Health + Wellness

Study Suggests Cranberries Can Reduce Antibiotic Usage

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A recent study suggests that the daily consumption of cranberry juice can reduce symptomatic urinary tract infections (UTIs) and the reliance of antibiotics associated with treating it.

According to the Singhealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre, 20 percent of women aged 20 to 65 will experience at least one UTI attack per year, and approximately 50 percent of women will experience UTI at least once in their lifetime.

Women with symptomatic UTIs experience strong, persistent urges to urinate, or a burning sensation when urinating. In many cases, women are treated with antibiotics to relieve these symptoms regardless of whether bacterial infection was detected or not.

As one of the most common bacterial infections among women worldwide, up to 25 percent of all women will experience a UTI recurrence within six months according to the American Urological Association. These women are often prescribed low dosages of antibiotics to treat their UTI recurrences, which could unfortunately create an increased global antibiotic resistance with chronic use.

A recent six-month clinical study conducted by researchers at Boston University, Biofortis Innovation Services and 18 clinical sites throughout the US and France, revealed that regular consumption of cranberry juice can help prevent the infection altogether and reduce antibiotic resistance.

The study saw over 370 healthy female participants who were 40 years old on average, and have experienced at least two UTIs within the past year. To find out whether drinking cranberry juice could protect recurrent UTI sufferers from repeat infections, the participants were randomly chosen to drink a daily dose of 240 ml of either cranberry juice or a “placebo” beverage without cranberries.

The results revealed that the rate of UTIs significantly fell (almost 40 percent) among the cranberry juice drinkers, with just 39 diagnoses of UTI reported during the six-month study compared to 67 from the placebo group.

Cranberry Benefits

Cranberries can help prevent UTIs as they contain a unique combination of compounds including the Type-A PACs (proanthocyanidins), which help prevent bacteria from sticking and causing infection. In addition, a new class of compounds present in cranberries – xyloglucan oligosaccharides was also found to possess similar anti-bacterial properties against the E. coli bacteria as the PACs.

Cranberries are therefore a natural way to prevent UTIs and its recurrence, as well as reduce our reliance on antibiotics for treatment. More information on the study and the health benefits of cranberries can be found at cranberryhealth.com as well as Health Ambition, a website that looks to share smarter, healthier choices.

oceanspray

Producer of cranberry juices, juice drinks and dried cranberries, Ocean Spray, offers some delicious recipes to incorporate these healthy cranberries into our diet:

Effortless Spinach Salad

Effortless Spinach Salad

  • Wash 8 ounces of fresh spinach and tear into bite size pieces; place into mixing bowl
  • Add ½ cup of crumbled feta or goat cheese with ¼ thinly sliced small red onion and toss to combine
  • Mix ½ cup bottled balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing, 2 tablespoons of orange juice, 1 teaspoon of orange zest (optional) to make dressing; pour over salad and toss
  • Top with ½ cup of Ocean Spray Craisins Original Dried Cranberries and 2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds (optional); serve

Mixed Berry Smoothie

Mixed Berry Smoothiecropped

  • ¾ cup Ocean Spray Light Cranberry Juice Drink (any flavour)
  • ¾ cup frozen mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries)
  • Low fat berry-flavoured yogurt
  • Sliced ½ banana
  • Combine all ingredients in blender and serve

For more of Ocean Spray’s cranberry recipes, visit here.  Additionally, Cooking Detective has recipes involving cranberries as well as a summary of the 18 health benefits of the fruit listed here.

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