New research presented at the American Society for Microbiology’s 105th General Meeting in June 2005 suggests cranberry juice cocktail may also work against gastrointestinal viruses.

Using cell cultures in the laboratory on an intestinal monkey rotavirus, called SA-11, cranberry juice prevented the virus from attaching to red blood cells or infecting host cells. When the researchers looked at the SA-11 cell cultures under high-magnification microscopes, there were no viral particles in those treated with cranberry juice. This was an immediate result, using a dose of 1:16, cranberry juice to virus.

Rotavirus infection costs medical systems billions of dollars each year. It affects mostly infants, causing continuous vomiting and diarrhea. Intestinal viruses kill more than 600,000 children annually – mostly in developing countries – due to dehydration.

Not everything makes it from the lab to the real world. Studies in humans are necessary before the use of cranberry juice can be recommended in the fight against intestinal viral disease. If proven outside of a laboratory, this antiviral property of cranberry juice holds promise for millions around the world.

First published in the Inside Tract® newsletter issue 152 – November/December 2005
Antiviral Research. 2005;66:9-12