What Do Cranberry Pills Help With?
Taking cranberry pills can help prevent and fight off urinary tract infections. In addition, it can help prevent kidney stones. These supplements also contain antioxidants, which help prevent free radical damage. Several other health benefits can be derived from taking cranberry pills, such as helping to keep skin and bones healthy. However, the pills can also cause side effects.
Preventing antibiotic resistance
Cranberry pills are a well-studied treatment for urinary tract infections (UTIs). Their efficacy has been investigated in several randomized controlled trials. However, the results of these studies are mixed. There is a need for larger studies to determine the true efficacy of cranberry products.
In vitro studies have shown that a cranberry-derived compound inhibits biofilm formation in E. coli by up to six to twenty fold. Ursolic acid is a pentacyclic triterpenoid that acts on gene expression in the bacteria. Its chemistry is similar to that of glycolipid receptors on urothelial cells.
In addition, cranberries have been found to decrease symptomatic UTIs. One randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study compared the use of a cranberry juice cocktail to a placebo for 10 hours. Results showed that the cranberry cocktail decreased the number of symptomatic UTIs by 50%.
In another study, a cranberry juice supplement decreased recurrent UTIs in women. A cranberry-lingonberry juice drink reduced the recurrence rate by 20%.
The protective effect of cranberries in the prevention of recurrent UTIs may be a result of the compounds’ ability to act as receptor analogues. Some cranberry products are available without prescriptions, making them easy to access.
Further randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials are needed to determine the efficacy of cranberries in preventing recurrent UTI. Other nonantibiotic measures include intravesical glycosaminoglycans, d-mannose, and estrogens.
As antibiotics become less effective, the problem of antimicrobial resistance has increased. This is fuelled by increasing numbers of antibiotics used in humans and by mobile genetic elements that enable rapid spread of resistance between bacteria. These mechanisms can be overcome with alternative antimicrobials. But the size of the problem cannot be overstated.
Nonantibiotic management of recurrent UTIs includes the use of dietary supplements and probiotics. Novel vaccines targeting adherence mechanisms are also promising.
Preventing recurrent UTIs
Cranberry pills have been used for many decades to treat urinary tract infections (UTI). They have also been studied as a potential treatment for preventing recurrent UTIs. However, there are concerns that cranberry products may not be a reliable long-term prevention method.
The review of the evidence to date showed no clear evidence that cranberry products prevent recurrent UTIs in the majority of people. In addition, the evidence was inconclusive for women, older people, and men. Although some studies have shown a transient effect, more studies are needed to establish a definitive mechanism of action.
There are two subgroups of populations at increased risk of recurrent UTIs: pregnant women and children. A small, non-significant reduction in the risk of recurrent symptomatic UTIs has been reported in these populations. One study in children also suggests a lower risk of repeat UTIs for cranberry products.
The most common subgroups of susceptible populations were elderly women, children, and pregnant women. Three studies were included in this review. These included women with recurrent uncomplicated UTIs, children with more than one UTI, and pregnant women with recurrent UTIs.
Several factors limit the quality of cranberry studies, including the size of the sample and the number of participants. Nevertheless, a significant number of RCTs have been conducted to assess the effectiveness of cranberry products for preventing UTIs.
Most studies used a parallel group design. Another study had a cross-over design. Studies in which cranberry tablets were compared to antibiotics in women and children were the most common. For each group, participants received either cranberry capsules or placebo.
The Barbosa-Cesnik 2011 study, which used a lower threshold for symptomatic UTI than other studies, was the only study in this group that had sufficient power to detect a difference. This study showed that E coli isolates from UTIs were less resistant to TMP-SMX than in the cranberry group.
Preventing bladder infections
Keeping yourself hydrated, drinking enough water, and staying on antibiotics are important ways to prevent bladder infections. However, there is some evidence that cranberry pills or cranberry juice may help reduce the risk of UTIs. These berries contain a substance called proanthocyanidins that prevent bacteria from adhering to urinary tract linings. By making urine acidic, the cranberries may make it less friendly to bacteria such as E. coli, which are known to cause urinary tract infections.
