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Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)
Cranberry is a member of the same family as Bilberry. It is from North America and grows on moist land. The ripe fruit is used for medicinal purposes.
Cranberry juice has been used in food preparations for flavouring or colouring, but is also thought to possess a number of therapeutic properties as an extract.
The active principles in the herb are a number of flavonoids that have been investigated for their nutritional benefits and antibacterial activity. Studies have shown that the particular flavonoids produced by the cranberry have a strong antibacterial effect.
Cranberries contain many bio-active components including the Antioxidants known as proanthocyanidins/anthocyanidins, as well as beneficial organic
The fruit contains the active principle of the herb and the suggested intake of the herb extract is 200mg providing 60mg of organic acids, one to two times daily.
Urinary tract Infections (UTIs):
These infections are caused by the introduction of bacteria into the urinary tract. Once inside, they thrive in the warm, moist environment. Ultimately, they begin to affect urine production and the function of the bladder, resulting in significant Pain.
Cranberry has been shown to reduce bacteria levels in the urinary bladders of older women significantly better than placebo, which may help to prevent future infections.
Reducing LDL levels:
Cranberry should not be used as a substitute for antibiotics during an acute urinary tract infection, but is ideal to use once a course of antibiotics is completed, to avoid reoccurrence of an infection.
Inhibitory effects of cranberry polyphenols on formation of Streptococcus mutans
Cranberry fruit is a rich source of polyphenols, and has shown biological activities against Streptococcus mutans. In this study researchers examined the influence of extracts of flavonols (FLAV), and proanthocyanidins (PAC) from cranberry on virulence factors involved in Streptococcus mutans biofilm development. PAC and FLAV, alone or in combination, inhibited the surface-adsorbed glucosyltransferases and F-ATPases activities, and the acid production by S. mutans cells. Furthermore, biofilm development and acidogenicity were significantly affected by topical applications of PAC and FLAV. The flavonols are comprised of mostly quercetin glycosides, and the PAC are largely A-type oligomers of epicatechin. The data shows that proanthocyanidins and flavonols are the active constituents of cranberry against S. mutans.