(Image: Cranberry harvest in New Jersey, Credit: Keith Weller / USDA Agriculture Research Service)
It looks as if an Israeli researcher has helped turn a common folklore into scientific fact. Often seen as nothing more than "folk medicine," Israeli scientists have now proven that cranberries can in fact help those suffering from urinary tract infections(or UTI)--at least for women.
(Israel 21st Century) "Cranberries started as a folk medicine in the US," Ofek told ISRAEL21c. "Every fourth American in the '60s knew it was good for urinary tract infection." Ofek's goal was to find out the truth behind the myth.
With his research funded by the cranberry juice-producing monolith Ocean Spray, Ofek recently published his findings in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. There is only one snag: the benefits of cranberries, though prodigious, appear to apply only to women.
"It appears that in certain infections, such as ulcers caused by H. pylori bacteria, a clinical trial showed that the cranberry has beneficial effects for women only," says Ofek. "In urinary tract infections (UTI), the cranberry has been tested only on women and has proven to be beneficial, although UTI is primarily an infectious disease most common in women."
This research will no doubt boost sales for cranberry juice, especially Ocean Spray, who is already promoting this fact on their website.
Although this is great news for doctors and women around the world, hopefully Ofek can find something similar for the other half of humanity (note: as us guys feel left out).
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