Cranberries For Cancer Cure

Cranberries does not only cure diseases but it can be a cure for cancer as well.

Cranberry Historical Medical Usage
By the beginning of the 18th century, the tart red berries were already being exported to England by the colonists. Cranberries were also used by the Indians decoratively, as a source of red dye, and medicinally, as a poultice for wounds since not only do their astringent tannins contract tissues and help stop bleeding, but we now also know that compounds in cranberries have antibiotic effects. Cranberry fruits and leaves were used for a variety of problems, such as wounds, urinary disorders, diarrhea, diabetes, stomach ailments, and liver problems.

Cranberry Health Benefits

  • The health benefit most often attributed to the cranberry is its role in maintaining urinary tract health.
  • Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins (PACs) and other polyphenols that help to prevent free radical damage.
  • The unusual PACs found in cranberries have an A-type linkage structure that sets them apart from most other vegetable and fruit PACs, and is responsible for their anti-adhesion properties.
  • Several studies show that the total antioxidant capacity of the cranberry consistently ranks higher than most other berries and commonly consumed fruits.
    Cranberry PACs help ward off urinary tract infections by preventing E. coli from adhering to the walls of the bladder and multiplying. Instead, the bacteria get flushed out in the urine and the risk of an infection is reduced.
  • By reducing H. pylori levels in infected subjects, cranberries may help reduce the risk of stomach ulcers. According to the American Cancer Society, H. pylori is also a major risk factor for stomach cancer.
  • Cranberries may have a potential role in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease by delaying and suppressing LDL oxidation in a dose-dependent manner.
    Results from laboratory and animal studies have shown that extracts from cranberries inhibit the growth and proliferation of breast, colon, prostate, lung and esophageal tumor cells.
  • Naturally fat-free and with very little sodium, cranberries easily fit within the Dietary Guidelines.
  • One cup of cranberries has 4 grams of fiber, 65 mg of potassium and 20% of the Daily Value for vitamin C.

Cranberry Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

For the cardiovascular system and for many parts of the digestive tract (including the mouth and gums, stomach, and colon) cranberry has been shown to provide important anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s the phytonutrients in cranberry that are especially effective in lowering our risk of unwanted inflammation, and virtually all of the phytonutrient categories represented in cranberry are now known to play a role. These phytonutrient categories include proanthocyanidins (PACs), anthocyanins (the flavonoid pigments that give cranberries their amazing shades of red), flavonols like quercetin, and phenolic acid (like hydroxycinnamic acids).

In the case of the gums, the anti-inflammatory properties of cranberry can help us lower our risk of periodontal disease. Chronic, excessive levels of inflammation around our gums can damage the tissues that support our teeth. It’s exactly this kind of inflammation that gets triggered by ongoing overproduction of certain cytokines. (Cytokines are messaging molecules, and the pro-inflammatory cytokines tell our cells to mount an inflammatory response. As messages are sent more frequently and more constantly, the inflammatory response becomes greater.) Phytonutrients in cranberry help reduce this inflammatory cascade of events precisely at the cytokine level. Production of pro-inflammatory cytokines like interleukin 6 (IL-6) and RANTES (Regulated on NCCAM is funding studies of cranberry, primarily to better understand its effects on urinary tract infection. The Office of Dietary Supplements and other NIH agencies are also supporting cranberry research; for example, the National Institute on Aging is funding a laboratory study of potential anti-aging effects.

Cranberry Anti-Cancer Benefits

One exciting discovery is that the compounds found in cranberries are capable of both slowing the growth of cancerous cells and even of killing them. This is brilliant news. The discoveries are particularly relevant to cancers of the colon and lung as well as with leukemia. But liver and breast cancer cells were also challenged by these cranberry compounds.

No area of cranberry research has been more intriguing in the past 10 years than research on cranberry and cancer, even though the majority of studies in this area have involved lab studies on human cancer cells or animal experiments. On a virtual year-by-year basis, scientists continue to identify new mechanisms that establish cranberries as anti-cancer agents. These mechanisms are now known to include: blocked expression of MMPs (matrix metalloproteinases); inhibition of ODC (ornithine decarboxylase enzymes); stimulation of QRs (quinone reductase enzymes); inhibition of CYP2C9s (Phase I detoxification enzymes); and triggering of apoptosis (programmed cell death) in tumor cells. It’s important to point out that this amazing list of anti-cancer properties in cranberry is not sufficient to establish cranberry as a food to be used in the treatment of cancer. However, it is a list that appears consistent with other studies of cranberry and cancer showing dietary intake of this food to help prevent cancer occurrence. These cancer-preventive benefits of cranberry are especially likely in the case of breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer.

