Fewer Infections may mean less antibiotic therapy
Public health officials concerned about the rising problem of antibiotic resistance ¾ the immunity that bacteria develop to common prescriptions ¾ may have an ally in a common household beverage. Findings published in a research letter to the editor in the June 19, 2002 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) indicate scientists have discovered that regular consumption of cranberry juice cocktail may offer protection against certain antibiotic resistant bacteria that cause urinary tract infections (UTIs).
This latest research, conducted jointly between Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and the University of Michigan, suggests that regular consumption of cranberry juice cocktail could reduce the potential for development of UTIs, thus decreasing the need for antibiotics. In this study, scientists tested the effectiveness of cranberry juice cocktail in disabling a number of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria, some of which are resistant to certain drugs. Preventing UTIs could potentially reduce the use of antibiotics, and subsequently reduce further development of antibiotic resistance.
"We found that when subjects consumed cranberry juice cocktail, their urine was capable of preventing not only susceptible, but antibiotic-resistant bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract," said Amy B. Howell, Ph.D., research scientist at Rutgers, and lead investigator of the study. "Cranberry acts to promote flushing of these problematic bacteria from the bladder into the urine stream, which should result in a lower rate of infection."
According to Betsy Foxman, Ph.D., Professor of Epidemiology and Director at the Center for Molecular and Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, who co-authored this study, "In light of the increasing antibiotic resistance of many bacteria, the public health significance of the role of foods, such as cranberry juice cocktail, in preventing infections warrants further consideration. A lower number of infections means reduced use of antibiotics and lower potential risk of developing further bacterial antibiotic resistance." She continued, "Additional work that I co-authored, cited in the October 4, 2001 edition of The New England Journal of Medicine, suggests that an increasing number of new E. coli strains are resistant to the most common antibiotics used to treat UTIs, prompting physicians and researchers to look for alternatives."
The JAMA findings indicate that cranberrys well-documented anti-adhesion mechanism is effective against both the antibiotic-resistant and sensitive E. coli strains tested. Specifically, the researchers examined various E. coli isolates from the urine of women and men with UTIs. These isolates were introduced into urine samples collected from healthy subjects before and after drinking eight ounces of cranberry juice cocktail. The samples taken after the cranberry juice cocktail was consumed prevented 79 percent of antibiotic resistant bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract cells, while urine samples taken before cranberry juice cocktail was consumed failed to prevent adhesion. In total, the cranberry juice cocktail prevented 80 percent of all bacteria tested from sticking.
This study is also the first to look at duration of effect of cranberry in the urinary tract. Said Dr. Howell, "This research found that cranberry juice cocktails beneficial effect may start within two hours and can last for up to 10 hours in the urine, which suggests that consuming a serving in the morning and one in the evening may provide more effective anti-adhesion protection than consuming one serving a day."
A common misconception is that cranberries help maintain urinary tract health by acidifying the urine, but research supports that the anti-adhesion, or anti-stick, property of the cranberry is the key to its urinary tract health benefit. Scientists believe that the proanthocyanidins, or condensed tannins, in cranberries prevent certain E. coli bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract and causing infection.
The National Center of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, recently approved funding to support further research on the role of cranberry, with one area of emphasis being the effect of cranberry in prevention of UTI, and as an adjunct to antibiotics in the treatment of UTI. Funding for antimicrobial resistance research has increased more than 75 percent, from $7.8 million in 1992 to approximately $13.8 million in 1998, indicating that national concern over resistant bacteria has increased dramatically.
Cranberry juice cocktail is a food, not a drug, nor should it be used in place of a drug. Anyone who suspects an infection should always consult a physician. Cranberry juice cocktail should not be used as a treatment for infection, but may be an effective part of a prevention routine.
This study was funded by Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.
Michele Hujber | Source: EurekAlert!
More articles from Health and Medicine:
Canadian researchers lead groundbreaking discovery in deadly childhood cancer
11.12.2013 | McGill University Health Centre
Review Calls for Increased Attention to Cancer Risk from Silica
11.12.2013 | American Cancer Society
The molecular architecture of three key proteins and their complexes reveals how plants fine-tune their immune response to pathogens
Plants rarely get sick in their natural environment. When the threat of infection arises, a quick decision is made about the necessary countermeasures. The course is set by a protein which forms complexes with its partner proteins for this purpose.
Jane Parker from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding ...
Researchers studying speciation of butterfly orchids on the Azores have been startled to discover that the answer to a long-debated question "Do the islands support one species or two species?" is actually "three species".
Hochstetter's Butterfly-orchid, newly recognized following application of a battery of scientific techniques and reveling in a complex taxonomic history worthy of Sherlock Holmes, is arguably Europe's rarest orchid species. Under threat in its mountain-top retreat, the orchid urgently requires conservation recognition.
A lavishly illustrated publication, titled "Systematic revision of Platanthera in ...
Researchers from Brown University and the University of Hawaii have found some mineralogical surprises in the Moon's largest impact crater.
Data from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper that flew aboard India's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter shows a diverse mineralogy in the subsurface of the giant South Pole Aitken basin.
The differing mineral signatures could be reflective of the minerals dredged up at the time of the giant impact 4 billion years ago, ...
In power electronics systems bonded connections create the central electrical connections between adjoining surfaces.
The quality of these bonded connections is one of the main factors that determines the reliability and availability of drive systems in electric vehicles, and hence constitutes a major design challenge for German auto manufacturers aiming to electrify their vehicles.
Now the partners participating in the RoBE (Robust Bonds in ...
International team of scientists develops new feedback method for optimizing the laser pulse shapes used in the control of chemical reactions
In many ways, traditional chemical synthesis is similar to cooking. To alter the final product, you can change the ingredients or their ratio, change the method of mixing ingredients, or change the temperature or pressure of the environment of the ingredients.
Like an accomplished chef, chemists have become very skilled ...
11.12.2013 | Information Technology
11.12.2013 | Life Sciences
11.12.2013 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
11.12.2013 | Event News
10.12.2013 | Event News
05.12.2013 | Event News