From The Straits Times    |

Cranberry juice is the latest tipple being lauded for its health benefits, with claims that consuming two glasses a day might cut the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Image: Cover Media

Research suggests this is because it contains polyphenols, nutrients that protect the body and help prevent degenerative diseases.

The study was conducted by a team in the US Department of Agriculture and took into account 56 people who were placed in two groups. Both had the same kind of healthy diet, but only one was given cranberry juice to drink daily. They had a little over three quarters of a pint each day, while the others were given a placebo.

At the beginning, each participant had things like their blood pressure and sugar levels measured, and they were checked again after eight weeks. It was found that the results in those who’d been glugging the juice had improved, decreasing their stroke risk by 15 per cent and heart disease risk by ten per cent.

The research has been deemed to show that polyphenols are very effective at stopping the body from succumbing to ailments.

The compounds are found in things like apples, blueberries, grapes, chocolate, olives and extra virgin olive oil, but there are much more of them in cranberries.

Another common juice has also hit the headlines this week, but for very different reason. It’s been claimed that drinking one cup of orange juice a day could increase your risk of skin cancer. The same is true for having things like grapefruit, as a link has been discovered between citrus produce and melanoma.

Dr Abrar Qureshi, chair of dermatology at Brown University and a dermatologist at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, analysed data involving 63,000 women and 41,000 men over a period of more than 20 years. The people all kept details of their diets and it was found that those who ate citrus between two and four times weekly had ten per cent more of a risk of the deadly form of skin cancer, when compared to people who tucked in biweekly. In fact, the more the fruit was consumed, the more the risk soared. Grapefruit appeared to have the worst effect, although the doctor was quick to point out that much more research is needed before full conclusions can be drawn.

Overall it was found that a glass of orange juice a day increased the risk by 25 per cent, while having an entire grapefruit three times a week saw it climb to 41 per cent. The study was detailed in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. — COVER MEDIA

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