Power of Concentrated Cranberries for Unusual UTIs

Posted On Thursday, 29 September 2016
Power of Concentrated Cranberries for Unusual UTIs

Urinary tract infections are one of the most common bacterial infections in the developed world. Now, the bacterium that causes UTIs are showing up in some unexpected places, including our grocery stores’ meat and poultry sections.

It’s an alarming fact that only adds to the exasperation of the nearly 60 percent of women who experience painful UTI symptoms annually.

One study discovered that ingesting strands of E. coli bacteria found in contaminated chicken and poultry could be the source of a specific type of UTI infection known as foodborne UTI, or FUTI.

UTIs occur when gastrointestinal bacteria move into the urinary tract, and research suggests that some of those bacteria are being introduced to the gut from food contaminated with strains of E. coli, leading to the FUTI infection.

The George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health studied all available brands of chicken, turkey and pork at a major grocery store and found 17 percent of the samples tested positive for FUTI-causing E. coli. They also detected the bacteria in urine and blood samples of local UTI sufferers.

E. coli is the primary causative organism of UTIs, and again, the normal course of action in conventional medicine has been to prescribe antibiotics. However, we are seeing a growing number of infections caused by other bacteria such as Klebsiella, Proteus mirabilis, Staph aureus and Enterobacter, many of which are resistant to commonly prescribed antibiotics.

Research shows that the clinically studied Cran-Max cranberry ingredient, found in concentrated cranberry supplements, may have efficacy against these antibiotic-resistant foodborne bacteria.

Cran-Max is a concentrated form of raw cranberries that contains its fruit, seed, skin and juice. It is the most widely studied cranberry ingredient and has been clinically proven effective with severe cases of UTIs. A peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy found that Cran-Max was comparable to an antibiotic for UTI prevention. No negative side effects of Cran-Max have been reported.

Unlike antibiotics, which kill bacteria, cranberry works by changing the bacterial structure and preventing adhesion to tissues. It works effectively for prevention, without the risk of developing antibiotic resistance. The effects of cranberry go beyond E. coli and also well beyond the bladder.

There is a specific active ingredient in cranberries that has been identified to prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall, particularly E. coli, called A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs).

A recently published study proved that the cranberry ingredient, Cran-Max, has very high concentrations of proanthocyanidin. PACs are potent antioxidants and have the ability to create the formation of new, healthy collagen, which keeps internal organs and skin more youthful.

Concentrated cranberry supplements are more effective for defense against UTIs, because drinking cranberry juice, often recommended by experts, can be counterproductive for prevention of UTIs as these juices are loaded with sugar and contain a low concentration of cranberry. When taking a cranberry supplement, it is important to make sure it contains high concentration of PACs and has been studied for efficacy.

This is not an issue that affects only women. While nearly 50 percent of women will develop a UTI at some point in their lifetime, an estimated 12 percent of men experience pain while urinating, blood in the urine, and pelvic pain. Moreover, once you’ve had a UTI, the likelihood of having another one escalates.

**For more information and clinical studies, visit the Cran-Max website.

Sherry Torkos, BScPhm, RPh

Sherry Torkos, BScPhm, RPh, is a pharmacist, author, and health enthusiast who enjoys sharing her passion with others. She graduated with honors from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1992. Since that time she has been practicing holistic pharmacy in the Niagara region of Ontario.

Her philosophy of practice is to integrate conventional and complementary therapies to optimize health and prevent disease. Torkos has won several national pharmacy awards for providing excellence in patient care. As a leading health expert, she has delivered hundreds of lectures to medical professionals and the public. She has authored 18 books and booklets, including, Saving Women’s Hearts, The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine and The Glycemic Index Made Simple.

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