For years, researchers have been trying to identify the compound in cranberries that make it so darn effective at preventing urinary tract infections.
BecauseÂ if they can identify the compound, they can extract it, condense it, patent it and then sell it to you as a prescription medication.
Currently, they have been taking a serious look at a group of flavonoids found in cranberries called proanthocyanidins. They believe that proanthocyanidins (aka PACs) are the source of the cranberry’s super-powerful infection fighting properties.
Unfortunately for the pharmaceutical industry… researchers Â at theÂ Worcester Polytechnic InstituteÂ have recently found that “cranberry juice, itself, is far better at preventing biofilm formation, which is the precursor of infection, than PACs alone”.
“What we have shown is that cranberry juiceâ€™s ability to prevent biofilms is more complex than we may have originally thought,â€ saidÂ Terri Camesano, professor of chemical engineering at WPI. â€œFor a while, the field focused on these PACs, but the data shows that they arenâ€™t the silver bullet.”
In her latest study, Prof. Camesano incubated two different strains of E. coli in the presence of two different mixtures of commercially available cranberry juice cocktail. They also incubated the bacteria separately in the presence of PACs, but not juice.
While the juice cultures completely prevented biofilm formation, the PACs showed only limited ability to reduce biofilm formation, and only after extended exposure to theÂ E. coli.
Prof. Camesano concluded that “while the mechanisms of action of cranberry products on bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation are not fully understoodâ€¦this study shows thatÂ cranberry juice is better at inhibiting biofilm formation than isolated A-type cranberry flavonoids and PACs, although the reasons for this are not yet clear.”
Save your money on cranberry supplements and go buy yourself a bottle of cranberry juice.