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Cranberry may offer protection against antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause UTIs

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ Public health officials concerned about the rising problem of antibiotic resistance the immunity that bacteria develop to common prescriptions 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 pr
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Contact: Michele Hujber
hujber@aesop.rutgers.edu
732-932-9000 x555
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
18-Jun-2002


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