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Urinary Tract Health and Antibacterial Benefits: Review

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Vaccinium macrocarpon: an interesting option for women with recurrent urinary tract infections and other health benefits

Posted: 
November 8, 2010
Authors: 
Perez-Lopez FR, Haya J and Chedraui P
Journal: 
J Obstet Gynaecol Res 35(4):630-9
Abstract: 

AIM: To review the scientific publications concerning the clinical use and mechanism of action of the North American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) for women with recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI) and other health conditions. METHODS: This is a retrospective study of published information concerning Vaccinium macrocarpon retrieved from a PubMed and individual searches. RESULTS: Urinary tract infections are very common in women, cause discomfort, and may aggravate other genitourinary conditions. The available scientific information supports a clinical benefit of Vaccinium macrocarpon in the prevention of recurrent UTI in women. There is a non-significant reduction of UTI associated with Vaccinium macrocarpon treatment during pregnancy. A group of proanthocyanidins (PAC) with A-type linkages have been isolated from Vaccinium macrocarpon which inhibit P-fimbriae synthesis and induce a bacterial deformation, on both antibiotic-susceptible and antibiotic-resistant uropathogenic Escherichia coli. It is plausible that cranberry PAC prevent bacteria from adhering to the uroepithelium of the bladder, thereby blocking the ability of E. coli to infect the urinary mucosa. CONCLUSION: Cranberry treatment is a safe, well-tolerated supplement that does not have significant drug interactions. Although investigations are in the early stages, experimental and preclinical studies suggest that cranberry components may have other potential benefits, including anti-infective, anticancer and antioxidant effects, which may be considered as positive for different age-related conditions. In addition, cranberry components may induce positive cardiovascular and metabolic changes, and may improve neuropsychological activity. These effects warrant further clinical research to better place the role of cranberry products for women.

Cranberry juice and urinary tract infection.

Posted: 
November 6, 2010
Authors: 
Raz R, Chazan B, Dan M
Journal: 
Clin Infect Dis 38(10):1413-9
Abstract: 

Cranberries have long been the focus of interest for their beneficial effects in preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs). Cranberries contain 2 compounds with antiadherence properties that prevent fimbriated Escherichia coli from adhering to uroepithelial cells in the urinary tract. Approximately 1 dozen clinical trials have been performed testing the effects of cranberries on the urinary tract. However, these trials suffer from a number of limitations. Most importantly, the trials have used a wide variety of cranberry products, such as cranberry juice concentrate, cranberry juice cocktail, and cranberry capsules, and they have used different dosing regimens. Further research is required to clarify unanswered questions regarding the role of cranberries in protecting against UTI in general and in women with anatomical abnormalities in particular.

The role of cranberry and probiotics in intestinal and urogenital tract health

Posted: 
November 6, 2010
Authors: 
Reid G
Journal: 
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 42(3 Suppl):293-300
Abstract: 

Several forces are driving an expanded use of nutraceuticals, particularly functional foods and probiotics, as instruments of the restoration and maintenance of well-being. These include consumer desire to use natural rather than pharmaceutical products, the mounting scientific evidence that shows efficacy of certain nutraceutical products, and the increasing cost and continued failure of drugs to cure or prevent disease. There is now a strong scientific basis for use of cranberries to reduce the risk of E. coli adhesion to bladder cells and the onset of urinary tract infection. There is also a mechanistic basis and clinical support for use of Lactobacillus strains such as L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. fermentum RC-14 to colonize the intestine and vagina and reduce the risk of intestinal and urogenital infections. For such alternative approaches to be successful, scientific rigor must be backed by public education and physician acceptance. Given the emergence of virulent and multidrug-resistant pathogens, time is not on our side.

Cranberry proanthocyanidins and the maintenance of urinary tract health

Posted: 
November 5, 2010
Authors: 
Howell AB
Journal: 
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 42(3 Suppl):273-8
Abstract: 

One of the major health benefits attributed to the ingestion of cranberry juice is the maintenance of urinary tract health. Traditionally, the juice was thought to cause acidification of the urine resulting in a bacteriostatic effect. However, recent research has demonstrated that a bacterial antiadhesion mechanism is responsible. Proanthocyanidins with unique molecular structures have been isolated from cranberry fruit that exhibit potent bacterial antiadhesion activity. Little is known about the bioavailability and structure-activity relationships of cranberry proanthocyanidins. Data on how certain structural features of the molecules can influence bioactivity and bioavailability are reviewed.

Prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infection.

Posted: 
November 5, 2010
Authors: 
Trautner BW, Hull RA, Darouiche RO
Journal: 
Curr Opin Infect Dis 18(1):37-41
Abstract: 

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The underlying cause of catheter-associated urinary tract infection is biofilm formation by uropathogens on the urinary catheter. Biofilm is a relatively new concept in medicine, and current measures to prevent biofilm formation are inadequate. Considerable work is being done in this area, but little clinical progress has been made. The purpose of this review is to analyze recent publications concerning prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infection.

RECENT FINDINGS: Several recent studies have elucidated aspects of biofilm formation in catheter-associated urinary tract infection. Other researchers are working on methods to disrupt biofilm formation on catheter surfaces. At the same time, the magnitude of the problem of catheter-associated urinary tract infection has increased awareness of the effectiveness of basic infection control measures. A modern approach to infection control may include computerized ordering systems that minimize unnecessary days of catheterization. Finally, consumption of cranberry juice products and bacterial interference are two novel approaches to urinary tract infection prevention.

SUMMARY: Biofilm-disrupting strategies offer promise for the future but have little immediate applicability. Implementation of infection control measures to improve catheter function and remove unnecessary catheters can be done at the present time. In general, prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infection remains an elusive goal. More basic research at the level of pathogenesis is needed so that novel strategies can be designed.

Complementary, holistic, and integrative medicine: cranberry.

Posted: 
November 4, 2010
Authors: 
Shamseer L, Vohra S
Journal: 
Pediatr Rev 28 (8):e43-5
Abstract: 

No abstract - Introduction: Cranberry is among the most commonly used natural health products in North America. Commercial cranberry products commonly are derived from the Vaccinium oxycoccos and V macrocarpon species, which are cultivated widely across the Northern hemisphere. Seventy percent of the cranberry crop in North America is controlled by a single manufacturer. Historically, cranberry fruits and leaves have been used for wound dressings, urinary disorders, diabetes, blood poisoning, diarrhea, and liver problems. More recently, cranberry has been used to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) and dental plaque. The scientific evidence regarding medicinal uses of cranberry in pediatric populations is presented in this article.

Cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections

Posted: 
November 4, 2010
Authors: 
Jepson RG, Craig JC
Journal: 
Cochrane Database Syst Rev (1):CD001321
Abstract: 

BACKGROUND: Cranberries have been used widely for several decades for the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs).

OBJECTIVES: To assess the effectiveness of cranberry products in preventing UTIs in susceptible populations.

SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL in The Cochrane Library) and the Internet. We contacted companies involved with the promotion and distribution of cranberry preparations and checked reference lists of review articles and relevant studies. Date of last search: January 2007.

SELECTION CRITERIA: All randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi-RCTs of cranberry products for the prevention of UTIs in all populations.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two authors independently assessed and extracted information. Information was collected on methods, participants, interventions and outcomes (UTIs - symptomatic and asymptomatic, side effects, adherence to therapy). Relative risk (RR) were calculated where appropriate, otherwise a narrative synthesis was undertaken. Quality was assessed using the Cochrane criteria.

MAIN RESULTS: Ten studies (n = 1049, five cross-over, five parallel group) were included. Cranberry/cranberry-lingonberry juice versus placebo, juice or water was evaluated in seven studies, and cranberries tablets versus placebo in four studies (one study evaluated both juice and tablets). Cranberry products significantly reduced the incidence of UTIs at 12 months (RR 0.65, 95% CI 0.46 to 0.90) compared with placebo/control. Cranberry products were more effective reducing the incidence of UTIs in women with recurrent UTIs, than elderly men and women or people requiring catheterisation. Six studies were not included in the meta-analyses due to methodological issues or lack of available data. However, only one reported a significant result for the outcome of symptomatic UTIs. Side effects were common in all studies, and dropouts/withdrawals in several of the studies were high.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is some evidence that cranberry juice may decrease the number of symptomatic UTIs over a 12 month period, particularly for women with recurrent UTIs. It's effectiveness for other groups is less certain. The large number of dropouts/withdrawals indicates that cranberry juice may not be acceptable over long periods of time. It is not clear what is the optimum dosage or method of administration (e.g. juice, tablets or capsules). Further properly designed studies with relevant outcomes are needed.

