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Consumption of sweetened dried cranberries versus unsweetened raisins for inhibition of uropathogenic Escherichia coli adhesion in human urine: a pilot study

November 1, 2010
Greenberg JA, Newmann SJ and Howell AB
J Altern Complement Med 11(5):875-8

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine whether consumption of sweetened dried cranberries elicits urinary anti-adherence properties against Escherichia coli as previously demonstrated with cranberry juice and/or sweetened cranberry juice cocktail, compared to unsweetened raisins.

DESIGN: Uropathogenic E. coli isolates were obtained from five women with culture-confirmed urinary tract infections (UTIs). Four urine samples were collected from each subject. The first urine sample was collected before any study intervention. The second urine sample was collected 2-5 hours after consumption of one box (42.5 g) of raisins. The third urine sample was collected 5-7 days later. The final urine sample was collected 2-5 hours after consumption of approximately 42.5 g of dried cranberries.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: E. coli isolates were incubated separately in each of the four urine samples collected from the five subjects. Bacteria were harvested from the urine and tested for the ability to prevent adhesion of P-fimbriated E. coli bacteria using a mannose-resistant hemagglutination assay with human red blood cells (A1, Rh+).

RESULTS: Of the urine samples collected after dried cranberry consumption, one demonstrated 50% antiadherence activity, two demonstrated 25% activity, and two did not show any increased activity. None of the control urine samples and none of the postraisin consumption samples demonstrated any inhibitory activity.

CONCLUSIONS: Data from this pilot study on only five subjects suggest that consumption of a single serving of sweetened dried cranberries may elicit bacterial antiadhesion activity in human urine, whereas consumption of a single serving of raisins does not. Further studies are needed to verify the antiadhesion effect of sweetened dried cranberries. In addition, dose-response and pharmacokinetics of the active compounds in the dried cranberries need to be determined. If clinical research is positive, dried cranberries could potentially be a viable alternative to cranberry juice consumption for prevention of UTIs.