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Cranberries are called a superfood for a reason. Reportedly packed with fibre and more antioxidants than any other fruits and berries, cranberries are lauded for their many health benefits. They are said to boost your immune system, help prevent gum disease, reduce bad cholesterol, improve digestion and prevent urinary tract infections. However, up to now, their impact on gut microbiota – the name given to the tens of trillions of microorganisms living in our intestines – hadn't been tested in any randomised controlled feeding trial.
This type of experiment was recently conducted for precisely this purpose with partial funding from the EU project TECNIOspring PLUS. In the trial a team of researchers explored the relationship between microbiota and cranberries consumed as part of a low-fibre animal-based diet. They found that cranberries lessen the negative effects of such a diet on the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The trial and its findings are described in an article published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
Diets - Acids - Short-chain - Acids - SCFAs
Low-fibre animal-based diets are known to increase carcinogenic bile acids and decrease the beneficial short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) produced by friendly bacteria in the gut causing an imbalance in the gut microbiome. "An imbalance can increase the risk for several chronic diseases including atherosclerosis hypertension kidney disease and type 2 diabetes" said study co-author Dr. Oliver Chen of Tufts University in the United States in a news release published on the 'PR Newswire' website. "Identifying foods – like cranberries – that can help shape and support a healthier gut microbiome could have a remarkable impact on...
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