You may have heard that cholesterol really isn’t the bad guy when it comes to heart health. The real problem is hardened or damaged arteries. So keeping your arteries flexible is far more important than keeping your cholesterol levels low. Fortunately, a common treatment for urinary tract infections also keeps your arteries soft and flexible. And it can even help clear arteries of debris that can cause blockages.
Researchers have known for some time that cranberries and cranberry juice can clear your urinary tract of infection. Now two new studies suggest that the same mechanism this powerful fruit uses to clean out your urinary tract will also clear out your arteries and make them flexible.
In the first study, researchers gave 15 participants 480 milliliters of cranberry juice. The researchers measured their brachial artery flow-mediated dilation before drinking the juice and again four hours after drinking it. They found a significant improvement in the blood flow after drinking the juice.
The second study was a placebo-controlled, cross-over study. In this study, the researchers followed 44 patients who had coronary artery disease. They also drank the cranberry juice. This time, however, the researchers did not observe the same changes seen in the first study. They did see a reduction in carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity. This is a measure of arterial stiffness.
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The fact that the second study showed a reduction in arterial stiffness is big news. It means cranberries can help heart-disease patients and possibly prevent heart attacks.
I also think cranberry juice works in other ways to protect your heart. Remember, cranberry juice can prevent and even stop urinary tract infections. We know that infections are one major cause of heart attacks. So it’s quite possible the cranberries can prevent heart attacks by clearing your arteries of a life-threatening infection.
Both of these studies used a beverage that had twice the amount of cranberry juice you will find in any store-bought products. The beverage also had higher levels of anthocyanins, the beneficial nutrients in cranberry juice. This is unfortunate, as you’ll have a hard time finding juice with these concentrations. But this is easy to overcome. All you have to use is a cranberry powder that’s concentrated, like that found in Advanced Greens Formula. This powerful greens formula has 150 mg of dried cranberry fruit. And it also has organic blueberries, which also contain high levels of anthocyanins.
So instead of taking statins to lower your cholesterol levels, drink a glass or two of cranberry juice every morning. And take a product that helps the overall health and flexibility of your arteries. Your heart will love you for it.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
Dohadwala MM et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2011; doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.004242://www.emaxhealth.com/1275/cranberry-juice-good-your-heart.