by Dr. James Meschino on 11 September 2020 in Supplements, Diet

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How Cranberry reduces recurrent urinary tract infections?

A daily cranberry drink, or the intake of cranberry capsules or tablets, has been shown to reduce the risk of recurrent urinary tract infections in a large meta-analysis study, published in the journal, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, in April 2017. You know, recurring urinary tract infections is one of those nuisance conditions that can play havoc with your quality of life. And they are more common than you may realize.

Source: the FASEB journal (April 2017)

Nutrition / Natural Medicine Update (May 17, 2017)

A daily cranberry drink, or the intake of cranberry capsules or tablets, has been shown to reduce the risk of recurrent urinary tract infections in a large meta-analysis study, published in the journal, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, in April 2017.

You know, recurring urinary tract infections is one of those nuisance conditions that can play havoc with your quality of life. And they are more common than you may realize.

How does UTI occur ?

In fact, 1 in 2 women develop a urinary tract infection during their lifetime, and 20-30% of women go on to have recurrent urinary tract infections, which can be triggered by intercourse and sexual activity.

UTI  commonly occurs  during pregnancy and in diabetics, and patients with MS, history of kidney infection or kidney stones, stroke and spinal cord injuries and any condition that affects normal urine flow. As well, the use of a catheter and weakened immunity also greatly increase the risk of urinary tract infections.

Urinary tract infections (or UTIs), are considered to be the most common bacterial infection. In the US. UTIs account for nearly 7 million office visits and 1 million emergency department visits per year, resulting in 100,000 hospitalizations.

For pregnant women, urinary tract infections can pose an important risk to the mother and the fetus. Pediatric urinary tract infections can also become quite serious. For most adults, urinary tract infections can be successfully treated with antibiotics, but in some cases, it can move up the urinary tract and infect the kidneys, which is very serious, and/or can spread into the bloodstream causing life-threatening sepsis.

So, the large, 2017, meta-analysis study on this subject, I feel is quite important. In short, data from 1,498 women indicated that daily cranberry intake reduced recurrent urinary tract infections by 23%, as presented by researchers from Tufts University, UCLA and Biofortis Research at the Experimental Biology 2017 event in Chicago.

Cranberry extract vs cranberry juice : Which one to choose

They state that limited data from subgroup analysis suggested cranberry was more effective in preventing urinary tract infection when taken in the form of a cranberry capsule or tablet, where you are most likely to get a more concentrated dosage of the medicinal ingredients.

However, a recent study involving the consumption of a cranberry drink (250 ml/day) showed a 27% reduced risk of UTI recurrence in women who were recently treated with suitable doses of antibiotics for a UTI.

How does cranberry prevent uti?

Over the years it has been shown that certain ingredients in cranberry, and cranberry extract capsules and tablets, can reduce the ability of E. Coli bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract. This makes it easier to eliminate these bacteria during urination. However, if you have an UTI, it's imperative that you get it treated with an antibiotic prescribed by your doctor. 

Cranberry products appear to help prevent the recurrence of UTIs but they can’t actually treat a UTI when one occurs. So, the takeaway message is that if you are prone to UTIs than using a cranberry drink or supplement each day, may be a prudent way to help prevent the onset of future UTIs.

I have provided a link to the 2017 studies below, as well as a link to other supportive research on UTI’s.


About the Author

Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

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