My husband and son think they could make millions with their invention: the vitamin donut. But, Homer Simpson might have beaten them to it. In that vein, it is unlikely that our state dessert — Boston Cream Pie — has any health benefits. Unless you suffer from wasting syndrome.
But, The New York Times reports that the cranberry — our state fruit — may very well have the power to stave off bladder infections. Still, the explanation for the effect of this home remedy remains a scientific mystery.
Some older studies found the juice worked. Some found it didn’t. All were too small to be definitive. In 1998 a substance presumed to be the active component in the cranberry was identified with some fanfare, and two years ago another study suggested that a cranberry extract containing this substance was almost as powerful as an antibiotic.
Now a large, impeccably designed and executed study of cranberry juice has found that the presumed active compound apparently has no effect. And yet the newest study closed no doors. It may simply mean that the juice works, but by an unknown mechanism.
How can one little berry be so difficult to pin down?
As for the Boston Cream Pie, know that it is really a cake. Don’t they say chocolate is good for you? BCP has chocolate frosting. We may have to head over to the S&S in Cambridge — where the BCP is killer — to conduct our own test.