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How to cranberries prevent UTIs?

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    How to cranberries prevent UTIs?
    Jake's Pop

    Many of those studies have focused on the ability of cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs), which each year affect eight million people–mostly women, the elderly, and infants--resulting in $1.6 billion in health care costs.
    looks like they didn't think about sci survivors bein one of those mostly affected.


      But when are they going to extract the active ingredient or chemical in it (tannins, called proanthocyanidins) so it'll be of proven help to us? I have a $14.00 (plus S&H!) bottle of cranberry extract in my fridge but it's unpalatable.... even a capful in a glass of orange juice makes it too tart to drink and enjoy. And the Ocean Spray cocktail juice is so full of sugar or Splenda and it probably contains so little of the active ingredient that we don't know if it's worth drinking for the purpose of UTI prevention or cure.

      And those capsules and pills may (probably are) be useless too. I imagine they're just ground up dried cranberries which may be ineffective because they're processed and dried and for all we know we'd need to take half a bottle of them to get enough of the active ingredient in order for them to be effective. Who knows?

      We need some scientific clinical studies done on cranberry so we know exactly what the hell is going on with the stuff. Maybe after they complete this current study we'll get some answers. We can hope.

      The scientific proof always seems to be "right around the corner". There's too much anecdotal puffery put out by those who sell the stuff for profit, be it in liquid or dried form, to believe what they claim. I don't think that by taking 2 or 3 or a dozen of those cranberry capsules a day does anything to help prevent UTIs. I've bought my share of them and still have no idea if they help or not. I hope I'm proven wrong with this latest article and after "The new results will be incorporated in two presentations during a session that runs from 8:30 to 11:40 a.m. in the Windsor Room of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel" we'll have a better understanding of how it may benefit us. Get on with it..... please!

      My rant is complete.
      "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria


        My experience

        My experience has been that very few of the cranberry juices on the market benefit me personally. The one I use that definitely helps is the Northland brand. It has a higher cranberry content than most and I notice an inprovement in my urinary output. I just wish they had a diet version..



          Since I developed a pressure sore I have been on a profalatic anti-biotic called Trimethoprim. My understanding from my urologist is that there is no real harm in long term use. But I plan on getting back to cranberry as soon as I can.

          Cranberry changes the acidity of your urine so the environment is less hospitable to bacteria.
          Eric Texley


            Originally posted by etexley
            Cranberry changes the acidity of your urine so the environment is less hospitable to bacteria.
            Hi Etexley,

            Show me some reliable peer reviewed scientific clinical studies that prove your contention.

            I've read and the linked-to article entitled "Compounds In Cranberry Juice Show Promise As Alternatives To Antibiotics" dated 9/10/2006 bears out that the reason cranberry is believed to help prevent UTIs is that there's a chemical compound in it that keeps the bacteria from clinging or adhering to the bladder wall. And the article goes on to assert that it may also beneficially alter the bacteria molecularly for us.

            But in any event, whether it's the acidity/lower pH levels or the molecular alterations that cranberry supposedly creates in the bladder or the claim that it helps prevent bacteria from clinging to the bladder wall, where can I find the results of clinical trials that scientifically prove these assertions?

            And how much cranberry juice, cranberry cocktail, cranberry extract or cranberry capsules or whatever the "delivery system", is needed to create these particular conditions in the bladder? And suppose you have an alkaline water supply (the FL aquafer is very alkaline) or you take a few Tums or other acid reducing compounds during the day, what effect will that/they have on the bladder or urine?

            I drink 4-6 cups of coffee each day as well as iced tea and other acidic drinks, do these drinks create or help create an unfavorable environment for bacteria in my bladder? Just how are we supposed to calculate our diet to such a degree that we know we've created enough acid in our urine to retard the growth of bacteria or kill it in there? Take a pH test each time we void and hope for the best?

            There are too many variables involved in this equation to simply say for example, drink two 12 ounce glasses of cranberry juice each day or whatever form of cranberry you decide to use, and expect it to help reduce the many UTIs that we SCIs "normally" get.

            I think Ocean Spray (or any brand) cranberry cocktail juice has a very small amount of cranberry in it, it's mostly water and sugar. And no one really knows what they put in those cranberry capsules or pills... it could be ground up cranberry stems and stalks for all we really know since there are no longer any FDA or other reliable guidelines set up to monitor "food supplements" such as these.

            We need some science here, not a bunch of anecdotal revelations collected or concocted by the "Cranberry Growers Association" or some such biased organization.

            Hopefully the scientists at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) can prove that cranberries or their special chemical compounds inhibit bacteria and will be able to development a scientific protocol that we can follow in order to help prevent us from getting so many UTIs. The article states that the evidence collected to date only "suggest[s]" that the cranberry may provide an alternative to antibiotics, particularly for combating E. coli bacteria that have become resistant to conventional treatment.

            A final, more preliminary result that will be presented at the ACS meeting suggests that E. coli bacteria exposed to cranberry juice appear to lose the ability to secrete indole, a molecule involved in a form of bacterial communication called quorum sensing. E. coli use quorum sensing to determine when there are enough bacteria present at a certain location to initiate a successful infection.
            Perhaps a specifically designed type of cranberry solution can be created that will be safe enough to directly irrigate the urethra and/or the bladder with so we won't need to drink copious amounts of the stuff in order to get high enough concentrations of it into our urethras/bladders for it to be effective.

            A suggestion is far from proof. But let's remain optimistic that something other than antibiotics will be created or proven to help us control or cure the many UTIs we SCIs are plagued with every year.
            "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria