Cranberry ingredient gets Korean UTI health claim

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

A cranberry ingredient from US firm Proprietary Nutritionals Inc (PNI) can be supported by a health claim in the Korean market, after the nation’s regulator approved a claim linking it to urinary tract health.

PNI’s Cran-Max ingredient is already widely used in the US market in applications for urinary tract infections, and in the European Union via a licensing arrangement with French supplier, Ingredia.

The approval from the Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) now means it can be marketed in that market as a “functional ingredient that is helpful for urinary tract health”.

Cran-Max is a whole berry concentrate made using a proprietary process that utilizes all parts of the fruit, including the skin, seeds, pulp, juice and fiber.

According to PNI, it does not contain solvent, preservative, sugars, water, flavorings or color.

Last month, the Commissioner of the KFDA noted in official documents that Cran-Max is an “approved functional food ingredient according to Article 10 of the Regulation on Approval of Functional Ingredient for Health Functional Food.”

Science

Cran-Max, which is recommended at a daily dose of 500mg, is supported by a number of scientific studies.

Once recent study showed the product approximately matched the efficacy of the antibiotic Trimethoprim for UTIs (Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy​, doi:10.1093/jac/dkn489).

Another study reported the prevention UTIs in people with spinal cord injuries, a segment of the population at increased risks of infection (Spinal Cord​, doi:10.1038/sc.2008.25).

Recently, researchers from St. Francis College, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and New York University reported that the anti-bacterial benefits may be matched by anti-viral benefits (Phytomedicine​, Vol. 14, pp. 23-30).

A clinical study published in January 2007 in The Gynecologist’s and Obstetrician’s Journal​ found that a Cran-Max cranberry supplement was “nearly twice as effective” ​as a cranberry extract capsule (containing 36 mg of pro-anthocyanidins) in reducing the recurrence of lower UTIs.

According to Dean Mosca, PNI president, the claim approval from KFDA demonstrates that “worldwide, authorities are recognizing the efficacy and ultimate benefit of consuming Cran-Max to support urinary tract health for both men and women".

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