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Researchers evaluate whether cranberries positively affect gut health

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin 
Madison evaluated whether one simple addition to the diet (one handful-a-day of sweetened dried cranberries) could positively influence the gut microbiome. 

Given the emerging knowledge that many biological functions, including immunity and disease-fighting capabilities, depend on a healthy gut microbiome, the authors of the recently published study in OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology. The authors tested whether dried cranberries could make a difference. 

After just two weeks and with only 10 subjects, the differences were statistically insignificant but according to the researchers, were moving in the right direction. Thus, the role of dried cranberries in gut health may be worth further exploration.

"The aim of our prospective study was to determine if just one addition to the diet could alter a myriad of proteins and natural bacteria in the urinary proteome and fecal microbiome," explained lead author, Dr. Jess D. Reed. "Previous investigations showed that cranberry compounds influenced gut health. Similarly, our findings were positive, albeit statistically insignificant, but motivate us to continue exploring."

"This trial only scratches the surface of the potential role of cranberries in whole-body health," adds study author, Chris Krueger. "These results give us another reason to delve deeper into the diverse effects cranberry compounds have on the human body."

"We are pleased that scientists are taking a fresh look at cranberries," says Terry Humfeld, executive director of The Cranberry Institute - a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting cranberry research and education. "We are especially encouraged by this study and the potential that dried cranberries could have on gut health."

A serving of dried cranberries provides 10% of the Daily Value for fiber and ½ cup is equivalent to one fruit serving according to MyPlate guidelines.

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