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Urinary Tract Health and Antibacterial Benefits: Review

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Current clinical status on the preventive effects of cranberry consumption against urinary tract infections. [Review]

Posted: 
February 15, 2014
Authors: 
Vasileiou I, Katsargyris A, Theocharis S, Giaginis C
Journal: 
Nutr Res 33(8):595-607
Abstract: 

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) represent a common and quite costly medical problem, primarily affecting the female population which may be due to a shorter urethra. The bacterium Escherichia coli are mainly responsible for most uncomplicated UTIs. Cranberry antibacterial effects have widely been studied in vitro, and laboratory and clinical studies have also been performed to elucidate the mechanisms of cranberry actions and the clinical benefits of cranberry consumption against UTIs. The present review aimed to summarize the proposed mechanisms of cranberry actions against UTIs and the clinical trials that evaluated the efficacy of supplementing cranberry products in different subpopulations. Taking into consideration the existing data, cranberry consumption may prevent bacterial adherence to uroepithelial cells which reduces the development of UTI. Cranberry consumption could also decreasing UTI related symptoms by suppressing inflammatory cascades as an immunologic response to bacteria invasion. The existing clinical trials suggest that the beneficial effects of cranberry against UTIs seem to be prophylactic by preventing the development of infections; however, they exert low effectiveness in populations at increased risk for contracting UTIs. Additional well-designed, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials that use standardized cranberry products are strongly justified in order to determine the efficiency of cranberry on the prevention of UTIs in susceptible populations. Copyright 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Quantifying and characterizing proanthocyanidins in cranberries in relation to urinary tract health. [Review]

Posted: 
February 15, 2014
Authors: 
Krueger CG, Reed JD, Feliciano RP Howell AB
Journal: 
Anal Bioanal Chem 405(13):4385-95
Abstract: 

The "A-type" proanthocyanidins in cranberry fruit (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) are bioactive components associated with prevention of urinary tract infections (UTI). Cranberry juice, fruit (fresh and dried), functional foods, and cranberry dietary supplements are promoted for prevention of UTI and for maintenance of urinary tract health (UTH), on the basis of their content of cranberry proanthocyanidins (c-PAC) with "A-type" interflavan bonds. With increasing consumer use of cranberries for maintenance of UTH and an expanding number of commercial cranberry products of different types, the availability of unified methods for measuring levels of c-PAC is important. This review discusses quantitative and qualitative analysis of c-PAC with "A-type" interflavan bonds in relation to their biological activity for UTI prevention. The integrity (including authenticity, standardization, efficacy, and safety) of cranberry fruit, juices, and dietary supplements may now be measured by using recent advances in mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography, production of c-PAC standards, and improved simple quantitative techniques.

Cranberries and Their Bioactive Constituents in Human Health

Posted: 
November 14, 2013
Authors: 
Jeffrey B. Blumberg, Terri A. Camesano, Aedin Cassidy, Penny Kris-Etherton, Amy Howell, Claudine Manach, Luisa M. Ostertag, Helmut Sies, Ann Skulas-Ray, and Joseph A. Vita
Journal: 
Adv. Nutr. 4: 618–632, 2013
Abstract: 

Recent observational and clinical studies have raised interest in the
potential health effects of cranberry consumption, an association that
appearsto be due to the phytochemical content of this fruit. The profile of
cranberry bioactives is distinct from that of other berry fruit, being
rich in A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs) in contrast to the B-type PACs present
in most other fruit. Basic research has suggested a number of potential
mechanisms of action of cranberry bioactives, although further molecular
studies are necessary. Human studies on the health effects of cranberry
products have focused principally on urinary tract and cardiovascular
health, with some attention also directed to oral health and
gastrointestinal epithelia. Evidence suggesting that cranberries may decrease the
recurrence of urinary tract infections is important because a nutritional
approach to this condition could lower the use of antibiotic treatment
and the consequent development of resistance to these drugs. There is
encouraging, but limited, evidence of a cardioprotective effect of
cranberries mediated via actions on antioxidant capacity and lipoprotein
profiles. The mixed outcomes from clinical studies with cranberry
products could result from interventions testing a variety of products,
often uncharacterized in their composition of bioactives, using different
doses and regimens, as well as the absence of a biomarker for compliance
to the protocol. Daily consumption of a variety of fruit is necessary to
achieve a healthy dietary pattern, meet recommendations for micronutrient
intake, and promote the intake of a diversity of phytochemicals. Berry
fruit, including cranberries, represent a rich source of phenolic bioactives
that may contribute to human health.

Cranberry-containing products for prevention of urinary tract infections in susceptible populations: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Posted: 
July 31, 2012
Authors: 
Wang CH, Fang CC, Chen NC, Liu SS, Yu PH, Wu TY, Chen WT, Lee CC, Chen SC
Journal: 
Arch Intern Med 172(13):988-96
Abstract: 

BACKGROUND Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most commonly acquired bacterial infections. Cranberry-containing products have long been used as a folk remedy to prevent UTIs. The aims of this study were to evaluate cranberry-containing products for the prevention of UTI and to examine the factors influencing their effectiveness. METHODS MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were systemically searched from inception to November 2011 for randomized controlled trials that compared prevention of UTIs in users of cranberry-containing products vs placebo or nonplacebo controls. There were no restrictions for language, population, or publication year. RESULTS Thirteen trials, including 1616 subjects, were identified for qualitative synthesis from 414 potentially relevant references; 10 of these trials, including a total of 1494 subjects, were further analyzed in quantitative synthesis. The random-effects pooled risk ratio (RR) for cranberry users vs nonusers was 0.62 (95% CI, 0.49-0.80), with a moderate degree of heterogeneity (I2 = 43%) after the exclusion of 1 outlier study. On subgroup analysis, cranberry-containing products seemed to be more effective in several subgroups, including women with recurrent UTIs (RR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.33-0.83) (I2 = 0%), female populations (RR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.34-0.73) (I2 = 34%), children (RR, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.16-0.69) (I2 = 0%), cranberry juice drinkers (RR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.30-0.72) (I2 = 2%), and subjects using cranberry-containing products more than twice daily (RR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.40-0.84) (I2 = 18%). CONCLUSIONS Our findings indicate that cranberry-containing products are associated with protective effect against UTIs. However, this result should be interpreted in the context of substantial heterogeneity across trials.

Cranberry Proanthocyanidins: Natural Weapons against Periodontal Diseases

Posted: 
January 26, 2012
Authors: 
Feghali K, Feldman M, La VD, Santos J, Grenier D
Journal: 
J Agric Food Chem Nov 29. [Epub ahead of print]
Abstract: 

Cranberry ( Vaccinium macrocarpon ) is known to have a beneficial effect on several aspects of human health. Proanthocyanidins (PACs), the most abundant flavonoids extracted from red cranberry fruits, have been reported to possess antimicrobial, antiadhesion, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Recent in vitro studies have shown that cranberry PACs may be potential therapeutic agents for the prevention and management of periodontitis, an inflammatory disease of bacterial origin affecting tooth-supporting tissues. After presenting an overview of cranberry phytochemicals and their potential for human health benefits, this review will focus on the effects of cranberry PACs on connective tissue breakdown and alveolar bone destruction, as well as their potential for controlling periodontal diseases. Possible mechanisms of action of cranberry PACs include the inhibition of (i) bacterial and host-derived proteolytic enzymes, (ii) host inflammatory response, and (iii) osteoclast differentiation and activity. Given that cranberry PACs have shown interesting properties in in vitro studies, clinical trials are warranted to better evaluate the potential of these molecules for controlling periodontal diseases.

