Study Says Cranberries Provide Urinary Tract Protection for up to Two Years

LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass. -- According to the National Kidney Foundation, one in five women will develop a urinary tract infection (UTI) during her lifetime, and 20 percent of those will have UTIs on a recurrent basis. The good news is that cranberry research supports not only the reduction of recurrent UTIs by half, but now a new study suggests cranberry compounds may help prevent recurrent UTIs for as long as two years.

A new study published in the most recent issue of Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology examined the ability of cranberry extract to ward off UTIs in women with a history of recurrent infections. During the course of the study, none of the women experienced a UTI.

The promise of cranberries' long-lasting health benefits were strengthened when two years after the initial study, eight of the women who continue to take cranberry extract capsules, continued to be free of UTIs, a finding that researchers find exciting given the rise of antibiotic resistance.

"The results of this pilot study reinforces the idea that by including cranberries and/or dried cranberries in their diet, women can benefit tremendously by reducing the risk of urinary tract infections," said Amy Howell, a research scientist at RutgersUniversity. "These new findings are particularly exciting in that cranberries offer a long-term solution to help prevent UTIs in women."

Cranberries have long been known to ward off UTIs due to unique compounds in the fruit called proanthocyanidins, or PACS. PACS offer an anti-adhesion mechanism that prevents harmful E. coli bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract wall. Cranberries may be a useful tool for helping women to maintain a healthy urinary tract, naturally.

In addition to the open label pilot study, another promising new study published in the most recent issue of The Journal of Urology studied the potential of cranberry and its unique PACs against particular strains of E. coli. Scientists found that cranberry's PACs can inhibit the adherence of E.coli to bladder cells, further strengthening previous research linking cranberry to UTI prevention. In this in vitro study, researchers utilized a cranberry powder and a cranberry PAC extract which were applied directly to cultured bladder cells. Researchers found that this anti-adherence benefit increased with greater cranberry and PAC exposure suggesting that a diet rich in cranberry may limit the occurrence and recurrence of UTIs.

This yearOcean Spray and the National Kidney Foundation are continuing their partnership and shared goal of spreading awareness to the public about urinary tract infections and how to prevent them.

Source: Ocean Spray