Bioactive compounds in cranberries and their role in prevention of urinary tract infections

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jun;51(6):732-7. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200700038.


Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) ingestion has long been associated with prevention of urinary tract infections. The beneficial mechanism was historically thought to be due to the fruit acids causing a bacteriostatic effect in the urine. However, recently, a group of proanthocyanidins (PACs) with A-type linkages were isolated from cranberry which exhibit bacterial antiadhesion activity against both antibiotic susceptible and resistant strains of uropathogenic P-fimbriated Escherichia coli bacteria. The link between cranberry ingestion and maintenance of urinary tract health as well as the structural diversity, pharmacokinetics, quantification, and bacterial antiadhesion bioactivity of the A-linked cranberry PACs are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Bacterial Adhesion / drug effects
  • Beverages
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Phytotherapy
  • Proanthocyanidins / isolation & purification
  • Proanthocyanidins / pharmacokinetics
  • Proanthocyanidins / pharmacology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control*
  • Vaccinium macrocarpon / chemistry*


  • Proanthocyanidins