Washington, Jan 11: Two glasses of cranberry juice a day can effectively cure bladder infections, ulcers, cavities and viruses in women, says a researcher.
Prof. Itzhak Ofek, a researcher at Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine, has revealed that the red beverage has some additional medicinal qualities that can heal urinary tract infections, prevent cavities and lessens the reoccurrence of gastric ulcers in women.
He said that the remarkable healing property stems from a heavy molecule known as non-dialyzable material or NDM. It seems to coat some bodily surfaces with Teflon-like efficiency, preventing the infection-causing agents.
"Surprisingly, NDM appears to have no effect on some of the good bacteria in our bodies," said Prof. Ofek.
"We understood that there was something in cranberry juice that doesn't let infections adhere to a woman's bladder. We figured it was a specific inhibitor and proved this to be the case," he added.
Ofek worked with Prof. Ervin Weiss and Prof. Zichria Rones at Hadassah Medical and Dental School to find out how did it prevented cavities. He found that NDM inhibits the flu virus from attaching to cells and prevented experimental flu infections in animal models.
In another study with Dr. Haim Shmuely, a resident physician at the Beilinson Hospital and lecturer at Tel Aviv University, Ofek found that cranberry also reduced two-thirds of the "unhealthy" bacteria that gripped on to the to gastric cells, leading to ulcers.
"The results were very interesting. Cranberry helped reduce the load of this bacteria, Helicobacter pylori, in the gut. In combination with antibiotics, it reduced repeat ulcers from approximately 15 percent to about 5 percent," said Ofek.
However, he said that the study holds true for women only.
"The whole thing with cranberries seems to be female-oriented," he said
According to the researcher further studies investigating berry's healing powers have also found that cranberry NDM can also act as an anti-cancer agent.
The study appears in journal Molecular Nutrition and Food.