Cranberries for UTIs? FDA opens door for claims following Ocean Spray petition
22 Jul 2020 --- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not intend to object to the use of certain qualified health claims regarding consuming cranberry products and a reduced risk of recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI) in healthy women. The agency announced the news today in a letter of enforcement discretion in response to a health claim petition submitted by Ocean Spray Cranberries. The company requested the US FDA to authorize the health claim regarding the link, however, the agency deemed the scientific evidence insufficient. In light of this, Ocean Spray agreed to have the petition evaluated as a qualified health claim petition.
Ocean Spray has already brought products to market that tout cranberries’ connection to helping avoid UTIs. Cranberry +health Cranberry Supplements were launched in the US in 2018. The “healthy goodness” of the cranberry and its power to help maintain urinary tract health have been well documented throughout the years, according to the company.
According to a study published in American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Journal of Natural Products last year, cranberry oligosaccharides can keep the bacteria responsible for urinary tract infections (UTIs) from adhering to the cells lining the urinary tract.
“Research suggests that the cranberry holds a whole host of total body benefits. For decades, Ocean Spray has been dedicated to researching, supporting and delivering great-tasting, good-for-you products,” notes Chet Baker, Director of Healthcare and New Platforms at Ocean Spray. “The introduction of Cranberry +health Cranberry Supplements sets in motion our commitment to provide products that deliver even better taste, health and convenience for our consumers’ busy lifestyles.”
Not an authorized claim
A health claim characterizes the relationship between a substance and a disease or health-related condition. Based on the FDA’s review, the agency concluded that there is limited and inconsistent credible scientific evidence to support a qualified health claim for the consumption of cranberry juice beverages. In addition there is limited credible scientific evidence to support a qualified health claim for the consumption of cranberry dietary supplements and a reduced risk of recurrent UTI in healthy women.
Specifically, the FDA intends to exercise its enforcement discretion regarding claims for the association between a reduced risk of recurrent UTI and consumption of cranberry juice beverages containing at least 27 percent cranberry juice and cranberry dietary supplements containing at least 500 mg of cranberry fruit powder (100 percent fruit). The claims do not include other conventional foods or food products made from or containing cranberries, such as dried cranberries or cranberry sauce.
Cranberry juice beverages
“Limited and inconsistent scientific evidence shows that by consuming one serving (8 oz) each day of a cranberry juice beverage, healthy women who have had a UTI may reduce their risk of recurrent UTI,” the letter of enforcement discretion reads.
“Consuming one serving (8 oz) each day of a cranberry juice beverage may help reduce the risk of recurrent UTI in healthy women. However, the FDA has concluded that the scientific evidence supporting this claim is limited and inconsistent.”
Moreover, consuming one serving (8 oz) each day of [this identified cranberry juice beverage] may help reduce the risk of recurrent UTI in healthy women. FDA has also concluded that the scientific evidence supporting this claim is limited and inconsistent.
Cranberry dietary supplements
Moreover, the FDA notes that limited scientific evidence shows that by consuming 500 mg each day of cranberry dietary supplement, healthy women who have had a urinary tract infection (UTI) may reduce their risk of recurrent UTI. However, the FDA has concluded that there is limited scientific evidence supporting this claim.
“Consuming 500 mg (X capsules/tablets/soft gels) each day of this identified cranberry dietary supplement may help reduce the risk of recurrent UTI in healthy women. FDA has concluded that there is limited scientific evidence supporting this claim,” the agency flags.
Beyond cranberry innovations, Ocean Spray has recently also set its eye on cannabidiol (CBD) by backing CarryOn, a new brand of sparkling CBD waters. The brand was developed by Ocean Spray Cranberries’ Lighthouse incubator, which was created by the farmer-owned cooperative last year to accelerate accessible health and wellness-focused innovation. NutritionInsight previously spoke to Rizal Hamdallah, Global Chief Innovation Officer at Ocean Spray, about the rise of this promising ingredient.
By Kristiana Lalou
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