Cranberries, often thought of only around Thanksgiving and Christmas, offer more than just a light, flavorful holiday dish. They also offer many health benefits if implemented as an everyday supplemental regimen. Cranberry can be found in the form of the fruit, juice, extract, pill and capsule. Cranberry pills are easily accessible and are found in most health food stores and online.
Promote General Health and Wellness
Because cranberries contain an abundance of natural antioxidant compounds such as polyphenols (phenols and flavonoids), they are beneficial in reducing the risks for many diseases and cancers, thereby promoting overall good health. The use of cranberry pills reduces low density lipoprotein oxidation which lowers the risk for heart disease. Cranberry pills are beneficial for flushing out the kidneys, reducing the risk for kidney stones. In addition, cranberry pills contain properties that inhibit bacteria from adhering to the teeth and gums, reducing the risk for plaque build-up and periodontal disease, according to the Nutritional Supplement Educational Centre.
Prevent Urinary Tract Infection
One of the main benefits of cranberry pills is the prevention of the urinary tract infection (UTI), which is a common chronic health problem among women. Cranberry pills contain anti-adhesion properties within the antioxidants that prevent the bacteria (primarily E coli) from adhering to the bladder. A 2006 pilot study looked at twelve women between the ages of 25 and 70 with a history of UTIs to determine if a concentrated cranberry extract could prevent recurrent UTIs. During the study of administering the cranberry extract, none of the twelve subjects had a UTI. After a two-year follow-up, eight of the twelve women who continued to take the cranberry extract reported no UTI and no adverse effects. It was concluded that a cranberry preparation with a high phenolic content may completely prevent UTIs in women who are subject to recurrent infections.
Jock Itch Relief
Jock itch, a rash of the groin that results from a superficial fungal infection of the skin, is a common uncomfortable problem caused by heat, humidity, damp folds of the skin, or tight clothing. Cranberry pills might help to alleviate jock itch discreetly. Cranberry pills contain vitamins and nutrients -- for example, vitamin E, an anti-inflammatory agent -- that can help to restore the pH balance and reduce the inflammation that causes jock itch.
Detox the Body
Cranberry pills may be beneficial for detoxing the body of harmful organisms that overload the body and stop the body’s natural cleansing system from working efficiently. Cranberries contain bacterial anti-adhesion properties that keep the body clean from toxins. Cranberries are a good source of vitamin C, antioxidants, vitamin K, dietary fiber, manganese, potassium, vitamin A, and proanthocyanidin that assist in cleansing and flushing out the kidneys. In addition, cranberry pills may be beneficial in cleansing the lymphatic system, assisting in the elimination of fat and neutralizing the body’s waste products as the toxins are carried away from the body’s cells and tissues, according to the website Detox for Life. However, cranberry pills' ability to detox your body requires further investigation from unbiased sources to demonstrate how well it works.
Cranberry Pills vs. Cranberry Juice
Taking cranberry pills as opposed to drinking cranberry juice provides an alternative for those who do not like the taste of cranberries. Cranberry pills are more potent than cranberry juice. Cranberry pills generally come from 100 percent cranberries, while cranberry juice is more diluted and less effective. If you are watching your caloric intake, taking cranberry pills will prevent you from drinking too many calories. Read the label to confirm that the cranberry pills are from 100 percent cranberries to receive the most benefits.
- Nutritional-Supplement-Educational Centre
- Bailey, D.T., et al., Can a concentrated cranberry extract prevent recurrent urinary tract infections in women? A pilot study. Phytomedicine (2007), doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2007.01.004
- Detox For Life
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Cranberry
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin E