The health and medical industry is fast recognizing the benefits of antioxidants as major disease fighters. Scientific studies show that cranberries also contain phytonutrients and proanthocyanidins (PACs). Like antioxidants, phytonutrients may protect against heart disease, cancer and other diseases. PACs prevent the adhesion of particular bacteria like E. coli to the urinary tract wall which can cause urinary tract infections (UTIs). Additionally these anti-adhesion properties of cranberries may inhibit the bacteria associated with gum disease and stomach ulcers. In a study done by Catherine Neto, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, newly discovered compounds were found in cranberries that are toxic to an assortment of cancer cells such as breast, prostate, lung, cervical and leukemia.
Further studies reveal the far reaching anti- bacterial and anti-adhesion properties of cranberries outside urinary tract infections. As the use of antibiotics steadily increases with bacterial infections, the consumption of cranberries could reduce the number of those same human bacterial infections from forming. This would thereby reduce the consumption of antibiotics and further reduce the formation of resistant strains of bacteria to those same antibiotics.