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article imageNew evidence in support of cranberries

By Tim Sandle     Dec 8, 2013 in Health
New research adds a new dimension to cranberries' possible effect on urinary tract infections and their bacterial killing properties.
Cranberries have long had a reported ability to prevent and even treat urinary tract infections (as the Digital Journal has previously reported). Now comes a new study which adds further weight to the benefits of cranberries.
The new research has been led by Nathalie Tufenkji, a chemical engineer at McGill University. Tufenkji and her colleagues were interested in discovering what the compounds in cranberries did to certain bacteria's gene expression. For their research, they took Escherichia coli that had been isolated from the urinary tract and exposed it to different concentrations of cranberry powder. They saw that when the cranberry powder was present, the E. coli's ability to swim and swarm dramatically decreased.
Scientific evidence suggests that the key chemical contained within the fruit: phytochemicals known as proanthocyanidins (PACs); these are similar to the chemicals found in red wine. The chemical appears to hinder bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. Proanthocyanidins also seem to have antioxidant properties.
The findings have been published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, in a paper titled "Inhibition of Escherichia coli CFT073 fliC Expression and Motility by Cranberry Materials".
More about Cranberries, Bacteria, urinary, urinary tract
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