Cranberry, a fruit which originated in the forests of northern Europe, was estimated to be the second most popular herbal supplement in 2016, and it’s easy to see why.
Cranberries are most popular for preventing urinary tract infections, and they succeed wildly, by wiping out the bacteria which causes it. Naturals antioxidants called proanthocyanidins are behind those benefits, and that brings us to another advantage: cranberries are rich in antioxidants full-stop.
They’re packed with flavonoid antioxidants like myricetin, peonidins, and cyanidins, which deactivate free radicals and protect your brain, eyes, muscles and skin. Cranberries are even richer in antioxidants than strawberries or blueberries, whether as a whole fruit or a conveniently condensed pill.
Then there’s the vitamin C, which can lower stress and enhance your skin tone by increasing collagen production. Do you suffer from stomach upsets or poor digestion? Cranberries may be the solution, by wiping out a deadly strain of gut bacteria called helicobacter pylori, which is even suspected to cause acne.
The magic of cranberries never ends, and remember: these are only the benefits which we’ve discovered. But which is the best brand?
That’s what we’re going to discuss today. Before we begin, a warning: cranberries are extremely safe, but can occasionally cause stomach upsets, nausea, and vomiting. Discontinue supplementation if you notice those side effects. For a shortcut, MegaFood and Eclectic Institute are the best brands here.
Let’s get started:
One – MegaFood
Firstly, the dosage is powerful, with 500mg per capsule. The extract itself is a 50:1 extract, meaning that 500mg contains the nutritional equivalent of 25,000mg, or 25 grams of whole cranberries. That’s an extremely impressive total.
Secondly, MegaFood takes great care to process their cranberries properly. The berries are sourced from the natural fields of Wisconsin, and each batch is carefully milled using a patented Slo-Food Process, to preserve all of the nutrition of the whole berries.
MegaFood lives up to this purity with the additives list too; the only extra ingredients are vegetable cellulose and ascorbyl palmitate, both of which are harmless. Controversial additives like magnesium stearate, corn flour and soy are far away.
This cranberry extract is even standardised to consist of 1.5% proanthocyanidins, the vital compounds which treat urinary tract infections and enrich your skin. The capsule supply is 60, for a 2 month supply, while MegaFood is manufactured entirely in the USA.
MegaFood is a cranberry supplement which is nearly impossible to beat.
Amazon link: MegaFood Pure Cranberry.
Two – Eclectic Institute
The additives list is incredibly pure, consisting solely of the hypromellose capsule. The extract is made with extreme care; the cranberries are sourced from the USA, and freeze dried rather than spray dried to preserve as many phytonutrients as possible. The cranberries are free from any harsh processing.
Like MegaFood, Eclectic Institute is standardised, but is broken down even further. Each capsule contains a powerful 300mg of cranberry extract, which itself contains 4.5mg to 9mg of procyanidins, and 2.1mg to 6mg of anthocyanins, two subsets of proanthocyanidins.
Why is standardisation so beneficial? Because proanthocyanidins have been identified in studies as the compound which specifically wipe out helicobacter pylori, the microorganism responsible for digestive havoc. They also have strong antioxidant benefits in the skin, shielding your face against the dulling and life-sucking forces of free radicals. You definitely don’t need a standardised product – studies on raw cranberry juice have also been beneficial for digestive health – but it’s a great bonus, and Eclectic Institute supplies it.
Meanwhile, this brand contains 90 capsules, for a 3 month supply. Your days of acne could be coming to an end. Finally, Eclectic Institute is made entirely in the USA, with no Chinese influence.
Eclectic Institute is a perfect cranberry supplement in every way.
Amazon link: Eclectic Institute Cranberry, 90 Count.
Three – Pure Naturals
The dosage isn’t sacrificed either, with a strong 450mg per capsule; note that the bottle says 1900mg due to their recommendation of 4 capsules daily. The only additives, meanwhile, are gelatin, purified water, glycerin, and silica, all of which are safe.
Pure Naturals features all of the nutrients of cranberries with none of the downsides. Whole, raw cranberries are extremely healthy, and low in sugar, but the problem with the wildly popular cranberry juice is its massive sugar content. One glass contains 31 grams. Far from clearing acne, cranberry juice is likely to worsen it.
