During a series of interactive sessions with leading gut specialists, gastroenterologists, and endocrinologists across three Indian cities, the India office of the US Cranberry Marketing Committee highlighted the benefits of cranberry juice in preventing H. pylori bacterial infection and strengthening gut health.

The goal was to create awareness about the fruit’s health benefits and share critical insights.

Amy Howell, Associate Research Scientist, Marucci Center for Blueberry Cranberry Research, Rutgers University, US, said in a statement, “The ‘proanthocyanidins’ or ‘PAC’ compound in cranberries has multiple health benefits, and it is what makes it so effective in the suppression of H. pylori bacterial infection.”

According to Howell, multiple types of research show that the anti-adhesion property of the PAC prevents the bacteria from sticking to the gut and hence prevents the infection at the very first stage. Since cranberry juice does not kill the bacteria, patients develop no resistance, so often seen with antibiotics. The natural gut microbe remains preserved.

Howell added, “This is a very good reason for India to adopt this type of dietary approach for managing these infections. The consumption of cranberry juice regularly is a complementary approach towards the suppression of H. pylori infection and it should not be looked upon as a replacement or substitute for antibiotics.”

‘A menacing threat to India’s health’

Jignesh Gandhi, Consultant GI and Laparoscopic, Robotic Surgeon, Fortis Hospitals, Mumbai, said H. pylori bacterial infection is a menacing threat to India’s health and its health economy.

“In a country like India with 60 per cent and more population with H. pylori infection, a suppression of 20 per cent of infection merely by daily consumption of cranberry juice along with the medical standard of care would lead to a paradigm shift in the way we would manage this under reported disease,” Gandhi said.

Sumit Saran, India Representative of US Cranberries, said India is a growing market for US cranberries. Consumption is increasing rapidly as more consumers are becoming aware of its taste and health benefits. US cranberries in India are commonly available in dried or in juice form. It can be easily bought from major e-commerce platforms or leading retailers across the country, Saran added.