Cranberry Extract & Pregnancy

Cranberry Extract & Pregnancy

The cranberry, a bright red fruit with a strong, distinctive flavor, is one of only three species of fruit native to North America. Traditionally the cranberry was used by the Native Americans as a food source and medicinally to treat wounds, urinary disorders, diarrhea, and diabetes. Today, cranberries are primarily used to prevent dental carries, urinary tract infections, peptic ulcers, heart disease, aging and even cancer. While cranberries possess a number of benefits, many women question whether cranberry extract is safe during pregnancy.

Health Benefits

According to the “Cranberry Institute: Health Research,” cranberry extract contains compounds termed proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, flavonoids and hydroxycinnamic acid, which contribute to its red color, phytonutrient capacity and antioxidant properties. Cranberries work in your body by inhibiting the adhesion of bacteria to your cell walls. The anti-adhesion properties have been shown to hinder bacteria associated with gum disease, peptic ulcers, kidney stones and urinary tract infections, which are common during pregnancy according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. The proanthocyanidins compound found in cranberries may also help protect you from heart disease by inhibiting low density lipoprotein oxidation and cancer because of its anti-carcinogenic activity. Recent research has revealed that the antioxidant effect of cranberries help protect your brain cells from free radical damage and subsequent motor and cognitive function losses.

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