Effects of cranberry juice consumption on vascular function in patients with coronary artery disease

Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 May;93(5):934-40. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.004242. Epub 2011 Mar 16.


Background: Cranberry juice contains polyphenolic compounds that could improve endothelial function and reduce cardiovascular disease risk.

Objective: The objective was to examine the effects of cranberry juice on vascular function in subjects with coronary artery disease.

Design: We completed an acute pilot study with no placebo (n = 15) and a chronic placebo-controlled crossover study (n = 44) that examined the effects of cranberry juice on vascular function in subjects with coronary artery disease.

Results: In the chronic crossover study, subjects with coronary heart disease consumed a research preparation of double-strength cranberry juice (54% juice, 835 mg total polyphenols, and 94 mg anthocyanins) or a matched placebo beverage (480 mL/d) for 4 wk each with a 2-wk rest period between beverages. Beverage order was randomly assigned, and participants refrained from consuming other flavonoid-containing beverages during the study. Vascular function was measured before and after each beverage, with follow-up testing ≥12 h after consumption of the last beverage. Mean (±SD) carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, a measure of central aortic stiffness, decreased after cranberry juice (8.3 ± 2.3 to 7.8 ± 2.2 m/s) in contrast with an increase after placebo (8.0 ± 2.0 to 8.4 ± 2.8 m/s) (P = 0.003). Brachial artery flow-mediated dilation, digital pulse amplitude tonometry, blood pressure, and carotid-radial pulse wave velocity did not change. In the uncontrolled pilot study, we observed improved brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (7.7 ± 2.9% to 8.7 ± 3.1%, P = 0.01) and digital pulse amplitude tonometry ratio (0.10 ± 0.12 to 0.23 ± 0.16, P = 0.001) 4 h after consumption of a single 480-mL portion of cranberry juice.

Conclusions: Chronic cranberry juice consumption reduced carotid femoral pulse wave velocity-a clinically relevant measure of arterial stiffness. The uncontrolled pilot study suggested an acute benefit; however, no chronic effect on measures of endothelial vasodilator function was found. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00553904.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anthocyanins / therapeutic use
  • Beverages*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular System / physiopathology*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diet therapy*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / physiopathology*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Elasticity
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use
  • Fruit*
  • Hemodynamics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenols / therapeutic use
  • Pilot Projects
  • Polyphenols
  • Pulsatile Flow
  • Time Factors
  • Vaccinium macrocarpon*
  • Vasculitis / diet therapy
  • Vasculitis / etiology
  • Vasodilation


  • Anthocyanins
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Polyphenols

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00553904