text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation
News
design element
News
News From the Field
For the News Media
Special Reports
Research Overviews
NSF-Wide Investments
Speeches & Lectures
NSF Current Newsletter
Multimedia Gallery
Search Multimedia
Image
Video
Audio
More
Multimedia in the News
NSF Executive Staff
News Archive
 

Email this pagePrint this page
"Juicy Details" -- The Discovery Files


The Discovery Files
Audio Play Audio
The Discovery Files podcast is available through iTunes or you can add the RSS feed to your podcast receiver.

A study from researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute shows that the juice from cranberries is better at fighting bacterial infections than the cranberry extract found in pill form.

Credit: NSF/Karson Productions

Audio Transcript:

(Sound effect: glass pouring) Drink Your Juice.

(Sound effect: theme music) I'm Bob Karson with the discovery files--new advances in science and engineering from the National Science Foundation.

Mom probably told you that to prevent a urinary tract infection, you should drink cranberry juice. It's true. For a while we believed that it was the cranberry's flavonoid compounds that did the trick, and thought that maybe if we extracted them and put them in a pill, we might get the same benefits. A new study says, "listen to your mom -- drink the juice."

Scientists at Worcester Polytechnic Institute tell us juice works -- extracts, well, not so much. The primary culprit in a urinary tract infection -- or UTI -- is a virulent form of e-coli that attaches itself to cells in the urinary tract. The strain has small hooks that it uses to hang on. Get enough of these guys together, and it creates a biofilm and next thing you know you've got a UTI.

The scientists knew from earlier research that exposure to cranberry juice causes the bacteria's hooks to curl up rendering them unable to create the biofilm. They say cranberry sauce works well too. Flavonoid extracts tested were much less effective at preventing biofilm formation.

We now know a little more, but scientists still have a way to go to tell us why the juice works, and the extracts don't.

By the way, listening to "the cranberries" had no effect.

"The discovery files" covers projects funded by the government's national science foundation. Federally sponsored research--brought to you, by you! Learn more at nsf.gov or on our podcast.

 
General Restrictions:
Images and other media in the National Science Foundation Multimedia Gallery are available for use in print and electronic material by NSF employees, members of the media, university staff, teachers and the general public. All media in the gallery are intended for personal, educational and nonprofit/non-commercial use only.

Images credited to the National Science Foundation, a federal agency, are in the public domain. The images were created by employees of the United States Government as part of their official duties or prepared by contractors as "works for hire" for NSF. You may freely use NSF-credited images and, at your discretion, credit NSF with a "Courtesy: National Science Foundation" notation. Additional information about general usage can be found in Conditions.

MP3 icon
NSF podcasts are in mp3 format for easy download to desktop and laptops, as well as mobile devices capable of playing them.

 



Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page