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Cranberry substance may repel oral yeast infection

September 03, 2012

By Jean Williams, ADA News staff

Cranberries may potentially help scientists to prevent oral yeast infections, according to the findings of a lab study by researchers at Rutgers University and the University of Laval in Quebec, Canada.

Overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans can lead to the disease oral candidiasis, commonly known as oral thrush. The study sought to investigate the effects of A-type cranberry proanthocyanidins on pathogenic properties of C. albicans and also on inflammatory response of oral epithelial cells responding to C. albicans.

Investigators found that while AC-PACs did not thwart the growth of C. albicans, the substance prevented biofilm formation at the gum line and impeded adherence of the fungus to oral epithelial cells and saliva-coated resin discs. Infection depends on biofilm adherence, so the power to thwart adherence may decrease infection rates. Additionally, AC-PAC provided an anti-inflammatory effect.

These findings suggest AC-PACs may be a potential novel therapeutic agent for prevention and treatment of oral thrush, the authors concluded. Their study was published in January in BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine.