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Cranberries are good for more than urinary infections

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Cranberry antibiotic properties

New information shows cranberries could help fight potent infections.


The role of cranberries for thwarting urinary tract infections has been previously studied. McGill University researchers have also found cranberries can help fight other persistent and problematic bacteria.

Cranberries instead of antibiotics?

The finding, published in the journal Nature's Scientific Reports highlights how cranberries work to fight infeciton in a novel way.

Though the study was done on fruit flies, the study authors believe there are applications for humans based on the finding.

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Study authors Eric Déziel and Nathalie Tufenkji found fruit flies given cranberry extract developed protection from bacterial infection. The flies also lived longer compared to fruit flies not given cranberry.

The red berries work by disrupting communication between bacteria that helps infection spread. Compounds known as proanthocyanidins (PACs) destroy bacteria's ability to ahere to cells in addition to having anti-microbial properties.

See: Home remedy for urinary tract infection with cranberry

Dr. Tufenkji believes cranberries could be useful in mitigating severe infections and reducing reliance on antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance has become a global problem that has yet to be addressed. There has been little development of new antibiotics and superbugs are becoming a growing problem.

More: Cranberries fight Staph infection

Maisuria, V. B. et al. Cranberry-derived proanthocyanidins impair virulence and inhibit quorum sensing of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Sci. Rep. 6, 30169; doi: 10.1038/srep30169 (2016).