November 2022, National: With a view to creating awareness and sharing critical insights on the benefits of Cranberry juice in the prevention of H. Pylori bacterial infection and strengthening gut health, the India office of the US Cranberry Marketing Committee conducted a series of insightful and interactive sessions with leading gut specialists, gastroenterologists and endocrinologists across three Indian cities. The sessions were addressed by Dr. Jignesh Gandhi (Senior Consultant at the Department of General & Laparoscopic Surgery, Fortis Hospitals, Mumbai), Dr. Amy B. Howell, (Ph.D. Associate Research Scientist Marucci Center for Blueberry Cranberry Research Rutgers University, USA) and Mr. Sumit Saran, US Cranberry Marketing Committee – India Representative. The session was moderated by a senior local doctor in each of the cities.
Deliberating on the key findings of Cranberries in the prevention of H. Pylori bacterial infection, Dr. Jignesh Gandhi (Senior Consultant at the Department of General & Laparoscopic Surgery, Fortis Hospitals, Mumbai) said, H. Pylori bacterial infection is a menacing threat to India’s health and it’s health economy.
This bacterium leads to Gut Dysbiosis hampering the protecting layer of the stomach lining causing a spectrum of clinical problems. These bacteria can lead from a perennial problem of acidity to a grave problem like stomach cancer in the long term if not kept under regular surveillance. About 60% of our Indian population is affected by the H. Pylori bacteria of which around 3% can have active ulcer disease with few of them leading to surgical complications and a small percentage having a lifetime risk to develop stomach cancer. We have around 50,000 patients seeking treatment for H pylori in form of triple-drug medical therapy for a duration of 2 weeks as a standard of care. The problem is the long duration of treatment with poor patient compliance which leads to drug resistance and the H pylori bacteria getting an upper hand making it a difficult infection to treat. We are a long way before we can eradicate this infection due to the socioeconomic status and poor patient compliance in our country.
I had a chance to personally interact with the international leader from this research and also had some academic deliberations. In a country like India with 60% and more population with H pylori infection, suppression of 20% of infection merely by daily consumption of cranberry juice along with the medical standard of care would lead to a paradigm shift in the way we would manage this under-reported disease. This research if adapted to our country would not only affect the health economics but also reduce the incidence of a likely possibility of stomach cancer in this large diversified population, Dr. Gandhi added.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Amy Howell, Associate Research Scientist, Marucci Center for Blueberry Cranberry Research, Rutgers University, USA said, “The proanthocyanidins or “PAC” compounds in Cranberries has multiple health benefits and it is what makes it so effective in the suppression of H. Pylori bacterial infection. Multiple types of research show that the anti-adhesion property of the PAC prevents the bacteria from sticking to the gut and hence prevents the infection at the very first stage. Since cranberry juice does not kill the bacteria, patients develop no resistance, so often seen with antibiotics. The natural gut microbe remains preserved. This is a very good reason for India to adopt this type of dietary approach for managing these infections.”
Dr. Howell mentioned that the consumption of 100% cranberry juice regularly is a complementary approach towards the suppression of H. Pylori infection and it should not be looked upon as a replacement or substitute for antibiotics.
Elaborating on the Indian market, Mr. Sumit Saran, India Representative of US Cranberries said, “India is a growing market for US Cranberries. Consumption is increasing rapidly as more and more consumers get aware of the taste and health benefits of cranberries. US cranberries in India are commonly available in dried or in juice form. It can be easily bought from major e-commerce platforms or leading retailers across the country.
Please find the names from left to right-
Mr. Sumit Saran, India Market Representative, US Cranberries
Dr. Pawaninder Lal, Director Professor & Head of Surgery Laparoscopic Surgeon at MAMC & LN, New Delhi
Dr. Jignesh Gandhi, Senior Consultant at the Department of General & Laparoscopic Surgery at Fortis Hospitals, Mumbai
Dr. Amy B. Howell, Ph.D. Associates Research Scientist Marucci Centre of Blueberry Cranberry Research Rutgers University, USA
Ms. Shelby Sackett, Market Development Manager, Bryant Christie Inc.
Ms. Kavita Devgan, Nutritionist, Weight Management Consultant, and Author