The cranberry plant is indigenous to North America and grows from Alaska to Tennessee as small, evergreen shrubs, Drugs.com explains. Cranberry juice contains nutrients and substances such as phytochemicals, vitamin C, potassium and fiber that are beneficial to your overall health. These nutrients and substances also make cranberry juice beneficial to your gallbladder. Although consuming large amounts of cranberry juice on a daily basis does result in adverse reactions such as gastrointestinal problems, cranberry juice is considered generally safe.
Lowers Risk of Gallstone Formation
Cranberry juice contains dietary fiber. Fiber is essentially carbohydrates that your body cannot digest, KidsHealth.org explains. Drinking cranberry juice helps to lower cholesterol. Lower cholesterol helps lower your risk of developing gallstones. This is because cholesterol is one of the main components of gallstones, the National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse says. Cholesterol stones are essentially composed of hardened cholesterol. So, lower cholesterol levels helps to prevent gallstones from developing in your gallbladder.
Protection Against Cancer
The antioxidants contained in cranberry juice such as vitamin C, selenium and phytochemicals help to protect your gallbladder from cancer, Drugs.com notes. Cranberry juice has proanthocyanidins, quercetin and ursolic acid, which are purported to help lower your risk of developing cancer. However, this has yet to be proven conclusively. Regardless of its efficacy, cranberry juice is not a suitable method of treating cancer.
Maintain Proper Function
The potassium in cranberry juice is crucial to maintaining the proper function of your gallbladder. Potassium is a mineral vital to maintaining the proper function of every cell, tissue and organ in your body, the University of Maryland Medical Center notes. Potassium is an electrolyte, just like sodium, chloride and magnesium, so it helps to conduct electric impulses in your body. This means that potassium plays an important role in helping your gallbladder function properly. Potassium ensures that your gallbladder is able to release bile and facilitate your overall digestion process.
Dose and Side Effects
There is no recommended daily allowance or dose for cranberry juice. However, taking between 3 L to 4 L of cranberry juice daily potentially causes adverse reactions such as diarrhea, Drugs.com says. Cranberry juice also contains oxalate. Oxalate combines with calcium to form kidney stones, MedlinePlus, a service of the National Institutes of Health, explains. So, the oxalate in cranberry juice is believed to elevate your risk of developing kidney stones. Cranberry juice is also purported to potentiate the effects of blood thinning medications such as warfarin. Consult your doctor before taking cranberry juice to ensure you lower your risk of developing adverse reactions.