While the role cranberry juice cocktail plays in promoting urinary tract health has been widely recognized for generations, emerging science now suggests that the cranberry may help fight bacteria that cause ulcers. Findings from Tel Aviv University suggest that cranberry compounds may be effective against H. pylori, the bacteria that cause some ulcers. According to scientists, in vitro research suggests that cranberry’s bacterial anti-adhesion mechanism may be a new tool to fight ulcers and the bacteria that cause them, even when the bacteria have already adhered to the stomach lining.

Scientists from leading universities around the world gathered in Houston for the first Cranberry Health Research Roundtable sponsored by Ocean Spray to share their latest findings. The research roundtable was held concurrently with the International Conference and Exhibition on Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals. The focus of the findings centered on compounds found in cranberries that are responsible for the anti-adhesion effect and their ability to disable certain harmful bacteria that cause infection in various parts of the body. In addition to the new study on cranberry and its effect on H. pylori bacteria, research was presented on how the anti-adhesion mechanism may be effective in the urinary tract and the oral cavity.

“To date, most research on cranberry has focused on the impact cranberry juice cocktail can have in maintaining urinary tract health,” said Martin Starr, Ph.D., Director of Health and Wellness, Ocean Spray. “We were excited to hear that compounds in cranberries that are responsible for the anti-adhesion effect may also fight the bacteria that cause some ulcers. The body of research we examined all points to how cranberry and cranberry juice cocktail may act as powerful protectors of health. This seemingly unique anti-adhesion property of the cranberry may be a promising strategy to fight certain bacteria naturally.”

Research from Rutgers University revealed how compounds in cranberry called proanthocyanidins, or condensed tannins, can interfere with E. coli bacteria, possibly by wrapping around or disabling them so the bacteria can’t stick to the urinary tract and cause infection. E. coli bacteria cause 80-90 percent of urinary tract infections. A study from the University of Western Ontario of catheterized patients also indicated that the cranberry juice cocktail helped prevent bacteria from adhering to bladder cells.

Other research from Tel Aviv University focused on cranberry’s anti-adhesion effect with bacteria in the oral cavity. It suggests that compounds in cranberries may prevent certain bacteria, associated with periodontal gum disease, found in the mouth from adhering to teeth and to other bacteria.

Also a preliminary study previously released from the University of Western Ontario found that cranberry components inhibited the development of tumors in mice injected with human breast cancer cells with more research needed to understand the benefits to human health.

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“While we are very encouraged by the findings shared at the roundtable, we will continue supporting research, as we have done for over half a century, to determine how the cranberry can play a greater role in maintaining health and wellness,” said Robert Hawthorne, Ocean Spray’s CEO.

Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative owned by 750 cranberry growers and 150 citrus growers throughout the United States and Canada. Headquartered in Lakeville-Middleboro, Mass., Ocean Spray ranks among the top 50 food and beverage companies and is the best-selling brand name in the canned and bottled-juice category. For additional information about Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., visit its website at www.oceanspray.com.