Cranberries are perhaps best known for their effects on urinary tract health.
However, recent research indicates that these tiny berries are also great for your tummy, skin, gums and teeth because they are packed with powerful antioxidants and organic acids, including ellagic acid, citric acid, malic acid, quinic acid, flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, and vitamin C. Several studies have shown that cranberries may even play an important role in reducing cardiovascular risk and preventing cancer.
Cranberries for Preventing Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
UTIs are usually caused by E. coli, a type of bacteria that is normally found in the digestive tract. They can also be found on the skin around the rectum, and may even make their way up into the bladder. Although UTIs are often associated with women, men and children can suffer from UTIs too. Symptoms of UTIs include an urgent desire to empty the bladder, frequent urination, burning sensation during urination, the feeling of having to urinate(even though little or no urine actually comes out), lower abdominal pain, and cloudy or foul-smelling urine. If left untreated, bacteria can travel up to and infect the kidneys, causing serious complications.
Due to the fact that strong antibiotics can irritate the stomach and kill off the friendly bacteria in the gut (and that more E. coli strains are becoming resistant to them), antibiotics are no longer the best solution for UTIs. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), cranberries can offer great protection and relief from UTIs — including the ones that are resistant to antibiotic treatment.
Studies show that cranberries contain A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs) which are more effective in inhibiting the adhesion of E. coli to the urinary tract epithelium than the B-type proanthocyanidins found in other sources. When E. coli bacteria are unable to stick to the urinary tract walls, they are unable to cause any mischief. The beneficial effects start within two hours after intake and can last up to 10 hours in the urine.
Other Benefits of Cranberry
Improves gastric ulcers
Helicobacter pylori infects up to 60% of the world’s population, causing gastric and duodenal ulcers and increasing the risk of gastric cancer. Although there may not be any obvious symptoms until a gastric ulcer has reached an advanced stage, some of the earlier symptoms include bloating, frequent burping, nausea, change in appetite, or a burning pain in the stomach. Helicobacter pylori is transmitted through saliva, so sharing food or eating out may pose a risk if the food or eating utensils are contaminated. Fortunately, studies show that cranberries can effectively stop Helicobacter pylori bacteria from attaching to the stomach crevices that can protect them from stomach acids. When exposed to stomach acids, the bacteria are destroyed, flushed out and expelled from the gastrointestinal tract.
Cranberries prevent bacteria from sticking to the teeth, keeping teeth cleaner longer. This helps to prevent the formation of plaque, tooth decay and bleeding gums. Cranberries have the power to crush offensive-smelling bacteria that can build up in the mouth and lead to bad breath.
Encourages healthy heart & reduces stroke damage
Cranberries contain significantly high amounts of flavonoids and polyphenolic compounds that help prevent the oxidation of LDL (‘bad cholesterol’). This reduces the risk of plaque formation that would otherwise restrict blood flow. Studies, including one by the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, concluded that cranberries may reduce the brain cell damage associated with stroke. These findings suggest that cranberries can reduce the severity of stroke, and aid in recovery, particularly during the earliest stages, when the most severe damage occurs.
Reduces the risk of kidney stones
The quinic acid in cranberries reduces ionised calcium, thus, reducing the risk of kidney stone formation, even among those prone to recurring kidney stones.
Promotes a fairer & more youthful-looking complexion
Free radicals destroy collagen in the skin, causing wrinkles and sagging skin. They can also cause skin to appear dull, red or inflamed. Cranberries have a very high ORAC value (which means that they have potent antioxidant capabilities and can effectively quench free radicals for fairer, more youthful skin)
Cranberries help to eliminate uric acid that could otherwise crystallise around the joints and cause the painful symptoms of gout.
Improves anaemia & relieves tiredness
Cranberries are naturally rich in vitamin C and aid the absorption of iron, which is crucial for the red blood cells in the body. Without sufficient iron, one can feel persistently tired, due to a lack of oxygen caused by low haemoglobin levels.
