Cranberry weakens the ability of bacteria to cause a urinary tract infection by reducing their ability to attach to the urinary tract tissue
Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts have discovered how the Cranberry fights urinary tract infections (UTIs) and they have also proven it ignores the normal, healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract that are required for good digestion. The bacterium E. coli is a normal inhabitant of the intestines. Yet it is also the cause of most incidents of urinary tract infections. It turns out that strains of E. coli that cause UTIs have little appendages known as fimbriae that they use to adhere to the lining of the urinary tract forming a strong bond with the cells they infect. The E. coli that do not cause UTIs lack this appendage. When Cranberry was administered to the bacteria it did not affect the E. coli lacking the appendages. However, in the infectious E. coli Cranberry reduced the power of the fimbriae by reducing their energy level. The study is published in the August 1st, 2008 issue of the journal Colloids and Surfaces.