Cranberry Cure? Researchers find cranberries help fight herpes

Cranberries have significant biological activity that can help to combat herpes virus type II (HSV-2) infection, one of the most common viral infections in humans, according to scientists.

Researchers at the Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan isolated a compound called proanthocyanidin A-1 from the evergreen shrub, also known as lingonberry or partridgeberry. Chun-Ching Lin and his team found that the compound significantly suppressed HSV-2 infection in vitro without any toxic effect.

Although in experiments the compound did not reduce the infectivity of the virus, it did reduce the effects of the infection by preventing viral attachment and penetration, and disturbed the late stage of infection.

Cranberries are also well known to help reduce urinary tract infections (UTIs). Scientists believe that compounds in cranberry prevent the bacteria that causes UTIs, E. coli, from sticking to the walls of the bladder and multiplying.

Chemistry & Industry, Oct 15, 2004