Oct 6, 2012

How Cranberry Juice Prevents Urinary Tract Infections

Controlled clinical trials indicate that cranberry juice is effective for preventing urinary tract infections .

How Cranberry Juice Prevents Urinary Tract Infections
I am remembering back almost seven years. I tried to get my mother to drink cranberry juice -- she wouldn't do it. I tried several different times and she wouldn't drink the cranberry juice.

For the most part, I think it was the color (yes I know they have another color). It seemed to me she didn't like the way it looked. As soon as she saw it in the small glass she made a face. When she took a sip she said "poison". So much for that bright idea.

The study shows that cranberry juice is an effective way to prevent urinary tract infections.

Keep in mind this information is being gleaned from clinical trials, so the quality of the research is high.

If you are in a support group, commenting on message boards, or participating on an email listservs, you might want to consider sharing this information.

Just the mention of UTI usually starts a fast and furious conversation among Alzheimer's caregivers.

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New evidence on how cranberry juice fights bacteria that cause urinary tract infections

Scientists today reported new scientific evidence on the effectiveness of that old folk remedy –– cranberry juice –– for urinary tract infections, at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), being held here this week.

“A number of controlled clinical trials ― these are carefully designed and conducted scientific studies done in humans ― have concluded that cranberry juice really is effective for preventing urinary tract infections,” said Terri Anne Camesano, Ph.D., who led the study. “That has important implications, considering the size of the problem and the health care costs involved.”

Care of dementia patients at home

A glass of cranberry juice cocktail can fight urinary tract infections, researchers say.

Estimates suggest that urinary tract infections (UTIs) account for about 8 million medical visits each year, at a total cost of more than $1.6 billion.

UTIs involve bacterial infections of the urinary tract and can occur anywhere between the urethra, the opening where urine is excreted from the body, and the kidney. Women are frequent victims, with at least 1 in 3 experiencing a UTI. Studies suggest that only half of women with UTIs seek medical care for the mildest symptoms, which include burning and urgency.

Camesano, who is with the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, said the study set out to shed light on how cranberry juice fights E. coli, the most common cause of UTIs.

The study involved growing strains of E. coli in urine collected from healthy volunteers before and after consumption of cranberry juice cocktail. That mixture of cranberry juice, water, and sweeteners is the most popular cranberry beverage. The scientists then tested the E. coli for their ability to stick together and form biofilms. Biofilms are thin, slimy layers that provide an environment for bacteria to thrive.

The scientists concluded that cranberry juice cocktail prevents E. coli from sticking to other bacteria and the surface of a plastic petri dish. E. coli that adhere to those cells work together to form a biofilm. The biofilm enables the bacteria to grow and multiply so that an infection can take root, continue, or become more severe.

E. Coli that doesn’t stick has a better chance of being flushed out of the urinary track. The results suggest that the beneficial substances in cranberry juice could reach the urinary tract and prevent bacterial adhesion within 8 hours after consumption of cranberry juice.

Camesano expressed reservations about self-treating UTIs and said that individuals who suspect an infection should seek medical advice. UTIs can progress rapidly and, if left untreated with antibiotics, result in severe illness, especially in children, individuals with chronic health problems, and the elderly.

The study was among nearly 8,000 scientific reports scheduled for presentation at the meeting, one of the largest scientific gatherings of 2010.

This research was presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver.
Original content the Alzheimer's Reading Room