Connect with us


Cranberry extracts can stimulate the microbiota and counteract cardiometabolic diseases




Cranberry extracts can stimulate the microbiota and counteract cardiometabolic diseases

Characterization of the cranberry extract. Credit: npj Biofilms and microbiomes (2024). DOI: 10.1038/s41522-024-00493-w

Cranberry extracts appear to improve the gut microbiota and help prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A recent study by Université Laval and the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods (INAF) reported beneficial effects after just four days of use.

Cranberries and currants are associated with multiple health benefits, mainly attributed to their high content of polyphenols, in the form of tannins. They also contain high concentrations of oligosaccharides, small fibers that are thought to contribute to their bioactivity.

The research team, led by Yves Desjardins, professor at the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, showed that the polyphenols and oligosaccharides present in a cranberry extract strengthen the genus Bifidobacterium, which is associated with a reduced risk of diabetes and cardiometabolic diseases. The work is published in the news npj Biofilms and microbiomes.

“Normally, these bacteria are stimulated by the consumption of dietary fiber. We observed the same effect with cranberry extract at a dose almost 20 times lower,” says Jacob Lessard-Lord, a postdoctoral researcher at INAF.

Cranberry extracts also stimulate the Akkermansia muciniphila bacteria, which plays an important role in the intestinal mucosa, reducing inflammation and strengthening the intestinal barrier.

This is of particular importance when it comes to counteracting the harmful effects of a Western diet. “This diet alters the microbiota, causing inflammation of the mucous membrane and compromising the integrity of the intestinal barrier, which plays a crucial role in protecting the body against bacteria in the intestines.

“Alteration of the intestinal barrier allows the passage of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) derived from the intestinal microbiota, known as metabolic endotoxemia, and is a crucial factor in the onset and progression of inflammation and metabolic diseases,” explains Desjardins.

“The constant inflammation that results from the presence of LPS in the body can lead to several chronic diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” he explains.

When included in a balanced diet, cranberry extracts can modify the inflammatory pathway and improve the prognosis of chronic disease. By stimulating the Akkermansia muciniphila bacteria and Bifidobacterium, the microbiota regenerates and creates an anti-inflammatory environment. This results in strengthening the connections between the cells of the intestinal barrier, strengthening it.

In the study, approximately forty INAF participants were instructed to consume a cranberry supplement in capsule form twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, equivalent to the intake of 60 grams of fresh cranberries.

At the beginning of the experiment and after four days, plasma, urine and stool samples were collected from the participants. The human study was initiated after promising results in the SHIME in vitro system, which reproduces parts of the intestine.

The research team is now interested in investigating the long-term effects of the extracts. “It is promising to see a beneficial effect after just four days,” says Lessard-Lord.

Although cranberries had a beneficial effect on all participants, the results highlighted the variability in their responses. Future research will determine which microbiota signatures respond best to the extracts.

The authors are Lessard-Lord, Charlène Roussel, Joseph Lupien-Meilleur, Pamela Généreux, Véronique Richard, Valérie Guay, Denis Roy and Desjardins.

More information:
Jacob Lessard-Lord et al., Short-term supplementation with cranberry extract modulates the gut microbiota in humans and shows a bifidogenic effect, npj Biofilms and microbiomes (2024). DOI: 10.1038/s41522-024-00493-w

Provided by Laval University

Quote: Cranberry extracts may boost microbiota and counter cardiometabolic diseases (2024, April 30), retrieved May 5, 2024 from

This document is copyrighted. Except for fair dealing purposes for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.