An ode to the cranberry

August 12, 2013 at 2:34 pm Leave a comment

Several years ago, we used this space to enlighten our audience on the health benifits of blueberries (see: It’s Wild Blueberry Season in Canada! Health Information on the Wild Blueberry and Blueberry Madness Continues!). Now, thanks to McGill Scientists, our attention can be focused on one of Canada’s other famous fruits: the Cranberry.

Consuming cranberry products has been anecdotally associated with prevention of urinary tract infections (UTIs) for over 100 years. But is this popular belief a myth, or scientific fact?

In recent years, some studies have suggested that cranberries prevent UTIs by hindering bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract, thanks to phytochemicals known as proanthocyanidins (PACs). Yet the mechanisms by which cranberry materials may alter bacterial behaviour have not been fully understood.

Now, researchers in McGill University’s Department of Chemical Engineering are shedding light on the biological mechanisms by which cranberries may impart protective properties against urinary tract and other infections. Two new studies, spearheaded by Prof. Nathalie Tufenkji, add to evidence of cranberries’ effects on UTI-causing bacteria. The findings also point to the potential for cranberry derivatives to be used to prevent bacterial colonization in medical devices such as catheters.

Read the full story here.

Entry filed under: Biotechnology News and Info from Canadian Universities. Tags: .

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