I’ve always had very good success with using cranberry powder supplements for my dogs and me, and this research update from Swanson (the people who sell the Lactium powder I give to Soyer, at Suzanne’s Clothier’s suggestion), explains how it works. In addition to the help it provides for the urinary tract, I’ve heard it said that it’s a natural antibiotic, and I have given it to dogs for their teeth and for their general health, too.
Lee Swanson Research Update
Cranberry Powder Shows Activity Against Recurrent UTIs
Daily consumption of a supplement containing a whole cranberry powder may reduce the risk of recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs), according to a new study.
Doses of 500 mg or 1,000 mg per day of the whole cranberry powder were associated with reductions in the recurrence of UTIs of 36% and 65%, respectively. The study is published in the journal Current Bioactive Compounds.
“Therefore, cranberry can be suggested as an alternative/adjunct measure to conventional antibiotic therapy for recurrent urinary tract infections in women,” wrote the researchers, led by Archana Chatterjee, MD, PhD, from Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha.
In 2004, France became the first country to approve a health claim for the North American cranberry with at least 36 mg of proanthocyanidins (PAC) to “help reduce the adhesion of certain E. coli bacteria to the urinary tract walls,” and subsequently fight UTIs, a condition that will affect over 50% of women at least once in their lifetime.
PACs are not exclusive to cranberries, and can be found in a range of foods, including green tea, grapes, apples and chocolate. However, the main type of PACs in cranberry, called A-type PACs, are different from those in the other sources, called B-type PACs. Only cranberry PACs may prevent bacterial adhesion.
For the current 90-day randomized clinical trial, researchers recruited 60 women aged between 18 and 40 with a history of recurrent UTIs and the presence of Escherichia coli and mild symptoms of UTI. The volunteers were randomly assigned to receive no intervention, or a daily low (500 mg) or high (1,000 mg) dose of the whole cranberry powder for 90 days.
At the end of the study, the control group did not show any changes in concentrations of E. coli, while significant reductions in the cranberry groups were observed. Specifically, the researchers report a reduction of E. coli in urine culture analysis of between 25% and 45% after 10 days of cranberry consumption, and this was maintained over 90 days.
In addition, 40% of women receiving cranberry powder reported complete relief and remission from urological symptoms such as itching and burning sensation during regular urination and frequent urination.
“In conclusion, the standardized whole cranberry powder was effective in safely reducing the number of E. coli positive subjects at both the 500 mg and 1,000 mg dose levels and in ameliorating the symptoms of UTI in these subjects. Therefore, a daily dose of 500 mg or 1,000 mg of standardized whole cranberry powder may be considered as an adjunct to antibiotic prophylactic therapy against recurrent UTIs,” the researchers concluded.
Current Bioactive Compounds 7(1): 39-46, 2011