Cranberry juice benefits your health due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. This natural remedy may protect against gastritis and peptic ulcers by preventing the adhesion of Helicobacter pylori to the stomach wall. H. pylori is a major contributor to these digestive disorders.
Cranberry juice may have beneficial effects for those with gastritis and peptic ulcers. This antioxidant-rich beverage prevents the bacterium H. pylori from sticking to the stomach lining and multiplying.
Causes of Gastritis and Ulcers
Both gastritis and peptic ulcers may be caused by H. pylori, a bacterium that infects the stomach. Gastritis due to infection with H. pylori is chronic and may increase your risk of developing stomach cancer, states the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. This form of the disease is also the most common.
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Other types of gastritis are caused by certain medications, irritating substances, illegal drugs or alcohol. Autoimmune gastritis, which affects up to 8 percent of the population, is an immune-mediated disorder, according to a January 2017 study featured in the journal Medicine.
Generally, gastritis causes inflammation of the stomach lining. Its symptoms may include abdominal pain and discomfort, poor appetite, nausea, vomiting and heaviness in the stomach after eating. In some cases, this digestive disorder may lead to ulcers and cause shortness of breath, blood in the stool, tiredness and other more severe symptoms.
Read more: 7 Weird Side Effects of an Unhealthy Gut
Infection with H. pylori is also a primary risk factor for peptic ulcers, including gastric and duodenal ulcers. These disorders are characterized by open sores on the stomach lining and the upper portion of the small intestine, explains the Mayo Clinic. Sufferers may experience bloating, heaviness in the stomach, burning abdominal pain, heartburn, nausea, changes in appetite and more.
According to a May/June research paper in Missouri Medicine, H. pylori colonizes the gastric mucosa and triggers an inflammatory reaction. This microorganism is usually eradicated with antibiotics, but it may not respond to treatment. In fact, more than half of all people worldwide are infected with H. pylori, states the Mayo Clinic. Some have no symptoms at all, while others may develop gastritis, ulcers or even stomach cancer.
Cranberry Juice for H. Pylori
Current evidence indicates an association between cranberry juice, gastritis and H. pylori. This natural remedy could make it harder for H. pylori to adhere to the stomach lining, reports Winchester Hospital. But that's not all.
Cranberry juice may also exhibit a cytotoxic effect against this bacterium and stop it from spreading, reports a May 2016 review in the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics (WJGPT).
Vitamin C, one of the most abundant nutrients in cranberries, possesses bacteriostatic properties, meaning that it may inhibit bacteria growth and reproduction without necessarily killing them. As the researchers note, this natural remedy may come in handy in areas with poor health care systems.
Several studies cited by Winchester Hospital indicate that cranberry juice is more effective at eradicating H. pylori compared to a placebo or no treatment. This healthful beverage prevents bacteria from sticking to the stomach lining, making it easier to flush it out. However, there is little evidence to support these findings, so more research is needed.
How Effective Is It?
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), cranberry fruits have long been used as a natural remedy for stomach and liver disorders, urinary tract infections (UTIs) and diabetes. Unfortunately, little is known about the link between cranberry juice and gastritis and other conditions. Some studies suggest that it may protect against UTIs, but the research is mixed.
The NCCIH states that cranberry juice is generally safe when consumed in moderation. Large doses may promote kidney stone formation and cause indigestion, so make sure you don't go overboard. Consult your doctor before using this remedy, as it may interact with warfarin.
Cranberry juice benefits are largely due to its high content of vitamin C and anthocyanins, a class of antioxidants, states the WJGPT review. However, this beverage alone may not cure gastritis or peptic ulcers. As discussed earlier, it may reduce bacteria and keep them from spreading, but it doesn't kill them. Your doctor is the only one who can recommend the appropriate treatment.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Definition and Facts for Gastritis and Gastropathy"
- Medicine: "Upper Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Autoimmune Gastritis"
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Symptoms and Causes of Gastritis and Gastropathy"
- Mayo Clinic: "Peptic Ulcer"
- Missouri Medicine: "Peptic Ulcer Disease and Helicobacter Pylori Infection"
- Mayo Clinic: "Helicobacter Pylori (H. Pylori) Infection"
- Winchester Hospital: "Natural and Alternative Treatment Study Report: Cranberry, Helicobacter, and Ulcers"
- World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics: "Non-Pharmacological Treatment of Helicobacter Pylori"
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Health: "Cranberry"