Cranberry Juice May Thwart Stomach Viruses
Studies in Humans Are Needed, Says Researcher
WebMD News Archive
June 7, 2005 -- Cranberry juice may help stop stomach viruses, according to
preliminary lab tests in animals.
Cranberry juice has long had a reputation for preventing urinary tract
infections. These juices have antibiotic properties that may inhibit bacteria
within the bladder.
So far it's only been tested against stomach viruses in a lab, using viruses
from monkeys and goats. It's not yet known if the beverage would be a remedy
for people or which stomach viruses it would target.
Researchers who worked on the study included Patrice Cohen of St. Francis
College in New York. They presented their findings in Atlanta at the American
Society for Microbiology's 105th General Meeting.
There are many different kinds of stomach bugs, and thousands of people
every year are sickened by them. Worldwide, millions have died from diarrhea.
Most of those deaths happen in developing countries, where drinking water and
availability of medical care are often insufficient.
For instance, diarrhea killed an estimated 2.2 million people worldwide in
1998, says the World Health Organization (WHO). Most cases were in children
younger than 5 years old living in developing countries and were caused by
gastrointestinal infections linked to bacteria, viruses, and parasites, says
Cranberry Juice Lab Test
In the lab tests, which were partly funded by the Cranberry Institute and
the Wisconsin Cranberry Board, researchers treated monkey and goat stomach
viruses with commercially available cranberry juice. When the juice was
present, the viruses didn't infect cells and didn't latch onto red blood
"Our studies suggest a cranberry juice-induced antiviral effect upon
selected intestinal animal viral disease-producing agents," says Cohen in a
"Additional studies in the form of human trials need to be performed to
determine any beneficial effects of cranberry juice consumption as a means to
help reduce the incidence of viral intestinal disease," she says.