Nature’s Pharmacy: Heal your Urinary Tract with Cranberries
July 12, 2012 § Leave a Comment
It been thought that drinking cranberry juice regularly can stave off urinary tract infections, or UTIs. Now, a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reinforces that using cranberry products — like cranberry juice or cranberry capsules — has been shown to prevent UTIs.
“What this is doing is solidifying what has been folklore for quite some time,” said Dr. Deborah Wing from the University of California, Irvine, who wasn’t a part of the study. “Finally, the science is catching up to what our mothers have been telling us for so many decades,” she said.
Researchers aren’t conclusive on how cranberry products work in preventing UTIs, but some evidence suggest that certain cranberry compounds may prevent bacteria from attaching to urinary tract tissues, thereby guarding against UTIs.
For this new study, researchers examined 10 previous studies of around 1,500 people who randomly took either daily cranberry products, a non-cranberry placebo, or nothing. From one-gram capsules to nearly 200 grams of daily cranberry juice, the amount of the cranberry products participants took varied.
The researchers found that the participants who took cranberry products had 38 percent less UTIs. Particularly noteworthy, were the findings of women who had a history of multiple infections; this group saw a 47 percent reduction in their risk of a UTI.
Lead researcher Chih-Hung Wang from MD National Taiwan University Hospital said the study findings “should be interpreted with great caution” for various reasons, including the differences between the trials and blinding methods.
When Bill Gurley, a pharmaceutical researcher who has studied dietary interventions at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, was asked if cranberry products should be considered the natural “cure-all” for UTIs. He replied “Of course not”. He further added, “For individuals that do have problems with recurrent UTIs, incorporating a little cranberry juice in your diet certainly can’t hurt. We still don’t know exactly what the correct dose should be, or what the correct form should be.”
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