Cranberry juice boosts heart health

Feb. 15, 2010 at 1:58 AM

LONDON, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Researchers in London measured the cardio-protective potential of cranberry juice and found it may help lower blood pressure and help promote heart health.

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London compared the cardio-protective potential of cranberry juice and that of red wine, cocoa and green tea and found that oligomeric procyanidins were present in regular and light cranberry juice cocktail.

Dr. Roger Corder of Queen Mary University identified oligomeric procyanidins in cranberries that can promote a healthy heart by inhibiting Endothelin-1 synthesis -- a blood vessel constrictor that causes heart disease.

"Red wine has long been associated with heart health, but this new study shows that cranberry juice is a very promising alcohol-free alternative," Corder, author of "The Red Wine Diet," said in a statement. "We have now identified oligomeric procyanidins as the specific compound in cranberries that can boost the health of blood vessels, helping to prevent blood vessel constriction -- a leading cause of high blood pressure."

The research was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

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