Chronic consumption of a low calorie, high polyphenol cranberry beverage attenuates inflammation and improves glucoregulation and HDL cholesterol in healthy overweight humans: a randomized controlled trial

Eur J Nutr. 2019 Apr;58(3):1223-1235. doi: 10.1007/s00394-018-1643-z. Epub 2018 Feb 23.


Purpose: We studied the health benefits of low calorie cranberry beverage consumption on glucoregulation, oxidative damage, inflammation, and lipid metabolism in overweight but otherwise healthy humans.

Methods: 78 overweight or obese men and women (30-70 years; BMI 27-35 kg/m2) with abdominal adiposity (waist: hip > 0.8 for women and > 0.9 for men; waist: height ≥ 0.5) consumed 450 mL placebo or low calorie, high polyphenol cranberry extract beverage (CEB) daily for 8 week in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel design trial. Blood and urine samples were collected after overnight fast at baseline and after 8 weeks of daily beverage consumption. Blood and urine samples were also collected during 3 oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) challenges: (1) pre-intervention without the test beverages, (2) following a single dose of placebo or CEB at baseline (week 0), and (3) following a single dose of placebo or CEB at 8 week.

Results: Compared to placebo, a single CEB dose at baseline lowered endothelin-1 and elevated nitric oxide and the reduced:oxidized glutathione ratio (P < 0.05). Interferon-γ was elevated (P < 0.05) after a single CEB dose at baseline; however, after 8 week of CEB intervention, fasting C-reactive protein was lower (P < 0.05). CEB consumption for 8 week also reduced serum insulin and increased HDL cholesterol compared to placebo (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: An acute dose of low calorie, high polyphenol cranberry beverage improved antioxidant status, while 8 week daily consumption reduced cardiovascular disease risk factors by improving glucoregulation, downregulating inflammatory biomarkers, and increasing HDL cholesterol.

Keywords: Blood glucose; Cardiovascular disease; Inflammation; Oxidative stress; Vaccinium macrocarpon.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Beverages*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL / drug effects*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / urine
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / prevention & control*
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight / blood
  • Overweight / metabolism*
  • Overweight / urine
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Polyphenols / administration & dosage
  • Polyphenols / pharmacology*
  • Vaccinium macrocarpon*


  • Biomarkers
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polyphenols
  • Glucose