Cranberries and the Urinary Tract
It is no secret that Native Americans have had knowledge of natural remedies to help heal the body. They have been using cranberries to help treat urinary tract infections for centuries. Medical research has shown that drinking cranberry juice may help prevent urinary tract infection.
Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins, which can inhibit the fimbrial adhesion of bacteria including Escherichia coli, to the urinary tract epithelium and hence the subsequent reproduction required for infection. It is these unique compounds that are pivotal in the prevention of urinary tract infection rather than the acidification of the urine.
It has been reported that an eight-ounce serving of cranberry juice prevented E. coli from adhering to the bladder cells in the urine of six volunteers. Not only is the cranberry able to inhibit the adhesion of antibiotic susceptible bacteria, but resistant strains as well. The antiadhesion effect can last up to 10 hours after consumption, suggesting that two servings of cranberry juice, or supplements a day, consumed at different intervals, are simply more beneficial than one.
The cranberry has the ability to prevent and cure urinary tract infections, but it is also proving useful for many other ailments. The cranberry is so effective in its healing powers that Western medicine is recommending and relying on its benefits. The cranberry contains a high amount of vitamins, minerals, organic acids and many other phytonutrients. The cranberry is on its way of replacing long-term prescriptions, preventing illness and providing hope for many people with urinary tract infections.
It is known that the cranberry is an excellent source of vitamin A, C, B complex, folic Acid and Fiber. Cranberries include the minerals Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium and Sulfur. More than just vitamins they also contain pigments called bioflavanoids that help repair damage molecules formes when the body uses oxygen. Cranberries also have hippuric acid in them which can have antibacterial effects in the body as well as natural antibiotic ingredients.
In fact recent scientific research shows that cranberries contain significant amounts of antioxidants and other phytonutrients that may help protect against heart disease, cancer and other diseases.