Ethical Naturals builds science for Oregon cranberry extracts

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock/YinYang
© iStock/YinYang

Related tags: Cranberry, Urinary tract infection

Ethical Naturals Inc (ENI) has announced the completion of two new studies to support the anti-adhesion activity efficacy of its Cranberex cranberry extract. 

The studies, performed by scientists at Rutgers University, were in vitro and a human 10 participants: Data from the human study indicated that the anti-adhesion activity (AAA) response increased rapidly in all participants 3–6 hours after consumption of the Oregon cranberry extract.

“We’re very pleased with the results of these studies,”​ said Cal Bewicke, CEO of ENI. “Working with premium cranberries from the Oregon coast, and with the precise DMAC method of analysis, we are able to produce an extract that corresponds to the gold standard in cranberry research. These two studies confirm the activity of Cranberex, and further open the door to the therapeutic use of high grade cranberry extracts.”

Oregon cranberries

While about 90% of American cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon​) are produced in the north east, cranberries grown in Oregon are renowned for their deep red color​, which is linked to a higher content of proanthocyanidin (PAC), said ENI.

PACs are also not exclusive to cranberries, but can be found in a range of foods, including green tea, grapes, apples, and chocolate. However, the main type of PACs in cranberry – called A-type PACs - are different from those in these other source – called B-type PACs. Only cranberry PACs are reported to prevent bacterial adhesion in the urinary tract.

In 2004 France became the first country to approve a health claim for the North American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) with at least 36mg of proanthocyanidins (PAC) to “help reduce the adhesion of certain E. coli bacteria to the urinary tract walls”​, and subsequently fight urinary tract infections (UTIs).

ENI launched its Cranberex-branded ingredient last year. The ingredient is standardized to contain 15% of the A-type PACs, measured by the BL-DMAC method. It is also available in the EU through ENI’s representatives, 1-A Food Consulting and PACE-EU in Denmark.

Study details

The in-vitro study data was developed using a peer-reviewed and published method (Foo et al., J. Nat. Prod.,​ 2000, Vol. 63, pp. 1225–1228​), and compared the AAA of Cranberex with nine other brands of cranberry extract (including both raw material and finished products).

The results showed that Cranberex met the anti-adhesion criteria at a concentration of only 0.23 mg/mL. The other key products tested required a concentration of 7 mg – 60 mg/mL to achieve the same anti-adhesion result.

The second study, conducted with 10 human participants, was also developed using a peer reviewed and published method (Howell et al., Phytochemistry​, 2005, Vol. 66, pp. 2281–2291​). The study was designed to test actual anti-adhesion activity in urine samples after consumption of two doses (1 dose in the evening and 1 dose in the morning) of Cranberex (at the recommended dosage level).

Data from Rutgers showed that the AAA response increased rapidly in all participants 3–6 hours after consumption of the Oregon cranberry extract. Half of the participants achieved 100% or significant Bacterial Anti-adhesion Activity, while half achieved 50%, resulting in an average of 75% AAA.

“Because anti-adhesion activity is now a widely used criteria in the industry for cranberry, and some companies use it as a standard (rather than BL-DMAC), these results are of scientific and commercial interest,” ​Bewicke told us.

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