Cranberries are very effective in fighting bacterial infections. Although this has been known since centuries, latest research has provided a novel angle to using cranberry juice. The fruit can be used in a number of forms such as in sauces, pulps and juices. The fruit is known to have benefits for infections of the urinary tract and several other health problems. The study was carried out by Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Flavonoids present in Cranberry fruits, proanthocyanidins, were tested and it was found that they can be extracted. It is these groups of flavonoids that are effective in curing diseases and infections. A number of trials have been made to extract these flavonoids and turn them into pill form. According to the latest study, juice of cranberry is much more effective in preventing infections than in extracts. The juice provides protection against formation of biofilm, which are followed by outbreaks of infection. Extraction of PAC is not as effective in preventing infections as is the whole juice content, which is inclusive of a number of elements apart from these groups of flavanoids. Food Science and Biotechnology journal will publish the study. Extracts were released online prior to release of the publication.
Terri Camesano, who is a professor of chemical engineering in Worcester polytechnic institute said that it might not be just the flavonoids that are responsible for preventing infections. The actual process is much more complicated. Although extraction is possible, the results might not be as effective as consuming whole cranberry juice.
E.Coli virus is the major cause of a number of infections. The hair like projections on these E.Coli form a bio film, get attached to the urinary tract and cause infections. Cranberry juice destroys this bio film and prevents infections. For the current study, two strains of E.Coli were considered and each of them was subjected to a different cranberry juice cocktail treatment. In addition, a third batch of E.Coli was exposed to PAC extracts and not the entire juice. It was found that the strains that were exposed to whole juice did not have biofilms while those exposed to PAC extracts sis retain the bio film layer. This goes on to show that whole juice is more effective than extracts. The other ingredients in cranberry juice that play a role in preventing urinary tract infections have not been completely explored. The reasons have also not been known as to why PAC extracts cannot act effectively on infections.