Caffeine is a naturally occurring substance found in the leaves, seeds or fruits of at least 100 different species worldwide and is part of a group of compounds known as methylxanthines. The most commonly known sources of caffeine are coffee, cocoa beans, cola nuts and tea leaves. People have enjoyed caffeinated beverages for many years. Caffeine is also added to specifically formulated ‘energy drinks’ and pharmaceutical products such as cold and flu remedies.
Coffee and tea also contain other dimethylxanthines; theophylline which has similar properties to caffeine and theobromine whose pharmacological actions is far less potent than caffeine and theophylline.
The amount of caffeine present in products depends on the type of the product, the serving size and the preparation method. For example a 190ml cup of tea contains 50mg of caffeine, one third less than the same amount of an instant cup of coffee (75mg). Table 1 below gives an indication of the amount of caffeine found in other drinks compared to tea:
Table 1 – Type of Product Caffeine (mg/ serving)
Tea All types 50mg/ 190ml serving (1)
Coffee Brewed (filter or percolated) 100-115mg/ 190ml serving (1)
Instant 75mg/ 190ml serving 1 Cola drinks Standard and Sugar Free 11-70mg/ 330 ml can (2)
‘Energy’ drinks All types 28-87mg/ 250ml serving (2)
Chocolate Bar 5.5-35.5mg/ 50g bar (2)
On average we consume 3.98mg of caffeine /kg body weight per day ie 239mg/ day for a 60kg person (3).
What is a safe intake of caffeine?
Up to 300mg/day (6 cups of tea) is considered moderate, with no evidence of harmful effects in the vast majority of the adult population. Some individuals are sensitive to caffeine and will feel effects at smaller doses than other individuals who are less sensitive. For this reason, these individuals may need to limit their caffeine intake.
Metabolism and Clearance
Caffeine does not accumulate in the body over a course of time and is normally excreted within several hours of consumption. The rate of caffeine elimination varies between individuals and this maybe as a result of genetic factors affecting the enzymes involved in the metabolism, or due to certain lifestyle factors e.g., smoking.
Children also metabolize caffeine at a quicker rate. Generally caffeine absorption is complete within about one hour after ingestion and the plasma concentration peaks (2) after about 60-90 minutes. The half-life of caffeine in the plasma is about 2.5 – 4.5 hours in healthy adults.
A number of different factors affect individual tolerance to caffeine, including the amount ingested, the frequency of caffeine consumption and individual metabolism. It is widely recognized that gradual tolerance develops with prolonged caffeine use.
Caffeine is a pharmacologically active substance, and depending on the dose, has a number of actions:-
• Central Nervous System Stimulant. A moderate caffeine intake can cause mild stimulation that maybe beneficial in terms of increased alertness, concentration, improved performance and decreased fatigue. (5-10) However, higher intakes may affect sleep, cause nervousness and an irregular heartbeat.
• Weak Bronchodilator. As a result, interest has been shown in its potential role as an asthma treatment. A number of studies have explored the effects of caffeine in asthma and the conclusions from a Cochrane Review suggest that caffeine appears to improve airways function modestly in people with asthma for up to four hours after consumption. (11)
• Diuretic. The diuretic action of caffeine may be due to an increase in renal blood flow, leading to an increased glomerular filtration rate (GFR), or due to a decreased re-absorption of sodium in the renal tubules. The diuretic effect of caffeine is dependent on the amount consumed and duration of intake e.g. the caffeine in tea does not have a diuretic effect unless the amount of tea consumed at one sitting contains more than 250-300mg of caffeine, equivalent to between 5 and 6 cups of tea. (12-17).
In fact, due to the volume of fluid that is drunk whilst enjoying a cup of tea, the British Dietetic Association advises that tea can contribute towards the daily recommended fluid intake of 1.5 to 2 litres.
• Cardiac Muscle Stimulant. Moderate caffeine consumption does not increase cardiac arrhythmias. (18)
If regular caffeine consumption is stopped abruptly, symptoms such as headaches, irritability and fatigue may occur. These effects are usually temporary, disappearing after a day or so and can be avoided if caffeine cessation is gradual.
Caffeine and Health
The role of caffeine in the development of certain diseases and conditions has been the subject of extensive research in recent years.
