03.16.2016 Cranberry Components Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Summary: The cranberry contains a unique combination of compounds, including proanthocyanidins (PACs), anthocyanins, flavonols and oligosaccharides, that gives the cranberry anti-bacterial properties that help prevent certain bacteria from sticking and causing infections. “What’s in a name?” asked William Shakespeare, famously. And that’s a good question — but we have a better one: “What’s in a cranberry?” In addition to a bold and delicious taste, cranberries are densely packed with nutrients and other powerfully healthy components. Many of these are small molecules from the polyphenol family, – including Type-A proanthocyanidins (PACs), anthocyanins, and flavonols. Others are carbohydrates, such as oligosaccharides. Together, they form a unique combination of compounds that give the cranberry anti-bacterial properties that help prevent certain bacteria from sticking and causing urinary tract and stomach infections. Research also shows that cranberry compounds may promote oral health by reducing activity among cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. But, many of these same components are helpful in other ways too – emerging research supports the cranberry’s role in promoting heart health due to its rich polyphenol content (more than many other popular fruits!). In addition to health benefits, certain cranberry compounds also play a role in the cranberry’s beauty and taste – anthocynanins even give cranberry its vibrant color and their delicious tart flavor. Cranberries also contain many of the same nutrients found in other commonly consumed fruits, such as vitamin C and fiber. So, what’s in a cranberry? A lot of great stuff, it turns out.