Cutting Edge New Research On Cranberries & Health

We all have been told that cranberries help with urinary tract infections, but until now the mechanism and understanding of “why”  has not been properly understood.

Researchers at McGill University’s Department of Chemical Engineering are shedding light on the biological mechanisms by which cranberries may impart protective properties against urinary tract and other infections. Two new studies, spearheaded by Prof. Nathalie Tufenkji, add to evidence of cranberries’ effects on UTI- causing bacteria.

cranberries and urinary infection -

Key Scientific Findings – Cranberry’s and Urinary Tract Infections

Overall, the research results led by Professor Tufenkji and published in the Canadian Journal of Microbiology demonstrated:

1) Cranberry powder can inhibit the ability of Proteus mirabilis, a bacterium frequently implicated in complicated UTI’s, to swarm on agar plates and swim within the agar

2) Increasing concentrations of cranberry powder reduce the bacteria’s production of urease, an enzyme that contributes to the virulence of infections.

Cranberry’s and Bacteria Inhibition In Medical Devices – Cutting Edge New Research

The findings of this work also point to the potential for cranberry derivatives to be used to prevent bacterial colonization in medical devices such as catheters. In fact, Dr. Tufenkji conducted a joint study with McGill’s processor Dr. Nazhat (a biomaterials expert) and they found that cranberry-enriched silicone substrates (note: silicone is often used in medical catheters and tubing) impaired the spread of Proteus Mirabilis bacteria. The results were published online in the Journal of Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces which point to potential uses for cranberry derivatives to hinder the spread of germs in implantable medical devices such as catheters that are frequently implicated in Urinary Tract Infections. This could also help with keeping bacteria under control at hospitals.

So why is important? Aren’t Urinary Infections Treated With Antibiotics?

Well, according to Dr. Tufenkji, “more than 150 million cases of UTI are reported globally each year, and antibiotic treatment remains the standard approach for managing these infections. The current rise of bacterial resistance to antibiotics underscores the importance of developing another approach.”


Dish Soap Contains Triclosan

When you buy dish soap, you probably think that you are saving all those sea creatures, birds and animals affected by oil spills. After all, one dollar of every bottle bought goes directly to saving wildlife (as seen in the advertisement below).

This advertising campaign made Dawn a BILLION DOLLARS in revenue last year!!

What companies don’t tell you is that most dish soap contains a chemical ingredient called “triclosan” that is actually recognized by Envirionment Canada as toxic to animals. Specifically, they wrote that trichlosan has “a high inherent toxicity to a variety of aquatic organisms, such as algae, macrophytes, invertebrates, amphibians and fish.”

So what is Triclosan? “Triclosan (5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol) is used as a material preservative and as an antimicrobial ingredient in a variety of consumer products to stop the growth of bacteria, fungi and mildew and to deodorize.” – Environment Canada.

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Green Washing On The Rise

The results of a recent study conducted by TerraChoice, a sustainability and marketing consulting company, show a 73% increase in green products when compared to 2009. However, the problem we are still facing is “green washing”. Green washing is defined as the act of misleading consumers about the environmental practices a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.

TerraChoice surveyed 5296 products in the U.S. and Canada which make environmental claims. They visited 19 retail stores in Canada and 15 in the United States total and found that ~4.5% of all products were “sin-free” of green-washing. This means that 95.5 % of consumer products which claim to be green are still guilty of at least one of the sins of green-washing. If you are unsure of the “sins of green washing” click here.