Cranberry has long been linked to helping defeat urinary tract infections, and recent research is beginning to bear this out.
How do cranberries help? When a cranberry is in its juvenile state, it is green and bitter, making it unpalatable to most animals.
This is a matter of survival. At this early stage, the cranberry produces a certain class of molecules known as flavonoids, substances that have been investigated for their nutritional benefits and antibacterial activity.
Studies have shown that the particular flavonoids produced by the cranberry have a strong antibacterial effect.
As the berry matures, it must propagate. To ensure that this happens, the plant transforms the flavonoid molecules to sugar molecules.
( so it will be more palatable for animals to eat and spread it's seeds ). This sugar molecule makes cranberry effective as a nutrient within the urinary tract.
In the human body, different cells have unique receptor sites. In cranberries, the sugar unlocks a receptor site on the walls of the urinary tract.
This explains cranberries’ unique benefits. Cranberries contain a type of flavonoid that is capable of defeating the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections, and this flavonoid is attached to a sugar that seeks out the cells that line the urinary tract.
Research recommends making cranberries part of your diet if you are prone to recurrent urinary infections. A 1994 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that cranberry might reduce the levels of bacteria in urine.