Cranberry: Enhances urinary tract health and fights recurrent urinary tract infections.
• Concentrated herbal extract
• Helps maintain normal function of the urinary tract
• Antioxidant activity
• Prevents urinary tract infections
• Prevents the formation of kidney stones
What is Cranberry?
Cranberry is a relatively small, red berry which grows on low-hanging vines in temperate zones in many regions of the United States and other parts of the world. Cranberry is a member of the same family of plants as bilberry and blueberry.
The active ingredients in cranberry include chemical compounds called proanthocyanidins. Proanthocyanidins are potent antioxidants that appear to be able to decrease bacterial adherence to the bladder epithelium cells. The main benefit of this action is that bacteria have less likelihood of grouping together to cause bladder infection, urinary track infections and other related conditions.
Why take Cranberry?
• Urinary Tract Health: Urinary tract infections cause misery for millions of women (20% are affected once a year) who are traditionally prescribed millions of courses of antibiotics. However, cranberry extract can help maintain the health of the urinary tract naturally and reliably, with no side-effects. The health of the urinary tract is compromised when pathogenic bacteria stick to the internal wall of the urethra and cause cystitis. The proanthocyanidins in cranberries prevent the adhesion of bacteria to human tissue. This activity has been so well-documented that AFSSA (Agence française de securité sanitaire des aliments) has published an official opinion authorizing the claim: “helps reduce the adhesion of certain E. coli bacteria to urinary tract walls.
• Cancer: Based on evaluation of several vitro screening tests, it has been suggested that the proanthocyanidin compounds found in cranberry may exhibit some anti-carcinogenic activity.
• Heart Disease: Cranberry extract has been shown to inhibit low density lipoprotein oxidation. Since this process is believed to be part of what can cause heart disease, prevention of oxidation through cranberry supplementation can potentially reduce the risk of heart disease.
• Kidney stones: Some medical professionals and specialists believe that quinic acid abundant in cranberry may help to prevent the development of kidney stones.
What scientific studies give evidence to support its effectiveness?
Researchers gave 12 women with a history of recurrent UTIs (six or more infections within a year) 400 mg of a concentrated cranberry extract (standardized to contain 30% phenolic compounds including at least 25% proanthocyanidins) each day for 12 weeks.
None of the women developed a UTI while taking the cranberry supplement, and they reported no adverse effects. What’s more, when they were interviewed two years later, the eight women who continued taking cranberry supplements were still UTI-free.
“The results of this study are unique in that none of the women in the study had a recurrent infection. Although this is just a pilot study and the results preliminary, it is a remarkable finding,” the team said.