Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, Jan/Feb 2014

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NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK ■ 51 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 For every trial that f nds a cranberry juice or capsule reduces the risk of repetitive UTIs, another trial f nds no such benef t. T e doubt is perhaps best illustrated in a 2012 re- view by the Cochrane Collaboration, which compiled data from 24 historic studies on 4473 subjects to make its point: neither juice nor supplements can be prescribed for treat- ment at this time. If cranberries can prevent recurrent UTIs, it's safe to say there is still more to learn about these red berries and the forms through which we most often consume them. T ankfully, our understanding is improving. Insoluble PACs T e trouble with previous stud- ies is likely a lack of cranberry characterization, according to cranberry suppliers and the Cochrane collaborators themselves. While proan- thocyanidins (PACs) are an active component of cranber- ries—one that experts believe is intimately involved in cranberry's anti- adhesion ef ect—a great majority of previ- ous studies never quantif ed their cranberry PAC contents. In other words, those studies can't be repeated. "T ere just weren't analytical tools avail- able by the time a lot of those clinical stud- ies were conducted," says Christian Krueger, CEO of Complete Phytochemical Solutions LLC (Cambridge, WI), a consulting and ana- lytics services provider specializing in cran- berry research. A variety of test methods are now avail- able for quantifying cranberry PACs—in- cluding the popular BL-DMAC method developed by Brunswick Laboratories (Southborough, MA)—but they can only identify water-soluble PACs, the types present in cranberry juices and cocktails. Newer, more sophisticated cranberry extracts derived from the fruit's pom- ace—including the seeds, skin, f esh, and stems—contain soluble PACs. But they also contain insoluble PACs, which until recently couldn't be quantif ed. Krueger and a team of researchers recently devised a method, based on butanol and hydrochloric acid, for quanti- fying insoluble PACs, and it's pending pub- lication. T e ability to quantify insoluble PACs—compounds that were hidden from researchers for all those years—begs the question of whether the presence (or ab- sence) of these particular PACs had any sig- nif cant impact on past studies. "Now, we have to look at the bioavailabil- ity of the insoluble PACs, and the clinical results on cranberry ingredients with insol- uble PACs versus those without them," says Skip Hammock, director of technical af airs at Pharmachem Laboratories Inc. (Kearny, NJ), supplier of Cran-Max cranberry ex- tract. "We knew we had a raw material that worked, based on human clinicals, but we couldn't quantify how much of what was in there—at least in a way that was replicable for the industry." So far, researchers have yet to explore the potential health benef ts of insoluble PACs, but the early hypothesis is that these PACs might perform in much the same way as their soluble counterparts. Monographs and Product Labels Some cranberry suppliers are hoping that, with increased awareness for all kinds of PACs, cranberry product manufacturers will start calling out the importance of PACs in their own marketing language. "We're asking buyers to start looking for a way to identify PACs in all cranberry prod- ucts, and to identify this on their product labels," says Stephen Lukawski, vice presi- dent of sales and product development for Fruit d'Or Nutraceuticals (Notre Dame de SPRUCE LIGNANS MAY LOWER HOT FLASHES In addition to its popular uses for paper and Christmas trees, Norwegian spruce (Picea abies) is a substantial source of lignans. And research now suggests that these lignans can reduce female hot f ashes. Lignans are phytoestrogens found in numerous other plants, such as f ax and rasp- berries, but Norwegian spruce is uniquely high in 7-hydroxymatairesinol (7-HMR). Unlike other plant lignans, 7-HMR converts directly into mammalian lignan entero- lactone, and studies suggest that healthy enterolactone levels come with lower rates of breast cancer and female hot f ashes. To assess the ef ect of a 7-HMR ingredient on postmenopausal women, U.S. re- searchers assigned 22 qualif ed women to a low dose or high dose of HMRlignan, a commercial spruce lignan ingredient from Linnea SA (Locarno, Switzerland), for eight weeks. Each woman submitted blood tests throughout the study and documented personal hot f ashes in a daily diary. Both doses of lignans provided statistically signif cant increases in 7-HMR and en- terolactone in the body, but only the high dose brought about statistically signif cant hot f ash reduction. Women consuming the high dose of HMRlignan experienced an average 50% drop in weekly hot f ashes, from 28/week to 14/week. Even with the low dose of HMRlignan, enterolactone blood levels peaked at 24 hours but remained signif cantly higher than baseline for as many as 72 hours. Such ingredient half- life could reasonably benef t con- sumers with the requirement of a single daily dose rather than multiple daily doses. hot f ash reduction. Women consuming the high dose of HMRlignan experienc average 50% drop in weekly hot f ashes, from 28/week to 14/week. Even with the low dose of HMRlignan, enterolactone b levels peaked at 24 hours but remained signif cantly h than baseline for as many as 72 hours. Such ingredient life could reasonably benef t sumers with the requireme a single daily dose rather multiple daily doses ES385390_NO1401_051.pgs 01.30.2014 04:49 UBM black yellow magenta cyan

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