Next up: cranberry supplements, extracts, pills and powders

26 Jan







Ok, so I decided to have a look at cranberry supplements.  This particular brand is available in lots of places, contains 450mg of cranberry extract, with 15:1 concentration.  The softgel tablets look kind of like a kidney bean. When you cut them open, there is a gel like substance, our lovely cranberry made into extract. It doesn’t TASTE like cranberry, it has virtually no taste.

The whole supplement industry is amazing and growing fast.  At United Cranberry we have decided to take a closer look and use our newly developed test to determine cranberry content, following our mantra “if the label says cranberry, it ought to actually have cranberry in it. More is better”. The label on this particular item says that it contains more active ingredients than cranberry concentrate.  Well, we compare everything to the actual raw cranberry, so this should be interesting.   Stay tuned!

One Response to “Next up: cranberry supplements, extracts, pills and powders”

  1. cranberrytruths June 7, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    I like your thought process! The real question is not how much cranberry is in the supplement. The real question is how much active ingredient is in the supplement? The 500mg, 250mg, 100mg capsule weight is irrelevant as to how much active is in the pile/capsule/tablet. What matters is the amount of mgs of active ingredient that is in it.

    In the event that your readers do not know what the active ingredient is in cranberry, I will briefly elaborate. Proanthocyanidins or PACs for short are the active. PACs cap the arms of bacteria so that they cannot attach to the urinary tract walls and as a result are washed out with the urine stream. No bacteria, no infection. This is called antiadhesion (see New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 339:1085-1086 October 8, 1998 Number 15 Amy Howell, PhD).

    Further studies around antiadhesion lead to the identification of exactly how much PAC is required to be efficacious. (Howell et al. BMC Infectious Diseases 2010, 10:94) The answer is 36mg PAC.

    Further to that the only issue health claim for a cranberry supplement is based on the two studies referenced above and much more. The health claim was established in April of 2004 by the French National Food Safety Agency (AFSSA). AFSSA is the equivalent to the FDA. Surprisingly, in France and most of Europe, supplements must be proven to be safe and efficacious before before they can be marketed to the consumer. This could not be further from the truth in the U.S. Additionally the DGCCRF (French Directorate General of Competition, Consumption and Fraud Repression) requires the exclusive use of the BL- DMAC method for the quantitation of the PAC content of cranberry supplements. ( so, in a nutshell, the standard for cranberry for the prevention of UTIs is 36 mg BL-DMAC.

    I am only aware o f one product sold in the U.S. that meets this standard, ellura. ( This company has also compared several cranberry supplements to the standard as reflected by the graph on the site ( I am not certain but I think that the product that you referenced above, Nature Made, uses the CranMax cranberry powder. The chart gives a very poor outcome for those products tested. is a very good site that would be of benefit to you and anyone looking for solid information on cranberry supplements.

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