One handful of sweetened dried cranberries everyday could positively influence the gut microbiome.
Given the emerging knowledge that many biological functions, including immunity and disease-fighting capabilities, depend on a healthy gut microbiome. After just two weeks and with only 10 subjects, the differences were statistically insignificant but according to the researchers, the role of dried cranberries in gut health may be worth further exploration.
"The aim of our prospective study was to determine if just one addition to the diet - a typical serving of sweetened dried cranberries - could alter a myriad of proteins and natural bacteria in the urinary proteome and fecal microbiome," explained lead author, Dr. Jess D. Reed.
The team sought to determine if daily consumption of sweetened dried cranberries changed the urinary proteome and fecal microbiome with a prospective sample of 10 healthy individuals. Baseline urine and fecal samples were collected from the subjects in a fasted state (8-12 hours).
The subjects then consumed one serving (42g) of dried cranberries daily with lunch for two weeks. Urine and fecal samples were collected again the day after two weeks of dried cranberry consumption.
"This trial only scratches the surface of the potential role of cranberries in whole-body health," adds study author, Chris Krueger. "These results give us another reason to delve deeper into the diverse effects cranberry compounds have on the human body."
"We are pleased that scientists are taking a fresh look at cranberries," says Terry Humfeld, executive director of The Cranberry Institute - a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting cranberry research and education. "We are especially encouraged by this study and the potential that dried cranberries could have on gut health."