Foods/Supplements-Vitamins: Cranberries - (Vaccinium macrocarpon)

I expect that if a male thinks of cranberry juice at all, it's mostly in the context of treating female bladder infections. The same proanthocyanidins that sit in the bladder before voiding, will pass through the urethra, which in men, passes through the prostate. It's a bit of a stretch to think that might help in prostate-related problems, but two Czech studies [1 (2010)] & [2 (2016)] found that dried cranberries & cranberry powder, respectively, could help with LUTS (lower urinary tract symptoms).

More likely, since therapeutic levels of cranberry polyphenols in the urine implies signicant levels in the blood, some might get to PCa cells via the blood supply.

No human studies, of course.

[3] (2011 - U.S.)

This study measured levels of ursolic acid & its esters, & found up to about a gram per kilo (1.25 grams, counting the esters) in American cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon).

The effect of ursolic acid & its esters on DU145 PCa cells was determined:

"... inhibited tumor cell growth at micromolar concentrations, and inhibited MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity at concentrations below those previously reported for cranberry polyphenolics."

MMP-2 & MMP-9 are members of the matrix metalloproteinase family, responsible for destruction of the matrix that holds cells in place. i.e. the DU145 cell, by producing these MMPs, is able to free itself from the matrix & become invasive. Ursolic acid is able to inhibit this.

So they turned a cranberry study into an ursolic acid study. Ten years ago, Ephraim Lansky warned about turning pomegranates into merely a source of ellagic acid. It's tempting to isolate "the" active ingredient & put it in a pill, but in the case of the pomegranate, there are numerous phytochemicals in the juice, seed & pericarp that have additive, & perhaps synergistic benefit. Perhaps too, with the cranberry?

[4] (2011 - Canada)

Another DU145 cell study. Cranberry extract induced cell death (apoptosis).

"Proanthocyanidin-enriched and flavonol-enriched fractions of cranberry also increased caspase-8 and caspase-9 activity, suggesting that these compounds play a possible role in apoptosis induction."

"... these findings further establish the potential value of cranberry phytochemicals as possible agents against prostate cancer."

[5] (2010 - Canada)

Another DU145 cell study. As with [3] inhibition of MMP-2 & MMP-9 occurred.

Cranberry proanthocyanidins "decreased the expression of ... AKT proteins"

& "also decreased the translocation of the NF-κB ... protein to the nucleus."

"This study further demonstrates that cranberry {proanthocyanidins} are a strong candidate for further research as novel anti-cancer agents."

[6] (2004 - Canada again)

This study used "Cranberry presscake (the material remaining after squeezing juice from the berries)"

("when fed to mice bearing human breast tumor MDA-MB-435 cells, {it} was shown previously to decrease the growth and metastasis of tumors.")

An extract from the presscake "containing flavonoids demonstrated antiproliferative activity"

"The extract inhibited proliferation of 8 human tumor cell lines of multiple origins. The androgen-dependent prostate cell line LNCaP was the most sensitive of those tested (10 mg/L Fr6 inhibited its growth by 50%)" "the androgen-independent prostate line DU145 {was} the least sensitive (250 mg/L Fr6 inhibited ... growth by 50%)"

...

The supplement I use is Cran-Max. It is repackaged by a number of brands, e.g. [7].

"Cran-Max® is delivered by a unique, patented delivery system called Bio-Shield® Technology. Bio Shield® Technology protects the Cran-Max® as it passes through the digestive system until it reaches the lower gastrointestinal tract where is can better absorbed." [8]

-Patrick

[1] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/208...

[2] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/260...

[3] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/213...

[4] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/211...

[5] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/206...

[6] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/151...

[7] swansonvitamins.com/swanson...

[8] cranmaxinfo.com/whatiscranm...

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