(NaturalNews) Bladder Cranberry juice has been considered the go-to solution for any kind of bladder or urinary tract infection (UTI). Some consider this a wife's tale, others claim benefits.
A major reason for testing cranberry juice against UTIs is that bladder infections have a tendency to reoccur. The antibiotics prescribed for bladder infections create side effects and the UTI bacteria are becoming more resistant.
The bacterium is usually an E. coli type, which varies slightly from case to case and gender.
Symptoms involve burning sensations during urination, frequent urges to urinate, and on rare occasions some blood in the urine. Upper UTI infections may cause lower back pain and fever.
Women are more likely to be infected than men. This is because women have a shorter urinary tract, which includes the bladder, than men. Other anatomical factors and contraceptive devices contribute to the disparity.
But when men are infected, the ramifications can be more serious. The worst case scenario is for an infection to spread into the kidneys. All things considered, cranberry juice has been looked into as an alternative to antibiotics.
Testing cranberry juice with mixed results
It has been tested often with mixed results, possibly because the most commonly used cranberry juice is a cranberry cocktail, usually provided by Ocean Spray, the initial provider of commercial cranberry juices.
This cranberry cocktail is a commercial product that is heavily sweetened and diluted. A 2009 forum of cranberry cocktail's formerly steadfast consumers shows several complaining about their perception of even more dilution. (Chowhound, source below)
Also, most cranberry cocktail consumers are drinking juice from cranberries that have been chemically sprayed. They don't use organic cranberries.
Most definitively positive test results have come from using cranberry extracts. Two studies in 2001 had positive results to indicate that high PAC (proanthocyanidin) cranberry juice definitely serves as a preventative, but not necessarily as a cure.
Apparently, a high enough concentration of (PACs) makes the urinary tract skin cell surfaces too slippery for the E. coli bacteria to adhere.
Most commercial cranberry juices may not have the PAC level necessary to get the job done. Cranberry extracts and strong, unsweetened organic juices are better choices.
A recent study on kids
40 children who had experienced two or more UTIs in the most recent year were randomly assigned to drink either a cranberry juice-rich in PACs or a non-cranberry juice. The testing occurred at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
The reoccurrence rate among the high PAC cranberry juicers was almost 2/3 fewer than the poor placebo subjects. This type of testing has a cold side, doesn't it? Imagine signing up for a trial hoping to get some positive health results and unknowingly getting the placebo instead.
The results of the Vancouver study were published in the Journal of Urology. It was enough to convince at least one formerly skeptical MD reviewer not involved with the study, Dr. Hiep Nguyen of Boston Children's Hospital.
He has started prescribing cranberry extracts and juices for his pediatric patients.