How Cranberry Juice Conquers E. Coli

If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection, you’ve probably heard of the home remedy of drinking cranberry juice.  Scientists are still not exactly sure how the fruit juice functions as a natural antibiotic, but a new study has provided a bit more insight.

The bacteria responsible for more than 95 percent of urinary tract infections are a pathogenic strain of E. coli.  These bacteria have tiny arm-like appendages called fimbriae that anchor them to the surfaces of urinary tract cells.

Live Science reports:

“... [C]ranberry juice blocks the E. coli fimbriae from grabbing onto urinary tract cells. Cranberries contain large amounts of a chemical called proanthocyanidin, or PAC. PAC functions almost like a shield -- it forces the fimbriae to crumple so they can’t attach to surface of the cells in the urinary tract.”

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