A number of studies investigating the impact of caffeine in the development of cancer have failed to establish a relationship. (19-22) In fact, tea is one of the richest sources of flavonoids, a powerful group of antioxidants. The role of antioxidants in the prevention of free radical damage has led to suggestions that tea maybe anti-carcinogenic. (23). Despite interesting preliminary research, further work is required to prove its beneficial effect in this area.
• Heart Disease.
The relationship between caffeine and heart disease has been the subject of a number of studies, and results from these and epidemiological studies have led to the conclusion that the ingestion of moderate amounts of caffeine is not associated with any increased risk of heart disease. (24-28) The Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy concluded that ‘there is little evidence that caffeine itself has any relation with CHD risk’ in the 1994 Nutritional Aspects of Cardiovascular Disease report. (29)
• Parkinson’s Disease.
Observational studies have suggested that caffeine may play a role in protecting against Parkinson’s disease, (30-31). Further research to try to determine the exact mechanism is required.
• Relief of headaches.
In a study of 301 regular headache sufferers, researchers found that a combination of ibuprofen and caffeine was better than either drug alone in relieving pain. (32)
Although a caffeine ‘pill’ was used in this trial, the researchers believed that caffeinated beverages would work just as well. However, they did warn that chronic headache sufferers should avoid caffeine because it might exacerbate symptoms. More work is required in this field before firm conclusions about caffeine and pain relief can be drawn.
Caffeine crosses the placenta and achieves blood and tissue concentrations in the foetus that are similar to maternal concentrations. For this reason recent advice published by the Food Standards Agency (33) recommends that pregnant women should limit their intake of caffeine consumption to less than 300mg/ day (equivalent to 6 cups of tea/ day). At this level there is little evidence to suggest that the health of the unborn child or mother is affected.
Despite recent publicity about caffeine, the fact remains that the consumption of caffeine at intakes of 300mg/ day has no adverse effects in the vast majority of the adult population. For this reason an average intake of three to four cups of tea (34) a day is well within the level considered safe.
Caffeine and Breastfeeding.
Caffeine enters breast-milk in small amounts (about 1% of the mother’s plasma level) but it does accumulate in smaller babies. Six to eight cups of coffee a day can result in infant wakefulness and hyperactivity. Smoking augments this effect. Of course the dose of caffeine from one cup of tea a day is nothing like the dose from several cups of coffee a day, but it makes sense to keep the dose the baby gets as low as possible.
1. Gray J (1998). Caffeine, coffee and health. Nutrition and Food Science 6:314- 319
2. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) (1998). Survey of caffeine and other methylxanthines in energy drinks and other caffeine containing products (updated). Food Surveillance Information Sheet No. 144 (No. 103 revised). London
3. Barone JJ, et al. (1996) Caffeine consumption. Food and Chemical Toxicology 34:119-129
4. Graham TE (1997) The possible actions of methylxanthines on various tissues. In Reily T., Orme M (eds). The clinical pharmacology of sports and exercise. Elsevier Science, Amsterdam. 257-270
5. Lieberman HR, et al (1987). The effects of low doses of caffeine on human performance and mood. Psychopharmacology 93:308-312
6. Jarvis M. (1993). Does caffeine intake enhance absolute levels of cognitive performance? Psychopharmacology 110:45-52
7. Hindmarch I, et al. (1998). The effects of black tea and other beverages on aspects of cognition and psychomotor performance. Psychopharmacology 139(3) :230-238
8. Smith AP, et al (1990-91). Effects of caffeine given before and after lunch on sustained attention. Neuropsychobiology 23(3): 160-163
9. Durlach PJ, et al (1998). The effects of a low dose of caffeine on cognitive performance. Psychopharmacology 140(1):116-119
10. Battig K. (1986) Effect of coffee on the speed of subject-paced information processing. Neuropsychobiology;16(2-3):126-30
