Cranberry juice for urinary tract infections

Cranberry juice for urinary tract infections
Cranberry juice for urinary tract infectionsCourtesy Nico Punkt

Cranberry juice for bladder infections

About 40 years ago when my sister had a bladder infection, my dad had her drink cranberry juice. This folk cure for bladder infections has been around for generations, but now scientists claim to understand why.

A new study by researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) reveals that the juice changes the thermodynamic properties of bacteria in the urinary tract, creating an energy barrier that prevents the microorganisms from getting close enough to latch onto cells and initiate an infection. Physorg.com.

Cranberry juice leaves "good" gut bacteria alone

Lead WPI researcher Teri Camesano said that "cranberry juice targets the right bacteria—those that cause disease—but has no effect on non-pathogenic organisms, suggesting that cranberry juice will not disrupt bacteria that are part of the normal flora in the gut," Camesano also cautioned that the effect is transitory so to be protected one needs to drink cranberry juice daily.

Sugar-free cranberry juice works, too

Thankfully, her lab has shown that the effects of regular cranberry juice cocktail and diet (sugar-free) cranberry juice are identical. "That's good news for people who do not like to consume a lot of sugary juice," she says.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

There are widely available supplements that contain the equivalent of several glasses of cranberry juices in simple pill format so you can skip the juice altogether.

posted on Mon, 07/28/2008 - 11:16am
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

I would like see a reference to research that verifies the effectiveness such supplements. Testimonials and marketing hype are effective at selling the goods, but validly designed research, peer reviewed by professionals, is my preference.

posted on Mon, 07/28/2008 - 12:57pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I would have to agree with you on the need for peer reviewed research on said supplements. Unfortunately laws were passed during the Clinton administration that make it quite easy to sell anything under the "supplement" label. Having said that, I still have found the cranberry supplement to be quite useful. It makes no claims save that it contains cranberry in powdered format sans the sugar present in many juices--this way I can protect my insides and not worry about rotting teeth.

posted on Tue, 07/29/2008 - 12:37pm

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