More Power to the Cranberry: Study Shows the Juice is Better than Extracts at Fighting Bacterial Infections
With scientific evidence now supporting the age-old wisdom that cranberries, whether in sauce or as juice, prevent urinary tract infections, people have wondered if there was an element of the berry that, if extracted and condensed, perhaps in pill form, would be as effective as drinking the juice or eating cranberry sauce. A new study from researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute helps to answer that question.
The study tested proanthocyanidins or PACs, a group of flavonoids found in cranberries. Because they were thought to be the ingredient that gives the juice its infection-fighting properties, PACs have been considered a hopeful target for an effective extract. The new WPI report, however, shows that cranberry juice, itself, is far better at preventing biofilm formation, which is the precursor of infection, than PACs alone. The data is reported in the paper “Impact of Cranberry Juice and Proanthocyanidins on the Ability of Escherichia coli to Form Biofilms,” which will be published on-line, ahead of print, Oct. 31, 2011, by the journal Food Science and Biotechnology. (more…)