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Could cranberry juice also protect cells from viruses?
Apparently so, according to research just reported by Patrice Cohen and Steven Lipson of St. Francis College (Brooklyn, N.Y.). When the researchers bathed animal cells in the red juice (we'll call it juice, but it's actually cranberry juice cocktail, straight from the supermarket!), virtually none of the cells got infected by reoviruses or rotaviruses, two common causes of diarrhea.
Viruses cause 30 to 40 percent of infectious diarrhea cases in the United
States and viral gastroenteritis is the second most common illness, after
upper respiratory infections. Rotaviruses cause enteric disease with
symptoms characterized by diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort and
fever. The virus affects mainly infants and young children and is responsible
for 50 percent of hospitalizations of children with diarrhea. The naturally-
occurring anti-viral components of cranberry juice may be useful in
preventing or treating these intestinal viral infections.