11. Bara AI, Barley EA. (2001) Caffeine for asthma (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, 2, Oxford
12. Nussberger, J. et al. (1990) Caffeine-induced diuresis and atrial natriuretic peptides. Journal of cardiovascular Pharmacology, 15, 685-691
13. Neuhäuser-Berthold, M. et al. (1997) Coffee consumption and total body water homeostasis as measured by fluid balance and bioelectrical impedance analysis. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, 41, 29-36
14. Martof, M.T. and Knox, D.K. (1997) The effect of xanthines on fluid balance. Clinical Nursing Research, 6:186-196
15. Stookey, J.D. (1999) The diuretic effects of alcohol and caffeine and total water intake misclassification. European Journal of Epidemiology, 15, 181-188 16. Passmore AP et al (1987) Renal and cardiovascular effects of caffeine: a dose response study. Clin. Sci. 72(6), 749-56
17. Grandjean AC et al (2000) The effect of caffeinated, non-caffeinated, caloric and non-caloric beverages on hydration. J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 19(5), 591-600
18. Myers MG. (1991) Caffeine and cardiac arrhythmias. Annals of Int Med,114:147-150
19. Rosenberg L. (1990). Coffee and tea consumption in relation to the risk of large bowel cancer. A Review of Epidemiological Studies. Cancer Letters 52:163-171
20. Jacobsen BK, et al (1986). Coffee drinking, Mortality and Cancer Incidence: Results from a Norwegian prospective study. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 76:823-831
21. Gordis, L (1990). Consumption of methylxanthine-containing beverages and risk of pancreatic cancer. Cancer Letters, 52:1-12
22. Lubin F, et al. (1990) Consumption of methylxanthine-containing beverages and the risk of breast cancer. Cancer Letters, 53:81-90
23. Huang MT, et al (1992). Phenolic compounds in food and cancer prevention. Phenoloc Compounds in Food and Their Effects on Health II Washington: American Chemical Society Symposium Series.
24. Grobbee, DE, et al (1990). Coffee, caffeine and cardiovascular disease in men. The New England Journal of Medicine 323:1026-1032
25. Bak AAA, et al (1991). Caffeine, blood pressure, and serum lipids. Am J Clin Nut, 53:971-975
26. Stamler J, et al (1997). Relation of body mass and alcohol, nutrient, fiber and caffeine intakes to blood pressure in the special intervention and usual care 5 groups in the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial. Am J Clin Nut, 65(Supp.): 338-365
27. Willett WC, et al (1996). Coffee consumption and coronary heart disease in women. A ten-year follow up. JAMA 275: 458-462
28. Woodward M, et al (1999). Coffee and tea consumption in the Scottish Heart Health Study follow-up: conflicting relations with coronary risk factors, coronary disease and all-cause mortality. J. Epidemiology and Community Health, 53: 481-487
29. Nutritional Aspects of Cardiovascular Disease (1994). Report of the Cardiovascular Review Group Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy. Department of Health 30. Ross G et al (2000). Association of coffee and caffeine intake with the risk of Parkinson Disease. JAMA, 283:2674-2679
31. Ascherio A, et al (2001). Prospective study of caffeine consumption and risk of Parkinson’s disease in men and women. Ann Neurol, 50(1):56-63
32. Diamond S, et al (2000). The Use of Ibuprofen Plus Caffeine to Treat Tensiontype Headache. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics;68:312-319
33. Food Standards Agency (2001). Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment. Statement on the Reproductive Effects of Caffeine
Colotrim contains a special blend of these powerful all-natural ingredients:
Goldenseal is a powerful natural disinfectant that helps kill harmful bacteria and unwanted parasite.
Goldenseal is a cure-all type of herb that strengthens the immune system, acts as an antibiotic, has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, potentiates insulin, and cleanses vital organs. It promotes the functioning capacity of the heart, the lymphatic and respiratory system, the liver, the spleen, the pancreas, and the colon.
Taken internally, Goldenseal increases digestive secretions, astringes the mucous membranes that line the gut, and checks inflammation. It also aids digestion by promoting the production of saliva, bile, and other digestive enzymes. In addition it may control heavy menstrual and postpartum bleeding by means of its astringent action.
Buckthorne root assists in healthy stool formation.