Cranberry in children: prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections and review of the literature

Posted: 
January 17, 2012
Authors: 
Dessi A, Atzei A, Fanos V
Journal: 
Rev Bras Farmacogn 21(5):807-813
Abstract: 

Urinary tract infections (UTI) are common in childhood. In 30-50% of children with UTI the infections occur recurrently, especially in those with vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), neurogenic bladder (NB), previous cystitis or pyelonephritis and malformative uropathies. To reduce the likelihood of UTI, antibiotic prophylaxis has been regarded as the therapeutic standard for many years. However, the disadvantage of long-term antibiotic therapy is the potential for development of collateral effects and resistant organisms in the host. Such reasons have induced scientists to search for alternative modalities of UTI prevention and have contributed to determining the increasing desire for "naturalness" of the population and preventing excessive medication. The use of cranberry fulfils these needs by potentially replacing or enhancing traditional procedures. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of cranberry in preventing UTI in pediatric populations. We searched Pubmed, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Internet. Cranberry in patients with previous UTI was evaluated in three studies, cranberry in patients with VUR in three studies and four studies analyzed the efficacy of cranberry in children with NB. In seven of nine studies cranberry had a significant effect in preventing UTI.

Cranberry juice and urinary-tract health: science supports folklore

Posted: 
November 17, 2010
Authors: 
Henig YS, Leahy MM
Journal: 
Nutrition 16(7-8):684-7
Abstract: 

In the 20th century, the health benefit most often attributed to the cranberry is its role in maintaining urinary-tract health. A 1998 study by the International Food Information Council (personal communication) indicated that 47% of consumers surveyed were aware of a link between cranberry juice and urinary-tract health.

Recurrent cystitis in non-pregnant women

Posted: 
November 13, 2010
Authors: 
Sen A
Journal: 
Clin Evid 07:801
Abstract: 

INTRODUCTION: Cystitis is a bacterial infection of the lower urinary tract which causes pain when passing urine, and causes urgency, haematuria, and suprapubic pain not associated with passing urine. Recurrent cystitis is usually defined as three episodes of urinary tract infection in the previous 12 months, or two episodes in the previous 6 months. METHODS AND

OUTCOMES: We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical question: Which interventions prevent further recurrence of cystitis in women experiencing at least two infections per year? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to April 2007 (BMJ Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

RESULTS: We found 14 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.

CONCLUSIONS: In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: continuous antibiotic prophylaxis (trimethoprim, co-trimoxazole, nitrofurantoin, cefaclor, or a quinolone or cephalexin); continuous prophylaxis with methenamine hippurate; cranberry juice and cranberry products; oestrogen (topical) in postmenopausal women; passing urine after intercourse; postcoital antibiotic prophylaxis; single-dose self-administered antibiotic.

Cranberry juice and urinary tract infections: what is the evidence?

Posted: 
November 10, 2010
Authors: 
Lowe FC, Fagelman E
Journal: 
Urology 57(3):407-13
Abstract: 

No abstract - Introduction: It is well “known” by the general lay public that cranberry juice is helpful in treating and preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs). However, the evidence for this assumption has never been critically reviewed in urologic reports or elsewhere. The evidence for the two proposed mechanisms of action of cranberry juice, urinary acidification and inhibition of bacterial adherence, are critically analyzed.

Safety and efficacy of cranberry (vaccinium macrocarpon) during pregnancy and lactation

Posted: 
November 10, 2010
Authors: 
Dugoua JJ, Seely D, Perri D, Mills E, Koren G
Journal: 
Can J Clin Pharmacol 15(1):e80-6
Abstract: 

BACKGROUND: There is a lack of basic knowledge on the part of both clinicians and patients as to the indications for use and safety of herbs used during pregnancy and lactation. This is one article in a series that systematically reviews the evidence for herbs commonly used during pregnancy and lactation. OBJECTIVES: To systematically review the literature for evidence on the use, safety and pharmacology of cranberry, focusing on issues pertaining to pregnancy and lactation. METHODS: We searched 7 electronic databases and compiled data according to the grade of evidence found. RESULTS: There is no direct evidence of safety or harm to the mother or fetus as a result of consuming cranberry during pregnancy. Indirectly, there is good scientific evidence that cranberry may be of minimal risk, where a survey of 400 pregnant women did not uncover any adverse events when cranberry was regularly consumed. In lactation, the safety or harm of cranberry is unknown. CONCLUSIONS: Women experience urinary tract infections with greater frequency during pregnancy. Given the evidence to support the use of cranberry for urinary tract infections (UTIs) and its safety profile, cranberry supplementation as fruit or fruit juice may be a valuable therapeutic choice in the treatment of UTIs during pregnancy.

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