None of the cancer-related benefits of cranberries should be surprising, since cranberry is loaded with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Chronic excessive oxidative stress (from lack of sufficient antioxidant support) and chronic excessive inflammation (from lack of sufficient anti-inflammatory compounds) are two key risk factors promoting increased likelihood of cancer. With its unique array of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, cranberry seems ideally positioned to help us lower our risk of cancer development.

Researchers at Cornell University tested extracts from cranberries on human breast cancer cells to see what effect they would have on cell proliferation. In small doses over 4 hours, some of the cancer cells began to die. When the dose of cranberry extract was increased for the same number of cancer cells, 25% more of those cells died. The researchers kept increasing the extract dose, and also the time that the cells were marinating in the extract. Larger doses and more time resulted in greater numbers of cancer cells dying at a fairly early stage in the natural life cycle of the cell. Since there are many different types of breast cancer, it’s unclear whether cranberry extracts would affect any case of breast cancer as effectively as these did in the lab studies. But taking advantage of the phenols, flavonoids, and anthocyanins in cranberries isn’t a bad idea.

Cranberry Juice Health Benefits

Prevents and helps in healing urinary tract infection. Cranberry juice is a popular health drink for the prevention and healing of UTI. It cleanses E.Coli bacteria, which is the main cause of urinary tract infections. Cranberry juice is a powerful antioxidant and contains lots of phytochemicals, which fights cancer and other disorders.

Makes the teeth cleaner and stronger. Cranberry juice reduces the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, lessening the chances of developing plaque. Drink the unsweetened variety to make your teeth stronger and your breath fresher.

Helps fight the herpes virus. Laboratory studies have shown that a phytonutrient found in cranberries is effective in fighting the herpes simples virus, which is the cause of genital herpes. The antiviral compound in cranberries inhibits the penetration and attachment of the herpes virus in the system.

Prevents the formation of kidney stones. Cranberries contain quinic acid, which according to experts is beneficial when it comes to preventing the development of kidney stones.

Helps decrease cholesterol levels. Studies showed that the antioxidants found in cranberries can lessen total cholesterol levels in the body, particularly the LDL (low density or bad cholesterol).

Cranberry Dosage

  • Recommended dosage of cranberry juice (not cocktail) as a preventative of urinary tract infections (UTIs), is 12 to 32 fluid ounces (360 to 960 ml).
  • A daily dietary supplement capsule containing 300-400 mg of cranberry extract has been recommended.
  • For a healthy person the recommended daily dose for cranberry juice is 150-300 ml of high-quality juice.
  • Cranberry tincture can be taken three times daily at doses of 4-5 ml.

Cranberry Precaution

Patients with diabetes or glucose intolerance may want to drink sugar-free cranberry juice to avoid a high sugar intake. High doses of cranberry may cause stomach distress and diarrhea, or may increase the risk of kidney stones in people with a history of oxalate stones. Some commercially available products are high in calories. On average, six ounces of cranberry juice contains approximately 100 calories. One study showed the possibility for occurrence of vaginal yeast infections in those women who often consume cranberry juice, although this has not been proven. Use cautiously if taking anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin, medications that affect the liver, or aspirin.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Safety has not been determined in pregnancy and breastfeeding, although cranberry juice is believed to be safe in amounts commonly found in foods. Many tinctures contain high levels of alcohol and should be avoided during pregnancy.

Cranberry Products

Cranberry comes in juice, supplements and capsules. Search cranberry products in Google.

Cranberry Research Links

Because of cranberry’s purported antiadhesive properties, the effect of cranberry on the coaggregation of oral bacteria was tested. A high- molecular-weight nondialysable material was isolated from cranberry juice.

In addition to potentially reducing risk of cancer, cranberries are also being investigated as a way to improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. Researchers at Rutgers University demonstrated in cell culture studies that human ovary cancer cells resistant to platinum chemotherapy drugs became up to six times more sensitized to the drugs after exposure to the cranberry compounds compared to cells that were not exposed to the compounds, which were obtained from juice extracts.

“Unlike most fruit, cranberries contain PACs with A-type linkages between units, a structural feature identified in cranberry PACs with antibacterial adhesion properties and those with LDL-protective properties,” write Neto and colleagues in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

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