Buckthorne root aids liver congestion, helps to carry blood and liver toxins out of the body. Good for gall stones, and lead poisoning. Calms the gastro-intestinal tract, is amild laxative, good for chronic constipation, and keeps the bowels regulated. Relieves dropsy (excess fluid accommodation in tissues or body cavity). Used for hemorrhoids, colic (abdominal pain caused by spasm), obesity, acute appendicitis, ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the colon).
Pumpkin seed provides excellent assistance to help sweep out waste as it moves through the colon.
Pumpkin seeds are one of nature’s almost perfect foods. They are a natural source of beneficial constituents such as carbohydrates, amino acids and unsaturated fatty acids. They contain most of the B vitamins, along with C, D, E, and K. They also have the minerals calcium, potassium, niacin, and phosphorous. Pumpkin seeds have mainly been used to treat prostate and bladder problems, but they have also been known to help with depression and learning disabilities.
Licorice root provides assistance in soothing gastrointestinal irritations and inflammations.
Licorice was used historically to treat the skin and coughs. It is also used to treat constipation, bronchitis, inflammation, and arthritis. Licorice may be prescribed by health care providers to treat adrenocortical insufficiency, peptic ulcer, and chronic gastritis.
Traditional Chinese Medicine uses licorice to treat problems from tuberculosis to diabetes. Restrained production of cortisol and anti-inflammatory effects are caused by the flavonoids and glycyrrhizin in licorice. Research has shown that licorice flavonoids can kill the bacteria that causes stomach inflammation and ulcers, called Helicobacter pylori.
Ginger root helps to relieve weak digestion and malabsorption.
Ginger Root has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years and is known to be greatly beneficial in reducing nausea and upset stomachs. It was used in Greek culture for making breads, the forerunner of the delicious gingerbread we enjoy today.
The plant is native to Southeast Asia, however due to the many benefits of Ginger Root, today it is cultivated around the world in many diverse locations.
Fennel seed is used to promote healthy digestion and support a healthy appetite.
Fennel seeds often provide quick and effective relief from many digestive disorders. They help to overcome gas, cramps, acid indigestion, and many other digestive tract maladies.
These seeds are very rich in minerals including magnesium. Two of its main constituents are Anethol and Fenchone. Anethol and other terpenoids may inhibit spasms in smooth muscles such as those in the intestinal tract. Fenchone may be responsible for the medicinal properties associated with Fennel.
Recent studies have found that consumption of fennel can increase the production of bile and may also possess diuretic, pain-reducing and anti-microbial activities.
Cascara Sagrada is used to promote movement in the colon and alleviate constipation.
Cascara sagrada has a long history of traditional use by native americans. Cascara sagrada contains compounds called anthroquinones, which are responsible for cascara’s powerful laxative effects. Anthraquinones trigger contractions in the colon, called peristalsis, which causes the urge to have a bowel movement. Today, it is one of the most common herbal laxatives.
In addition to being a powerful laxative, cascara is also believed to improve the muscle tone of the colon walls.
Rhubarb is a natural Laxative that promotes healthy digestion.
It is recognized that rhubarb not only exercises a digestive action but it operates directly as a conveyer of bile salts. When it reaches the stomach its digestive effects come into full play, causing an increase of the flow of gastric juice and inducing their movement, thus favoring the processing of the contents of the stomach. Besides stimulating the secretions from the liver which convey the bile salts, it assists the intestine in regulating the absorption of fats.
Rhubarb is used as a laxative, antiphlogistic, and homeostatic in the treatment of constipation, diarrhea, jaundice, gastro-intestinal hemorrhage, menstrual disorders, conjunctivitis, traumatic injuries, superficial suppurative sores and ulcers.
It’s a fact, we are like magnets for toxins like pesticides, herbicides (including carcinogens) preservatives and heavy metals. Just living in this century has made us vulnerable. The food we eat is contaminated. Fresh fish contains mercury and other heavy metals. Meat and poultry are grown with hormones. Even fresh fruit and vegetables have been subjected to pesticides and other toxins. Processed food is even worse, with chemical additives to preserve, color, anti-caking agents and who knows what else.
