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Bioactive compounds in cranberries and their role in prevention of urinary tract infections.

Posted: 
November 9, 2010
Authors: 
Howell AB
Journal: 
Mol Nutr Food Res 51(6):732-7
Abstract: 

Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) ingestion has long been associated with prevention of urinary tract infections. The beneficial mechanism was historically thought to be due to the fruit acids causing a bacteriostatic effect in the urine. However, recently, a group of proanthocyanidins (PACs) with A-type linkages were isolated from cranberry which exhibit bacterial antiadhesion activity against both antibiotic susceptible and resistant strains of uropathogenic P-fimbriated Escherichia coli bacteria. The link between cranberry ingestion and maintenance of urinary tract health as well as the structural diversity, pharmacokinetics, quantification, and bacterial antiadhesion bioactivity of the A-linked cranberry PACs are reviewed.