Indigenous peoples have used cranberry preparations to treat urinary tract infections (UTI) and other illness for centuries. Modern medical research has revealed the chemical and physiological effects cranberries have on the urinary tract and just how drinking cranberry juice may help prevent urinary tract infections.
Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins (PACs), which inhibit the fimbrial
Dr. Amy Howell et al. first reported on cranberry PACs antiadhesion
properties in 1998. In 2002, at the Experimental Biology conference,
it was reported that an eight-ounce serving of cranberry juice cocktail
prevented E. coli from adhering to the bladder cells in the urine
of six volunteers. Findings published as a research letter in the June
19, 2002 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association reported
that not only are cranberry PACs able to inhibit the adhesion of antibiotic
susceptible bacteria, but resistant strains as well. The authors also
report that the antiadhesion effect can last up to 10 hours after consumption,
suggesting that two servings of cranberry juice cocktail a day, consumed
at appropriate intervals, may be more beneficial than one.