Cranberry – Cranberry: name, benefits, contraindications

The cranberry, or cranberry, is a fruit widely used in herbal medicine. What are its health benefits? for the prostate? Cystitis? What is its glycemic index? Does it contain vitamins? Juice, capsule, dried… In what form should it be consumed? The point with Anne Caravel, a physiotherapist, pharmacist, and micronutritionist, is that she is a nutritionist.

It’s what?

The cranberry is a fruit of the same family as the blueberry which comes from a small shrub of about 80 cm, which is found a lot in the United States and Canada. “It is a daily health fruit with numerous benefits” immediately informs Anne Caravel, pharmacist, micronutrition-ist, and psychotherapist.

What are the differences between cranberry and cranberry?

“The cranberry and the cranberry refer to the same thing and designate the same fruit” indicates Anne Caravel. The difference? Cranberry is the word used by the Anglo-Saxons to designate what the French call Cranberry.

In what form to consume them?

“Liquid, pills, and dry… Cranberries may be eaten in a variety of ways. Which one should I pick?” “It all depends on what we anticipate as a therapeutic impact,” the psychotherapist says.
→ In the form of juice if you are looking for a vitamin intake: “The fruit is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. However, to benefit from these benefits, be sure to choose it pure, because, in the trade, it often contains sugar and other flavors to counterbalance the natural acidity of the cranberry.”
→ In the form of a capsule: “The capsule is effective in the prevention or in addition to a treatment for a urinary tract infection, or to prevent the onset of cavities.” Indeed, in the capsules, there is a “reworked extract of the fruit which allows having” the right dose to prevent urinary tract infections, that is to say, 36mg of Phyto Anthocyanin C (PAC). is also useful against cavities because the cranberry acts as an anti-adhesive: thus, “bacteria from dental plaque do not stick to the teeth and cavities do not develop.”
→ In the form of dried fruit: “The cranberry in the form of dried fruit is especially good for the antioxidant side: it helps to fight against free radicals, responsible for cell aging and to prevent any cardiovascular problem” indicates the herbalist. “Dried cranberries also include vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and potassium.”
→ In the form of a photo standard: “It is an extract as if we were consuming the fresh berry.” It is the most active form. It is very little consumed fresh because it does not grow in France.”

What is its glycemic index?

“We do not have the exact value.” However, logic would dictate that the glycemic index of the cranberry varies according to the form consumed. “Originally, the fresh fruit does not have a high glycemic index since it contains fructose, very little lipids, and proteins, but a lot of fiber,” explains the phytotherapist. “But, if ingested in the form of non-pure juice, the addition of sweets to offset the acidity of the cranberry and the removal of fiber may cause its acidity to increase.” glycemic index spike Regarding the dried form, “it contains more glucose, so the glycemic index necessarily increases, but it remains low because the fiber content is still important.”

What are its health benefits?

“The cranberry has many health benefits,” says Anne Caravel, phytotherapist:
→ It is a bacterial anti-adhesive: “This means that the cranberry acts as a protection by preventing bacteria from clinging to the mucous membranes. This is why it is effective in the event of a urinary tract infection: the bacteria responsible for the infection, Escherichia coli cannot attach to the mucous membrane and will be evacuated in the urine. Cranberry also helps to acidify the urine, which is positive because bacteria have difficulty growing in an acidic environment. .”
→ It has anti-lithiasis properties: “This is interesting for people who develop calcium oxalate crystals (which make up 80% of kidney stones). The juice is very acidic, which allows the crystals to melt. “
→ It is good for cardiovascular health: “The cranberry helps to reduce bad cholesterol thanks to its polyphenol content, in particular resveratrol.”
→ It would have anti-cancer properties: “This has, for the moment, only been demonstrated by studies carried out in vitro and not on humans, but the results are promising. The studies are still in progress.”

Does cranberry make you urinate?

“To my knowledge, cranberry is not diuretic”, explains Anne Caravel. “If you drink it in the form of juice, it will make you want to urinate, but the cranberry has nothing to do with it.”

Is it good for the prostate?

“Yeah, the cranberry can be beneficial for the prostate because, typically, people who have a big prostate tend to acquire infections, and the cranberry will help prevent the germs from stalling.” Apart from that, there is no direct action on the prostate” indicates the phytotherapist.

Prostate: definition, function, diseases, and examinations

The prostate is a small gland present exclusively in men, located under the bladder, around the birth of the urethra. It is involved in the ejaculatory function and can be affected by various diseases, particularly after 40 years. Anatomy, PSA levels, treatments for prostate diseases… Insight from Dr. Adam Vardi, a urologist.

Is it effective when you have cystitis?

“Yes, it’s even recommended,” says Anne Caravel. Indeed, the cranberry has an “anti-adhesive” effect which allows the bacteria responsible for the urinary tract infection not to stagnate in the bladder but rather to be evacuated in the urine. “For the treatment of acute cystitis, it is interesting in addition to allopathic or natural antibiotic therapy (oregano essential oil capsule, bearberry or heather capsule). Its use alone would not be effective and must be supplemented by a synthetic or natural antibiotic treatment.

Cystitis: definition, types, symptoms, what to do?

In France, cystitis is the second reason for consultation and prescription of antibiotics, especially for women (50 times more affected than men). Acute, recurrent, interstitial, occurring during pregnancy or after sexual intercourse, they respond to several causes and treatments.

Is it a laxative?

“It is slightly laxative because of its fiber content if consumed in the form of dried or fresh fruit. If you are afraid of this mild effect, consume the cranberry in the form of juice, there is no fiber” explains Anne Caravel.

Does it contain vitamins?

“The cranberry contains a lot of vitamins and micronutrients. It is very rich in vitamin C, potassium, and polyphenol-type antioxidants including resveratrol.”

Does it have any benefits or harms for pregnant women?

“There are no harms involved in the consumption of cranberry in pregnant women unless she is diabetic. In these cases, care must be taken not to consume it in the form of sweet juice” warns Anne Caravel. Apart from that, cranberry can be beneficial to them because they often have cystitis and urinary problems because their bladder empties badly. “Thus, the urine stagnates and bacteria can develop there, especially during the last month of pregnancy” warns the herbalist. However, the cranberry makes it possible to acidify the urine, and “bacteria develop less in an acidic environment”.

Dosage: how much to consume per day?

The dosage depends on the form consumed.
→ If it is pure juice: “By drinking 10 to 15 ml of undiluted pure juice, we have a beneficial action for the cardiovascular system.”
→ If it is capsules: “The capsules contain exactly the necessary dose, that is to say, 36mg of PAC (Phyto Anthocyanin C) to treat a urinary tract infection.”
→ If it is dried cranberries: “You can eat three tablespoons a day to benefit from a cardiovascular action.”

What are the contraindications?

“There are no contraindications, cranberry is very well tolerated” indicates the herbalist. “However, people who have a gout attack should avoid consuming it. People who have urolithiasis or uric acid crystal-type kidney stones should also avoid consuming it because the acidity of the cranberry will encourage their development.

Can you buy it at a pharmacy?

“The capsules with a precise dosage can be found in pharmacies. The same goes for the Phytostandard extract. Pure juice, to be preferred, is found in organic stores: you have to look at the labels to be sure that it does not contain There are no added sugars. “Berries are everywhere,” says Anne Caravel.

Thanks to Anne Caravel, pharmacist, micro nutritionist, and psychotherapist.