Madison, WI—As functional foods grow in popularity, a group of investigators have published new data suggesting a combination of probiotics and cranberry proanthocyanidins (c-PAC) benefit the gut.

A branded c-PAC powder (Cran-Naturelle from Fruit D’Or) was used in the laboratory study. Researchers found that the c-PAC inhibited the growth of a specific strain ofE. coli(ExPEC Strain-5011) in a dose-dependent manner. Specifically, a threshold of 18–36 µg c-PAC/mL reduced bacterial growth more than a control powder.

L. acidophilus(MOI = 25, 50, 100, 200, 400, ) was also evaluated for anti-invasion activity. While the probiotic alone did not stop ExPEC from growing, it did have benefits in combination with c-PAC (MOI=100, 71 µg c-PAC/mL). The results were less significant than c-PAC alone.

Another experiment combined a probiotic blend similar to that which is commonly found in the vaginas of healthy women (L. acidophilus, L. gasseri, L. plantarum, L. rhamnosus and B. animalis subsp. Lactis). This blend plus c-PAC (36 and 71 µg c-PAC/mL) significantly inhibited ExPEC invasion. The probiotics used in the study were sourced from UAS Laboratories.

The group stated, “This pilot study provides insight on the potential mechanistic role of the combination of (a) probiotics selected from common vaginal inhabitants along with (b) c-PAC from high quality cranberry powder, on inhibiting the invasiveness of ExPEC.”

The researchers—from the University of Wisconsin and UAS Laboratories—published their data in theJournal of Functional Foods.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine Online, 7/12/16