Cancer, heart disease and generally higher levels of illness in modern western society has led to a proliferation of miracle cures and super foods, which their adherents claim can prevent common diseases and give us a better quality of life. Whilst many of these have no proven advantages and definitely no scientific backing, there are a few which have been shown to have positive effects on some of these twenty first century ailments.
Cranberry is one such food. Found in boggy regions especially in North America, cranberries are in the same family as blueberries and bilberries. The small glossy bright red berry is packed with antioxidants and natural chemicals that can work wonders in our bodies as well as providing us with healthy acids. Cranberries can be digested in their original berry form, as a juice, an extract, or easily through capsule form. It is important to remember that to get the full health benefits that cranberries offer, they should be taken in their natural, unsweetened form.
But what are the precise health benefits of cranberry capsules? Urinary Tract Infections are by far the most commonly associated disease with cranberry treatments, however there are several more.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are caused when bacteria travels up the urethra and infects the bladder and whole urinary tract. In severe cases even the kidneys can become infected and the illness takes a very serious turn. Whilst women are more likely to suffer from UTIs they can affect anyone of any age, and can be a very painful experience. Many people who suffer from urine and bladder infections on a regular basis will take cranberry as a preventative; others will use it to treat the infection once it has set in. The active chemical compound in cranberries is proanthocyanidins which prevent the bacteria which cause UTIs, like E.Coli, from adhering to the epithelium cells on the wall of the urinary tract.
The acid found in cranberries can have a positive effect on the build up of plaque on the teeth and gums. The bacteria which create plaque and cause gum disease and tooth decay cannot amass in the mouth as they usually would. If you are taking cranberry to impede the development of plaque, taking it in liquid form is a good idea as it can be swilled around the mouth.
Cranberries have another very useful ingredient called quinic acid. It is this acid which can prevent the development of kidney stones, a very painful and uncomfortable growth in the urinary tract. Taking cranberry capsules daily or every other day could prevent kidney stones from developing in the first place.
There are two diseases which plague members of western society more than anywhere else in the world. Cancer and Heart Disease account for a major percentage of early deaths and affect thousands of people who can beat or be treated for them. Whilst there are underlying reasons for the proliferation of these diseases including our diet and obesity, for many sufferers, they are fit, healthy and young. So what else can we do to fight against diseases like this? Research has been completed that shows cranberry capsules to have a positive impact on some cancers and types of heart disease.
Vitro screening tests have been carried out on patients suffering from and at high risk from developing cancer. In patients who took cranberry capsules regularly, there were signs that proanthocyanidins exhibited anti-carcinogenic activity. This still needs more testing but these early signs indicate that cranberry may have anti-cancer qualities.
How can cranberry prevent or slow down the development of heart disease? The chemical compounds and antioxidants in cranberry inhibit Low Density Lipoprotein oxidation. This is known to be a leading factor in heart disease. Research conducted on the qualities of cranberry to reduce LDL oxidation found that a regular dose of cranberry could enhance the clearance of excessive plasma cholesterol in circulation.
These benefits to our general health and well being are too great to be ignored. It is easy to start taking cranberry capsules on a daily basis without having to change anything about our daily life style. Take one with your breakfast and you could see positive health benefits in the short and long term.
Author Mark Woodcock is a Webmaster of a wide variety of online specialty shops including a very popular site on Cranberry Capsules. Visit http://www.lifesourcesupplements.co.uk today.