The exception is if the remainder of your diet is clean, or if you drink cranberry juice before a workout, but regardless raw cranberries or a concentrated pill like Pure Naturals are the way forward. Finally, Pure Naturals is manufactured in the USA, in a Good Manufacturing Practises compliant facility.
Pure Naturals meets every requirement for a pure and effective cranberry supplement.
Amazon link: Pure Naturals Cranberry Extract.
Four – Sonora Nutrition
One of the more popular cranberry supplements available today is also one of the more effective. Like MegaFood, Sonora Nutrition contains a huge 50:1 extract. The official dosage of each capsule is 300mg, but contains the nutritional equivalent of 15 grams (15,000mg) of raw cranberries.
The only additives in Sonora Nutrition are gelatin and rice flour. Gelatin is a jelly derived from animal cartilage, a harmless ingredient which forms the capsule and has some bonus benefits due to containing the amino acid glycine. Rice flour is a capsule filler, a much safer one than the inflammatory corn flour. Sonora Nutrition is free from any harsh additives, like soy, corn, and magnesium stearate.
Sonora Nutrition is also manufactured in the USA, in a GMP compliant facility, with the manufacturers taking no shortcuts. This cranberry extract is not sourced from China and its booming yet frequently fraudulent supplement market. Finally, Sonora Nutrition features a 100-strong capsule count, delivering months of nutritional goodness.
Sonora Nutrition will deliver every benefit which cranberries are famous for.
Amazon link: Sonora Nutrition Cranberry Pills.
Five – YounGlo Research
A cranberry extract brand with a special feature. Firstly, YounGlo Research easily meets our standards for the cranberry itself. Each capsule contains 252mg, and with their recommended serving of 2 capsules daily, you have a powerful 504mg dosage, beating MegaFood by 4mg (horray!).
YounGlo Research contains a 50:1 extract, making it the nutritional equivalent of 25,200mg of raw cranberries. YounGlo Research even utilises PACran, a patented cranberry extract which is scientifically proven to improve urinary tract health. Meanwhile, the capsule count is 120.
So what about the unique feature? YounGlo Research also contains 60mg of vitamin C per capsule. The cranberries themselves will provide vitamin C, but YounGlo Research takes this to its logical conclusion, and thus delivers 1) greater stress reduction, 2) more antioxidants, and 3) a stronger increase in collagen production.
All of this goodness comes with just two harmless additives, gelatin and rice flour, with the controversies of magnesium stearate, soy, corn and gluten being far away. YounGlo Research is also manufactured in the USA, and has a 90 day refund guarantee, which you probably won’t need.
YounGlo Research is an extra special cranberry extract brand.
Amazon link: YounGlo Research Cranberry Pills Triple Strength PACRAN.
Six – Puritan’s Pride
The single additive is gelatin, so pure that it lacks even a capsule filler. The dosage is monstrous at 500mg per capsule, with 60 capsules in the bottle. Once more, Puritan’s Pride contains a 50:1 extract, equivalent to gathering 25 grams of raw cranberries from the woods and eating them. This brand lacks any harmful additives like soy, magnesium stearate or corn.
Puritan’s Pride is also a trusted supplement company, with their hyaluronic acid being among the best. The only minor downside is that there’s no mention of standardisation, no guarantee that the vital proanthocyanidins are found in high quantities, but since they’re a natural ingredient of the cranberry fruit, and its juice, standardisation is a bonus rather than a vital feature anyway.
Puritan’s Pride is perfect for a dedicated cranberry extract supplement.
Amazon link: Puritan’s Pride One A Day Cranberry.
Seven – Oregon’s Wild Harvest
The cranberries within are all pesticide free, and no chemical-based extraction methods are used. The cranberries are grown in the USA, and the extract is in the patented PACran form. Even better, Oregon’s Wild Harvest is fully standardised, to consist of 1.5% proanthocyanidins for guaranteed benefits.
