Cranberry Juice Can Prevent Discomfort For Women
New Study Finds Cranberry Juice Can Prevent Discomfort For Many Women.
New Zealand urogynaecology experts acknowledge new research that confirms regular consumption of cranberry juice may reduce the recurrence of urinary tract infections by about half.
The recent results join a growing body of international research that is supporting the long held faith of communities such as Native American Indians in the cranberry for its beneficial effects on urinary tract health.
In an exciting discovery, the new research confirms that cranberry juice can reduce urinary tract infection (UTI) recurrence rates by about 50%, and is effective for young women as well as older women.
Due to their higher risk of UTI, older women have been the key subjects of previous studies. However, recent clinical trials in Finland have shown that regular consumption of cranberry juice decreased the risk of recurrent E. coli UTI in a group of female university students. E. coli is responsible for 85% of UTI cases.
Medical experts studying the cranberry have found that it has an ‘anti-stick’ mechanism against certain harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, that can lead to urinary tract infection. Effectively this means that ‘bugs don’t stick’ to the urinary tract and cause the painful infection.
During the Finnish study 150 women with UTI caused by E. coli were recruited from health centres for university students and university hospital staff. They were randomly split into three groups. One group took 50ml of cranberry-lingonberry juice concentrate daily for six months, the second took 100ml of lactobacillus drink five days a week for one year, and the third group was the control. UTI recurrence rates across the three groups were monitored throughout the study.
Results showed that the cranberry juice group’s recurrences were reduced by about half compared with both the other groups.
Professor Don Wilson, Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Dunedin School of Medicine, Otago University, says the research is promising. He says that he recommends cranberry juice to a number of women visiting his urogynaecology clinic at Dunedin Hospital.
The results from the Finnish study, published in the British Medical Journal, give women more confidence in self-administering a readily available natural food product to help prevent urinary tract infections. The study also says that self-treatment with cranberry juice may reduce the need for antimicrobials for recurrent cases of UTI.
Professor Wilson says he would encourage more research to be conducted to study the benefits of cranberry juice across women in even broader age ranges.
Generally, a serving a day is recommended to realise the health benefits of cranberry juice. Readily available products in New Zealand with sufficient cranberry content include the Ocean Spray range of cranberry juice drinks.
About Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs):
Up to 60 percent of women will experience the discomfort of UTI at some stage, and a third of them will have several recurrences. It is likely to be a leading cause of lost workdays among women. UTI can lead to cystitis, or inflammation of the bladder. Left untreated, cystitis can lead to kidney infection and damage.
How it works – Cranberry’s inner secrets:
Cranberries contain condensed tannins called proanthocyanidins (PACs) that inhibit adhesins in strains of E.coli from binding to the uroepithelium. By interfering with the adherence of the bacteria to the epithelial cells, the PACs help reduce the incidence of UTI caused by a build up of bacteria.