prevent plaque from forming on teeth. A mouthwash containing proanthocyanidine is being developed to prevent periodontal disease.
Preliminary research has also found that cranberry juice can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and raise levels of HDL (good) cholesterol in the blood.