Cranberries are a very distinctive bright red fruit and are a major commercial crop in America and Canada, they are most widely known as an accompaniment to the traditional Christmas turkey. Most cranberries are processed into products such as juice, sauce, jam and sweetened dried cranberries but in more recent years they have been made available as a food supplement in tablet or capsule form.
The cranberry has become known as one of natures 'superfoods' because they contain an abundance of natural antioxidants such as polyphenols as well as other vitamins and nutrients -- for example, vitamins E and C.
Cranberries vs Urinary Tract Infections
Worldwide there are over 150 million reported cases of urinary tract infections (UTIs) each year which are commonly treated by antibiotics. The cost of diagnosing and treating UTIs is believed to run into millions of pounds annually. The recurrence of UTIs after an initial infection is a major problem even after antibiotic treatment.
Cranberries have a history of use back to the 18th century
The Cranberry has been historically used to treat UTIs by North American Indians therefore it has a long history of use. Research published in the Canadian Journal of Microbiology backed up previous studies which revealed that cranberry powder can indeed help to inhibit bacteria which causes UTIs to grow and spread. The main bacteria which causes a UTI is a form of which works mainly by sticking to tissue in the body i.e. in the urinary system. Cranberries are believed to work by preventing the adhesion of the bacteria which then allows it to pass through the body and remove the infection. Scientific studies have shown that treatment by cranberry is most effective in preventing a return of the infection in women prone to recurrent infections.
A natural alternative to antibiotics
There is a growing concern that the rise of bacterial resistance to antibiotics will cause great issues in the medical world. This issue highlights the importance of researching and developing more natural treatments such as cranberry supplements for all manner of medical treatments not just UTIs
A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.