Tufts University Review Finds Cranberries Support a Healthy Heart

Thursday, January 31, 2008 General News
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LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass., Jan. 31 According to theAmerican Heart Association, cardiovascular disease remains the number onehealth threat affecting men and women in the United States today. Now, arecent review of scientific research suggests cranberries may offer a naturaldefense against the development of this dangerous disease. Researchers feelthat many of these results are due to the fact that cranberries contain agreater concentration of antioxidants than other commonly consumed fruit andthat these nutrients may be working together to offer even greater benefits.

The report conducted at Tufts University, and published in NutritionReviews, found that cranberries offered a range of different benefits thatwork to promote cardiovascular health. These benefits include effects oncholesterol as well as on blood pressure and the development of blood clots,all established risk factors for heart disease.

"Cranberries have long been recognized for their health benefits in theareas of urinary tract, gastrointestinal and oral health," said JeffreyBlumberg, PhD, FACN, CNS. "Now, after years of research in the cardiovasculararea, cranberries also appear to play a role in reducing the risk of heartdisease."

Several of the studies reviewed showed that cranberry juice increasedcirculating levels of the "good" HDL cholesterol. In fact, one such studyrevealed that a daily serving of Light Cranberry Juice Cocktail provided aneffect that was similar to what has been reported for red wine, a beveragethat has been well publicized for having a positive effect on cardiovascularhealth.

In addition to an increase in HDL, another study highlighted in the reviewreported that cranberry lowered the "bad" LDL cholesterol when consumed inincreasing amounts over a period of weeks. Cranberry has also been found toinhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, an effect that has been shown tofurther reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. Experimental evidencealso suggests cranberries may act to reduce the formation of blood clots aswell as blood pressure, actions known to lower the risk of stroke.

Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative owned by more than 650cranberry growers in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington,British Columbia, and other parts of Canada as well as more than 100 Floridagrapefruit growers. Ocean Spray was formed 75 years ago by three cranberrygrowers from Massachusetts and New Jersey. Florida grapefruit growers joinedthe Cooperative in 1976. Ocean Spray is North America's leading producer ofcanned and bottled juices and juice drinks, and has been the best-sellingbrand name in the canned and bottled juice category since 1981. Ocean Sprayposted fiscal 2006 earnings of roughly $1.5 billion.

SOURCE Ocean Spray

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