Compounds that occur naturally in cranberries may be good for the heart, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found.
Early results from studies indicate that feeding cranberry juice powder seems to relax and open blood vessels in pigs that are genetically susceptible to developing atherosclerosis, or clogged arteries. Kris Kruse-Elliott, a veterinary anesthesiologist at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, presented her results at the American Physiological Society’s annual meeting in San Diego in April.
She and co-researcher Jess Reed, a nutritionist in the Department of Animal Sciences, set out to evaluate various whole foods that contain antioxidants, flavonoids and polyphenols, all compounds that may protect against heart disease. Cranberries contain all three, so they fed cranberry juice powder to pigs that were genetically predisposed to develop high cholesterol and atherosclerosis, just as some humans are.
Tania Banak | EurekAlert!
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