Cranberry juice is a staple in most women’s store cupboard either as a preventive, or treatment, for cystitis but it now seems it has even wider applications. Staph infections are very common and caused by a Staphylococcus (or staph) infection that often begins with a small cut, which then gets infected with bacteria.
Normally around a quarter of the population carry staph in the nose, mouth, genitals, and anal area but the prime area is usually the foot — especially if you go barefoot as it is very easy to pick up bacteria from the floor. Strains of S. aureus can cause a range of staph infections from minor skin rashes to serious bloodstream infections and one particular strain, known as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, (MRSA), is a growing problem in hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutions because it doesn’t respond to most antibiotics. As we have recently seen, because of the overuse of antibiotics, our bodies have developed resistance to them which renders them relatively ineffective.
So the good news is that researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts have recently carried out a small clinical study that appears to show that a cranberry juice cocktail blocked a strain of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) from beginning the process of infection.
Terri Camesano, professor of chemical engineering at WPI, has done previous work with cranberry juice studying its effects on E. coli and urinary tract infections, but they included Staphylococcus aureus in this latest study because it is a very serious health threat. Although it is in its early stages, the results of the study are surprising.
Their analysis showed that subjects who had recently consumed cranberry juice cocktail significantly reduced the ability of E. coli and S. aureus to form and that Staphylococcus aureus showed the most significant results in this study.
These results do appear to create more questions than answers, according to lead researcher Camesano, but it seems to me that taking out some natural health insurance in the form of a daily glass of cranberry juice couldn’t hurt.