In order to investigate the effectiveness of cranberry pills, a systematic review was performed. Four studies were included in the analysis. Two studies used a placebo arm, while three included an antibiotic arm. The review found no significant difference between the treatment and the placebo in women, and a small non-significant reduction in symptomatic UTIs in children.
One study looked at children with their first UTI and did not find a significant reduction in recurrent UTIs. Another looked at people with multiple sclerosis and found no difference in the rate of symptomatic UTIs.
There was one small study that found that taking cranberry pills did not significantly increase the likelihood of a repeat symptomatic UTI. It is unclear how the study measured the symptomatic UTIs.
A more recent meta-analysis has been conducted by Wang (2012). The review was published in the Cochrane Database. This systematic review was robust. Despite the high quality of the studies, only eight of the 24 evaluated had statistically significant results.
Overall, there was moderate heterogeneity. Subgroup analyses were performed based on the number of symptomatic UTIs, the length of treatment, and the concentration of the juice or cranberry product.
Some of the studies evaluating the effectiveness of cranberry products were in women. These were in subgroups of susceptible men and women, and pregnant women.
Preventing kidney stones
It’s not uncommon for people to be concerned about preventing kidney stones. Kidney stones are formed when certain minerals combine with other substances in the urine. This results in a hard mass that can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball.
The best way to prevent kidney stones is to drink plenty of water. Water dilutes the waste products in the urine, allowing them to be flushed out of the body.
Drinking two to three liters of water daily may help prevent kidney stones. You should also limit your sodium intake. Your diet should include foods rich in calcium and potassium.
If you’re not sure what to eat, check with a doctor. Some foods that can increase the risk of kidney stones include spinach, black pepper, almonds, beets, and rhubarb.
Some of the nutrients found in cranberry juice can help reduce the risk of kidney stones. These are called phytonutrients. These chemicals inhibit bacteria from sticking to the cells of the urinary tract. They also affect the pH level of the urine.
Several studies have shown that cranberry juice can reduce the amount of urinary oxalates excreted. However, some studies have shown that cranberry supplements and juices increase the risk of forming calcium oxalate stones.
Aside from the cranberry supplements and juices, you should also avoid certain foods that can increase the risk of kidney stones. For instance, you should avoid caffeine.
Also, you should avoid foods that are high in oxalates, such as spinach, black pepper, beets, and nuts. Instead, eat more fruits and vegetables. Likewise, you should limit your intake of protein and soy.
Cranberry pills can help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). However, they are also susceptible to side effects. Some of these side effects include headache, dizziness, skin rashes, nausea, fatigue and stomach upset. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to contact your doctor.
In general, cranberry has been found to be safe for most people. However, people who have a history of kidney stones, kidney problems, liver disease or are pregnant should avoid taking cranberry supplements. They should also consult with a health care provider or pharmacist about the risks of using cranberry.
Cranberry is rich in flavonoids, vitamin C and salicylic acid. The combination of these nutrients is believed to help protect the body from many illnesses, including cancer and stomach ulcers. It also helps to fight bacteria.
Studies have shown that cranberry may reduce the risk of UTIs and superinfections. Taking cranberry can also help prevent antibiotic resistance. However, if you are taking other medications, be sure to tell your physician. You may also experience other side effects when you take cranberry, such as allergic reactions, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.
People with diabetes should take cranberry with caution. This is because sweetened cranberry products can increase the blood sugar level in some people.
People who are breast-feeding should also use cranberry with caution. Because of the oxalate content, cranberry may pass into your baby’s milk.
Also, some people who are allergic to aspirin should not take cranberry. Since cranberry contains salicylic acid, it is possible for some people to have an allergic reaction.
Finally, some cranberry supplements contain inactive ingredients. These ingredients are also potential causes of allergic reactions, so be careful when combining them with other drugs.