London, Jan 19 (IANS) Cranberry extracts can help fighting urinary tract infections (UTIs) or bladder infection in breast-fed babies less than one year of age, new research says.

Cranberry extract possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which can improve kidney disease following kidney infection and reflux, present in other patients, the findings showed.

The study proved that cranberry extracts helps prevent the prescription of antibiotics in the treatment for recurrent urinary tract infections in infants with vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) — the backward flow of urine from the bladder into the kidneys –, thereby preventing the risk of increasing the bacterial antibiotic resistance, the researchers explained.

“According to analysis, the composition of cranberry extracts available at the market is heterogeneous, and not all the polyphenolic — micronutrients in our diet — fractions in them are equally useful,” noted the lead author, Jose Uberos Fernandez, professor from the Department of Pediatrics (UGR), University of Granada in Spain.

Cranberry extract effects have been, after numerous in-vitro tests, classically linked to the amount of proanthocyanidins – micronutrients found in a variety of plants — present in the extract.

“This molecule is quickly metabolized in the intestine, and our researchers have demonstrated that the concentration of proanthocyanidins detected in urine is very little,” Uberos said.

Earlier researches had shown the effectiveness of cranberry extract in preventing urinary infections in adults.

The research involved the participation of 85 children less than one year of age and 107 over that age, all of them affected by a recurrent urinary infection. At least 75 children were administered cranberry extract, while the other 117 were administered trimethoprim, a bacteriostatic antibiotic derived from trimethoxybenzyl pyrimidine, used almost exclusively to treat urinary infections.

The research paper was published in Anales de Pediatría (Annals of Pediatrics) magazine.