Cranberry Decreases Homocysteine and Increases Adiponectin Levels in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome

By Kyle J. Norton

Homocysteine produced in the bloodstream is a common amino acid in the blood from eating meat.

High levels of homocysteine in the blood have been found to increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. 
In other words, homocysteine induced atherosclerosis by causing arterial damage, leading to the accumulation and formation of the plaque and blood clot.

Believe it or not, overexpression of homocysteine accompanied by the low levels of vitamins B6, B12, and folate, also have been found in some patients with renal disease.

Dr. Bradley A. Maron, the lead scientist in the examination of the disease associated with hyperhomocysteinemia wrote, “The unique biochemical profile of homocysteine is characterized by chemical reactivity supporting a wide range of molecular effects, and a tendency to promote oxidant stress-induced cellular toxicity”.

And, “Numerous epidemiological reports have established hyperhomocysteinemia as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, dementia-type disorders, and osteoporosis-associated fractures”.

Adiponectin is a type of protein associated with the function that regulates glucose levels and fatty acid breakdown.
The protein also plays a critical role in the development of insulin resistance and atherosclerosis. Low levels of adiponectin levels increase the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
In type 2 diabetes, and administration of adiponectin not lowers plasma glucose levels but also increases insulin sensitivity.
More precisely, in patients with type 2 diabetes, increased levels of adiponectin involved in the enhancement of insulin sensitivity were attributed to the increase of fatty acid oxidation and inhibition of hepatic glucose production.

Dr. Lihn AS in the examing the effects of administration of adiponectin in type 2 diabetes wrote, “adiponectin in addition to possible anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic effects appears to be an insulin enhancer, with potential as a new pharmacologic treatment modality of the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes”.

Cranberry is an evergreen dwarf shrub, genus Vaccinium, belongings to the family Ericaceae, native to Northern America and Southern Asia. Because of its health benefits, cranberry has been cultivated in some parts of the world for commercial profit and used in traditional and herbal medicine to treat wounds, urinary disorders, diarrhea, diabetes, stomach ailments, and liver problems.

On finding a potential compound for the inhibition of cardiovascular risk factors, researchers examined the effects of cranberry juice concomitantly on homocysteine and adiponectin levels in patients with the MetS.

The study included a total of 36 individuals with the MetS divided into two groups: the control group (n 36) and cranberry-treated group(n 20) received cranberry juice (0·7 liters/d) containing 0·4mg folic acid for 60 days.

According to tested analysis, the cranberry-treated group showed an increase in adiponectin involved in regulating glucose levels as well as fatty acid breakdown and a decrease in homocysteine associated with a risk for heart disease comapred to baseline values and the controls.

However, the cranberry-treated group improved MetS without affecting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-a, IL-1, and IL-6.

According to the measurement of oxidative stress, the cranberry-treated group also showed decreased lipoperoxidation and protein oxidation levels, compared to the control group.

The results strongly suggested that chronic consumption of cranberry juice for 60 d improves some cardiovascular risk factors.

Based on the findings, researchers concluded. “The present data reinforce the importance of the inverse association between homocysteine and adiponectin and the need for more specifically designed studies on MetS patients.”.

Taken altogether, cranberry may be considered a remedy for the prevention and treatment of MetS, pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Reduced-energy cranberry juice increases folic acid and adiponectin and reduces homocysteine and oxidative stress in patients with the metabolic syndrome by Simão TN1, Lozovoy MA, Simão AN, Oliveira SR, Venturini D, Morimoto HK, Miglioranza LH, Dichi I. (PubMed)
(2) The Treatment of Hyperhomocysteinemia by Bradley A. Maron, M.D. and Joseph Loscalzo, M.D., Ph.D. (PMC)
(3) Adiponectin: action, regulation, and association to insulin sensitivity by Lihn AS1, Pedersen SB, Richelsen B. (PubMed)