Cranberry Extract Shows Promise in Promoting Gut Health, Study Finds

Researchers found that cranberry extracts can positively influence gut microbiota composition, increasing beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacterium and Akkermansia muciniphila. The study involved 40 participants consuming a cranberry extract supplement for four days, with blood, urine, and stool samples collected before and after.

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Trim Correspondents
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Cranberry Extract Shows Promise in Promoting Gut Health, Study Finds

Cranberry Extract Shows Promise in Promoting Gut Health, Study Finds

A recent study led by researchers at Université Laval and the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods (INAF) has revealed that cranberry extracts can positively influence the composition of gut microbiota, potentially aiding in the help, prevent, study of chronic diseases. The findings, published in the journal Nutrients, shed light on the prebiotic potential of cranberry polyphenols and oligosaccharides.

Why this matters: The discovery of cranberry extracts' potential to promote gut health could have significant implications for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, which are a major burden on healthcare systems worldwide. The discovery of cranberry extracts' potential to promote gut health could have significant implications for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, which are a major burden on healthcare systems worldwide. In addition, the development of functional foods and supplements incorporating bioactive compounds like cranberry extracts could provide a cost-effective and sustainable approach to improving public health.

The study, conducted by Professor Yves Desjardins and his team, involved approximately 40 participants who consumed a cranberry extract supplement in capsule form for four days, mimicking the amount of bioactive compounds found in 60 grams of fresh cranberries. Blood, urine, and stool samples were collected from participants before and after the intervention period to assess the impact on gut microbiota.

The research team observed a significant increase in the abundance of Bifidobacterium, a genus of bacteria associated with a reduced risk of developing diabetes and other cardiometabolic diseases. Jacob Lessard Lord, a postdoctoral fellow at INAF, noted, "Remarkably, we observed the same effect with a much lower dose of cranberry extract, nearly 20 times less."

In addition to the positive impact on Bifidobacterium, the study also revealed an increase in Akkermansia muciniphila, another key gut bacterium that plays a vital role in maintaining intestinal health. Professor Desjardins emphasized the potential implications of these findings, stating,"By promoting the growth of Bifidobacterium and Akkermansia muciniphila, cranberry extracts may offer a novel strategy for preventing chronic diseases."

The study was conducted as part of the NSERC Symrise Industrial Research Chair on the prebiotic effect of fruit and vegetable polyphenols (PhenoBio). Symrise, a leading flavor and fragrance company, has already launched a product called Prebiocran based on the team's findings, which is approved for use in Europe.

Cranberries have long been recognized for their numerous health benefits, particularly on account of their high antioxidant content and unique phytochemicals. Research has shown that consuming cranberries may support urinary tract health, heart health, and cancer prevention. The current study adds to the growing body of evidence on the potential of dietary interventions, particularly those rich in bioactive compounds like cranberry extracts, to modulate gut microbiota and promote overall health.

The scientific community's ongoing exploration of incorporating bioactive compounds from natural sources into food products yields valuable findings, with this study providing valuable insights into the prebiotic potential of cranberry extracts. Further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these effects and to determine the optimal dosage and duration of supplementation for achieving specific health outcomes.

Key Takeaways

  • Cranberry extracts promote gut health by increasing beneficial bacteria.
  • Consuming cranberry extracts may help prevent chronic diseases like diabetes.
  • A low dose of cranberry extract can have a significant impact on gut microbiota.
  • Cranberry extracts increase Bifidobacterium and Akkermansia muciniphila, key gut bacteria.
  • A product based on the study's findings, Prebiocran, is already available in Europe.