The prostate is a gland that starts causing problems as a man gets older, especially after the age of 50. Inflammation of the prostate and prostate cancer are two of the most common diseases affecting the prostate, according to National Institute of Health. If you suffer from a prostate condition and are considering using cranberry juices, talk to your doctor first.
Prostatitis, which is inflammation of the prostate gland, is usually caused by a bacterial infection, according to James Balch, MD and co-author or “Prescription for Nutritional Healing.” Balch recommends daily consumption of cranberry juice for men diagnosed with prostatitis because cranberry juice protects against urinary tract infections, which are correlated with certain forms of prostatitis.
Some berry juices, including cranberry juice, have potential to prevent prostate, stomach, intestine and breast cancer and thus should be included in the diet, suggest D. Boivin and associates, based on a study published in the March 2007 issue of “Anticancer Research.” A healthy diet, rich in vegetables and fruits is associated with better outcomes in cancer sufferers. Rather then using cranberry juice, the researchers evaluated the efficacy of whole cranberries extracts in killing prostate cancer cells. This study was published in the December 2010 issue of “Nutrition and Cancer.” The study's author concluded that plant chemicals from cranberry have the potential to kill prostate cancer cells in vitro and further studies are warranted to evaluate the cranberry as a possible agent to treat prostate cancer. Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center indicates that polyphenols from cranberry are the most active substances against prostate cells but their specific mechanism is unknown.
The majority of cranberry juice products available in stores are loaded with sugar and contain only up to ten percent cranberry juice, says Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., author of “The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What Treatments Work and Why.” He recommends diluted concentrated cranberry sweetened with natural stevia.
The Bottom Line
Cranberry juice helps keep the prostate healthy, however; you have to choose a low sugar, additive-free cranberry juice brand for optimal benefits. Up to two glasses of cranberry juice daily is considered safe and well tolerated. Consult a health care provider if you wish to increase your daily intake of this juice or want to take cranberry pills as they may interfere with certain drugs such as warfarin.
- National Institute of Health: Prostate Diseases
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; James Balch, MD and Phyllis Balch, CNC; 2000
- Anticancer Research: Inhibition of cancer cell proliferation and suppression of TNF-induced activation of NFkappaB by edible berry juice
- Nutrition and Cancer: North American Cranberry (Vaccinium Macrocarpon) Stimulates Apoptotic Pathways in DU145 Human Prostate Cancer Cells In Vitro.
- Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: Cranberry
- “The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What Treatments Work and Why”; Jonny Bowden, Ph.D.; 2008