Cranberry Juice Benefits extend beyond urinary tract infections. In fact, the health benefits of cranberry juice with regards to urinary tract infections have nothing to do with the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in it.
What you doctor didn't tell you was that while she "prescribed" cranberry juice for that problem - it was helping your body solve other problems.
Did you know that cranberry juice is a fantastic source of resveratrol? That's the nutrient people refer to when they say "Drink a glass of red wine every day for health". They're not talking about the alcohol - they're referring to the super-fantastic, phytoalexin resveratrol!
Urinary tract infections, children's ear, nose and throat infections, and peptic stomach ulcers are all bacterial infections that drinking cranberry juice can help prevent. One of the curious cranberry juice benefits is their ability to prevent "bacteria" from clinging to the human body.
In the case of urinary tract infections, the nutrients in cranberries prevent bacteria from "grabbing hold" of the walls of the urinary tract. Urinating then flushes the bacteria out and prevents further infection. (read more in depth about urinary tract infections).
Researchers have found that drinking cranberry juice reduced the chance of ear infections in children up to 40%. Their research shows that the juice stop the little "hair-like" structures on the bacteria from working. When these pili ("hair-like structures") don't work - they cant's stick to red blood, ear or mouth cells. (read more in depth about preventing children's bacterial infections).
The bacteria Heliobacter pylori is one of the causes of peptic ulcers. Like urinary and ear infections, keeping heliobacter plyori from sticking to the walls of the stomach is one of the health benefits of cranberries.
OPC's are the effective nutrient in Cranberries that stop bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract.
Cranberries Increase Good Cholesterol
Joe Vinson, Ph.D. and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Scranton in Scranton, PA, was the lead author in a long term study showing cranberry juice to significantly improve good cholesterol by an average of 10 percent. The study also reported that the subjects' plasma antioxidant capacity increased by as much as 121 percent. (That means the participant's bodies became really good at fighting free radicals).
Prof. Vinson stated: "This study gives consumers another reason to consider drinking cranberry juice, which has more health benefits than previously believed. People should consider drinking it with their meals, perhaps as an alternative to soda."
In the study participants were given 1 serving of cranberry juice per day for the first month, then two for the second and three for the third. The resulting increase in good cholesterol is significant because of the known correlations between heart disease and cholesterol levels. One could reasonably make the argument that one of the cranberry juice benefits is the prevention of heart disease.
Can Cranberries Prevent Kidney Stones?
Cranberry juice has two fantastic benefits that lend itself to the prevention of kidney stones.
As in its ability to prevent bacteria from sticking to cellular walls, antioxidants like OPC's, resveratrol, and vitamin C help flush out the kidneys as well. These antioxidants help clean the blood and allow the blood to wash away its own toxins. This is especially helpful in the kidneys.
However, acidity is one of the cranberry juice benefits. It is the powerhouse of preventing kidney stones. Kidney stones are deposits of calcium the body used, then no longer needed. The human body uses calcium to help maintain the pH level of the blood. When the blood is too acidic, the body takes calcium from the bones to reduce the overall acidity.
Once the body is done with the alkaline calcium, it deposits it far from the blood. Often you can see white spots on your fingernails where calcium was deposited. Cranberry juice adds acidity to the blood and gives the body reason to maintain the blood's calcium level. Without the need to deposit calcium, there would be no kidney stones.
Cranberry Juice Benefits Teeth Enamel
Burt's Bees just started selling toothpaste with cranberry extract. Their studies showed that for the same reason cranberry juice helps urinary tract infections, it helps teeth enamel avoid damage.
Their marketing says,
"Turns out cranberry extract, like the one found in new Burt's Bees Natural Toothpaste helps block bacteria from sticking to teeth and gums, which helps prevent the formation of plaque before it starts."
Interesting. Whether that works or not is for you to try out.