London: Cranberries can help curb recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs), the second most common type of infection in the body, researchers, including one of India-origin, have found.
Researchers at the International Conference on Polyphenols and Health (ICPH) in France explained how the unique blend of polyphenol antioxidants - provided by cranberries - may assist in preserving heart and cognitive health, and protect against oxidative stress to help promote overall well-being.
"We have long believed in the urinary tract health benefits that cranberries provide, but this new research reveals just how wide-ranging those benefits can be," said Kalpana Gupta, chief of Infectious Diseases at Boston Healthcare System and professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.
Approximately 40 per cent of women and 12 per cent of men will experience at least one symptomatic urinary tract infection during their lifetime, which underscores why one of the world's most pressing public health problems is antibiotic resistance, according to the World Health Organisation.
Sometimes these seemingly simple infections can lead to complications, which may have been preventable, researchers said.
Gupta highlighted that rising resistance across multiple classes of drugs has made oral options for UTIs often limited and sometimes nonexistent.
The results from clinical trials suggest that cranberry may reduce the incidence of symptomatic UTI.
Christina Khoo, director of Research Sciences at Ocean Spray, an agricultural cooperative, shared how unique cranberry elements make it a powerful and nutritional approach that can provide benefits across the entire body.
Among its list of healthy attributes is the cranberry's ability to support cardiovascular and cognitive health.
Peter Howe, professor at the University of Newcastle in Australia, presented research explaining how polyphenols, like those found in cranberries that help keep
bacteria from attaching to cells, have been linked to better blood flow, which could help improve overall cardiovascular health as well as cognitive function.
"Based on emerging science, cranberries can be a vital nutritional asset to address global health issues, particularly as more people look to holistic approaches for healing," said Howe.
Cranberries play an important role in helping people meet their recommended fruit intake, and the science presented during the ICPH conference further underscores that cranberries are powerful and may provide whole-body health benefits.
This new research also builds on other recent findings that showed drinking cranberry juice cocktail may help manage risks associated with heart disease, diabetes and stroke.