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Cranberry juice and infection – now this is really wild stuff

Posted Sep 17 2010 9:11am

I’ve written at length in this blog about the basic model of immune balance .  This is the ability…or inability… of the body to control immune response so that certain immune cells attack when needed while other immune cells help stave off immune aggression and not compound a condition by overreacting.

Once in a while, it’s kind of interesting to see what the latest science is showing in terms of a molecule actually impacting the behavior, not of immune cells, but of the actual bacterium itself.  Please welcome to our show, the cranberry, or more specifically, cranberry juice.

Some new research has come from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (I know, not a research mecca like Berkeley or MIT…it’s located in Worcester, Mass, but appears to be a nice little sci/tech specialty school). It shows that cranberry juice itself, when consumed by people with a history of urinary tract infection (UTI), appears to decrease the number of UTI’s over a 12 month period. It also appears to inhibit the wicked antibiotic-resistant MRSA staph infection

Apparently, cranberry juice can alter the e.coli bacterium in UTI occurrences by blunting and curling up the sharp little claws, called fimbriae, on e.coli germs that otherwise allow the e.coli to attach to other cells in the urinary tract and multiply.

The juice also almost completely eliminated MRSA bacteria from being able to form a thin biofilm on human tissue, where normally MRSA bacteria would proliferate.

It’s all fascinating. I’m not saying go drink a quart of cranberry juice each day with your EpiCor and become a walking health fortress. But it is cool to continue seeing confirmation of whole foods’ and supplements’ potential to promote healing and health.

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