The ingredients are also minimal, with the organic pullulan capsule being the sole additive. Each capsule contains 250mg of cranberry extract, but an interesting bonus is 170mg of organic rosehip seeds. Rosehip seeds contain some vitamin C themselves, like cranberries, but also have promising anti-ageing properties, which is why rosehip seed oil is a promising topical treatment.
Meanwhile, the capsule count is 60. The dosage of Oregon’s Wild Harvest is lower than MegaFoods, but it’s equally well-formulated. Finally, Oregon’s Wild Harvest is fully manufactured in the USA, with no Chinese influence. It’s also a reputable company, selling an excellent saw palmetto brand too.
Oregon’s Wild Harvest is a particularly pure cranberry extract brand.
Amazon link: Oregon’s Wild Harvest Organic Cranberry.
Eight – PureCo
PureCo is a cranberry extract which lives up to its name with ease, being free from any magnesium stearate, soy, corn or gluten. It’s also explicitly free from any GMOs and the only additives are the pullulan capsule, and organic rice concentrate.
PureCo is also a particularly affordable cranberry brand, while sacrificing no power whatsoever: there’s a strong 500mg per capsule, and a 60-strong capsule count. The cranberries themselves are grown in both US and Canadian farms. The cranberry extract is even certified organic, with guaranteed freedom from toxic pesticides.
PureCo is also confirmed to have a long shelf life, lasting for 2 years from the date of manufacture and thanks to its quick turnaround, about 18 months after purchase. It also has a 30 day refund guarantee. That’s a perfect timeframe if, for example, you’re suffering from digestive discomfort and hoping that cranberry is the solution. PureCo is also another powerful 50:1 extract.
If you’re looking for an organic yet affordable cranberry extract, PureCo is hard to beat.
Amazon link: PureCo Organic Cranberry Concentrate.
Nine – Nutricost
Not only does Nutricost contain 30mg of bonus vitamin C per capsule, there’s also 6IU of vitamin E, equivalent to 20% of the recommended daily intake. Vitamin E is the most important nutrient for acne alongside zinc, deactivating fat-soluble free radicals and preventing skin pores from clogging.
Then there’s the vitamin C, which will enhance collagen formation and deactivate water-soluble free radicals. Nutricost combines this with a short additives list of just the vegetable capsule. Nutricost is confirmed to be free from magnesium stearate and frequently genetically modified ingredients like maltodextrin, while it’s also made in the USA and has a 100% money back guarantee.
YounGlo Research is superior if you’re after vitamin C, with a higher 60mg dosage, but Nutricost is perfect for a combination. The final benefit is the company’s reputation – its milk thistle and resveratrol brands are also great.
Nutricost is a perfect supplement for all of your cranberry needs.
Amazon link: Nutricost Cranberry Extract With Vitamin C & Vitamin E.
Ten – Gaia Herbs
The additives are pure, being vegetable glycerin and the capsule (vegetable cellulose), with no magnesium stearate or corn flour included. The dosage is powerful, with 420mg of pure cranberry extract per capsule, which is apparently “cultivated in accordance with nature’s intent“.
Gaia Herbs sells a number of other well-formulated supplements, including resveratrol and olive leaf extract. It’s a relatively affordable brand, and the bottle will last for ages, with 60 capsules. The cranberry extract is also specifically sourced from cranberry juice; a few cheaper brands use dried left-over skins, which are known to produce nutritionally inferior, poorer quality supplements.
Gaia Herbs only has a couple of small downsides. Firstly, the dosage per capsule is slightly lower than MegaFood. Secondly, Gaia Herbs isn’t confirmed to be standardised, being simply a raw extract of the cranberry fruit, which is arguably not even a problem anyway.
Gaia Herbs easily beats almost every cranberry supplement on Planet Earth today.
Amazon link: Gaia Herbs Cranberry Concentrate.
If you live in a forested area of Europe, you may not need to buy a cranberry supplement at all, but regardless, you now know which brands are the best.
MegaFood and Eclectic Institute are the best brands, since they’re extremely well-produced and standardised, but YounGlo Research is promising because of its bonus vitamin C.
Since cranberry is such a popular herbal supplement, gaining popularity each year, the market should only improve from here.
Thanks for reading!