Cranberries for the treatment of herpes

Alpine cranberries have significant biological activity that can help to combat herpes virus type II (HSV-2) infection, one of the most common viral infections in humans, writes Emma Dorey in Chemistry & Industry.

Researchers at the Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan isolated a compound called proanthocyanidin A-1 from the evergreen shrub, also known as Vaccinium vitis-idaea, lingonberry or partridgeberry. Chun-Ching Lin and his team found that the compound significantly suppressed HSV-2 infection in vitro without any toxic effect.

Although in experiments the compound did not reduce the infectivity of the virus, it did reduce the effects of the infection by preventing viral attachment and penetration, and disturbed the late stage of infection.

The research is published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture (doi: 10.1002/jsfa.1958).

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