How about the air you breathe? Very few places have a good air quality these days. Look into the distance at your locality, is the air clear or smoggy? Think about the dirty, greasy coating which lands on your car, of course, you are breathing the same air which delivered that mess. We also absorb toxins through our skin.
Is it any wonder your body is overloaded, unable to properly rid itself of toxins and is crying out for help. Inflammation and irritation of your tissues, causing chronic illness, is the result.
So what are the top 6 things you are do to help the detoxification process.
Number 1 – Minimize exposure to toxins.
Avoid dry cleaning your clothes, make certain your normal washing is properly rinsed.
Don’t microwave your food in plastics (even if it says microwave safe).
Use glass containers to store food.
Beware of lead-based paint in older properties.
Use natural products and steam to clean your home.
Of course, don’t smoke.
Consider getting an air purifier to cleanse the air in your home, as it’s been proven that the air inside your home is often more polluted than the air outside.
Number 2 – Filter and purify your water.
This is an essential. We are made up of a large percentage of water. It is in every cell of our bodies. We are reliant on water to survive, and should consume 8-12 glasses daily to hydrate our cells and cleanse our system. However, it’s not just quantity, it’s also quality that counts. Most metropolitan water supplies are treated with chemicals to decontaminate the water. Rightly so, as untreated water would be a disaster. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean drinking the chemicals in the water is good for you. They add to your toxic load. A good water purifier should filter out the chemicals, add life and minerals to the water, energizing it to give it the structure of pure, natural water. Find out about Living Water HERE
Number 3 – Cleanse your digestive tract
The longer the transit time through your digestive system the more toxins are absorbed into your bloodstream. Therefore constipation is extremely bad for your health. Help your body rid itself of waste by drinking sufficient water to lubricate your system and eat enough fiber to “sweep” your colon clean.
Over time toxins build up in your colon, in a coating of plaque, preventing absorption of nutrients and “locking” toxins in, making colon cleansing a priority to extend your life. Click HERE for more information.
Number 4 – Eat organic food
Eating organic food not only reduces your toxic load, but also increases your nutrient intake. If you find it’s expensive or hard to find, try growing your own. Nature likes balance, so you will find, to a large degree, the good insects will take care of the annoying ones.
Number 5 – Detoxify with natural products
Chlorella – a single-celled dark green fresh water algae. It has a fibrous cell wall, which acts like a sponge to bind with all toxins (including heavy metals, pesticides and herbicides) and allow them to pass out of your body. More on Chlorella HERE Chlorophyll – a natural cleanser of your blood and digestive system. Cleanses your blood, kidney, liver and digestive system. The best chlorophyll is obtained from the young leaves of the mulberry (morus alba l). More on Chlorophyll HERE Spirulina – a blue-green algae with many benefits, including the ability to improve gastrointestinal and digestive health. More on Certified Organic Spirulina HERE.
Sorry to get personal here, but it’s important, you will have noticed that all these products are green, if your stools are not green, then you’re not taking enough.
Number 6 – Protect your skin
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Chemicals pass through your skin directly into your bloodstream. Avoid chemicals touching your skin. If you must dry-clean clothing, make certain you air it outside to reduce the chemicals. Avoid cleaning with chemical-based products, or at least wear gloves and use in well-ventilated areas. Install a water filter in your shower. Use organic skin care products.
Think about everything you eat, breathe, drink and touch. The secret is to minimize the input of toxins and maximize their output.
We are suffering from an overload of toxins, exceeding your body’s capacity to cleanse and detoxify itself properly. We need help! Your body is crying out for assistance in detoxifying itself. Heed the call and do something about it.
So give your body a chance to repair itself.
An overload of toxins means we have trouble eliminating enough waste products. Accumulating these toxic wastes means our bodies suffer inflammation and irritation of our organs and cells, impairing healthy body function at a cellular and organ level. Our systems are impaired causing allergies, skin problems, obesity, headaches, fatigue, poor concentration and memory, arthritis, cancer and generally lowered immune capability.
Our bodies need optimal conditions to function properly.