Cranberries and the bladder

Cranberries and the bladder 300x225 Cranberries and the bladder North American Indians were the first to tap into this berry’s infection-fighting powers, and today it’s promoted as a swift and sure remedy for urinary-tract infections. Skeptics have long held that the benefits have nothing to do with the berry, but rather reflect the bladder-flushing effects of the water in the juice, or the inhospitably acidic urine created by juices like cranberry juice.

But research has d monstFatd— something truly spec al about the juice of a cranberry. I a series of lab tests, an Israeli team found that it kept infectious bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall. Juice from blueberries, which are closely related to cranberries, also worked. But several other fruit juices — including grapefruit, mango, orange, and pineapple — had no such effect.

A 2008 analysis of 10 studies comparing cranberry products with a placebo, other juices, or water found that a daily dose of cranberry juice or capsules significantly reduced bladder infections, particularly in women who get them often. It’s still not clear whether cranberries are best taken as juice, tablets, or capsules, or what the optimal dose might be.

Drinking cranberry juice as soon as symptoms appear may clear up an early bladder infection. Look for drinks that list cranberry juice as their first or second ingredient. If symptoms worsen or last for more than a day or two, contact your physician.

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