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Thursday, February 03, 2011

Devil in the Details

It seems as if everyone these days is trying to put the frontline attack on things we've known for years.

This time it is the cranberry.  And then it is the benefit from cranberry that helps you if you get an infection in your bladder, commonly called a UTI.

If you read closely, the tell tale sign of spurious research is the fact that this report is based on the use of a product only 27% cranberry.

For the unenlightened, it is important to use a product that is organic, and 100% cranberry.

Cranberry offers some unique enzymes not found in other food.  I mentioned this a few years ago in an interview I did as a guest on the Jeff Rense program.  

In that discussion of easy things to do to protect your health my suggestion was to take 2 ounces daily of pure cranberry juice. With a UTI, add a cranberry capsules and drink much more water.

Another suggestion is to add 100% pure unsweetened cranberry juice to your daily fluid intake (1 oz juice to 7 oz water).  The keyword is "unsweetened".

You can also make your own cranberry juice from whole cranberries.  Simmer them in water until they pop, then blend the water and berries on high in your blender.  Use one pound of berries to one quart of pure, filtered water.

Just remember, the use of cranberry juice for UTI has been effectively used for decades.
The New York Times recently reported on cranberry’s spotted affect on bladder infections. The mechanisms responsible for the berry’s affect are still unclear. Theories such as its vitamin C content may sterilize the urine, but that was debunked. In 1998 a team of researchers proanthocyanidin—which is found in blueberry and cranberry juice—does slow bacterial growth, suggesting it is perhaps the ingredient responsible for preventing bladder infections, but does it?.
Fast forward 11 years to 2009, when researchers in Scotland reported a daily cranberry supplement may prevent recurring bladder infections almost as well as an antibiotic. But now, new research is  turning up different results. A 2011 double blind, placebo-controlled trial published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, sponsored by a grant from the National Cener for Alternative Medicine, found, “Among otherwise healthy college women with an acute urinary tract infection (UTI), those drinking 8 oz of 27-percent cranberry juice (from Ocean Spray) twice daily did not experience a decrease in the six-month incidence of a second UTI, compared with those drinking a placebo (2011;52(1):23-30).
The trial studied the effects of cranberry on risk of recurring UTI among 319 college women presenting with an acute UTI. Participants were followed up until a second UTI or for six months, whichever came first. A UTI was defined on the basis of the combination of symptoms and a urine culture positive for a known uropathogen. The study was designed to detect a two-fold difference between treated and placebo groups, as was detected in unblinded trials. Researchers assumed 30 percent of participants would experience a UTI during the follow-up period.
Overall, the recurrence rate was 16.9 percent and the distribution of the recurrences was similar between study groups, with the active cranberry group presenting a slightly higher recurrence rate (20 percent versus 14 percent). The presence of urinary symptoms at three days, one to two weeks, and at more than (or equal to) one month was similar between study groups, with overall no marked differences.
According to The New York Times, senior author of the study Betsy Foxman, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, said she is going to continue researching the cranberry.

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