Cranberry and urinary tract infections

Posted: 
November 4, 2010
Authors: 
Guay DR
Journal: 
Drugs 69(7):775-807
Abstract: 

Urinary tract infection (UTI) refers to the presence of clinical signs and symptoms arising from the genitourinary tract plus the presence of one or more micro-organisms in the urine exceeding a threshold value for significance (ranges from 102 to 103 colony-forming units/mL). Infections are localized to the bladder (cystitis), renal parenchyma (pyelonephritis) or prostate (acute or chronic bacterial prostatitis). Single UTI episodes are very common, especially in adult women where there is a 50-fold predominance compared with adult men. In addition, recurrent UTIs are also common, occurring in up to one-third of women after first-episode UTIs. Recurrences requiring intervention are usually defined as two or more episodes over 6 months or three or more episodes over 1 year (this definition applies only to young women with acute uncomplicated UTIs). A cornerstone of prevention of UTI recurrence has been the use of low-dose once-daily or post-coital antimicrobials; however, much interest has surrounded non-antimicrobial-based approaches undergoing investigation such as use of probiotics, vaccines, oligosaccharide inhibitors of bacterial adherence and colonization, and bacterial interference with immunoreactive extracts of Escherichia coli. Local (intravaginal) estrogen therapy has had mixed results to date. Cranberry products in a variety of formulations have also undergone extensive evaluation over several decades in the management of UTIs. At present, there is no evidence that cranberry can be used to treat UTIs. Hence, the focus has been on its use as a preventative strategy. Cranberry has been effective in vitro and in vivo in animals for the prevention of UTI. Cranberry appears to work by inhibiting the adhesion of type I and P-fimbriated uropathogens (e.g. uropathogenic E. coli) to the uroepithelium, thus impairing colonization and subsequent infection. The isolation of the component(s) of cranberry with this activity has been a daunting task, considering the hundreds of compounds found in the fruit and its juice derivatives. Reasonable evidence suggests that the anthocyanidin/proanthocyanidin moieties are potent antiadhesion compounds. However, problems still exist with standardization of cranberry products, which makes it extremely difficult to compare products or extrapolate results. Unfortunately, most clinical trials have had design deficiencies and none have evaluated specific key cranberry-derived compounds considered likely to be active moieties (e.g. proanthocyanidins). In general, the preventive efficacy of cranberry has been variable and modest at best. Meta-analyses have established that recurrence rates over 1 year are reduced approximately 35% in young to middle-aged women. The efficacy of cranberry in other groups (i.e. elderly, paediatric patients, those with neurogenic bladder, those with chronic indwelling urinary catheters) is questionable. Withdrawal rates have been quite high (up to 55%), suggesting that these products may not be acceptable over long periods. Adverse events include gastrointestinal intolerance, weight gain (due to the excessive calorie load) and drug-cranberry interactions (due to the inhibitory effect of flavonoids on cytochrome P450-mediated drug metabolism). The findings of the Cochrane Collaboration support the potential use of cranberry products in the prophylaxis of recurrent UTIs in young and middle-aged women. However, in light of the heterogeneity of clinical study designs and the lack of consensus regarding the dosage regimen and formulation to use, cranberry products cannot be recommended for the prophylaxis of recurrent UTIs at this time.

Recurrent urinary tract infections in older people: the role of cranberry products

Posted: 
November 4, 2010
Authors: 
Sumukadas D, Davey P and McMurdo ME
Journal: 
Age Ageing 38(3):255-7
Abstract: 

No abstract - Introduction: Urinary tract infections (UTI) are the commonest bacterial infection in older people. Half of all women experience at least one UTI and the risk increases with age. The present management of recurrent urinary tract infection is prophylaxis with low-dose, long-term antibiotics. However, there is a growing reluctance to prescribe antibiotics unless absolutely essential because of fears about antimicrobial resistance. So the recent resurgence in interest in the potential role of cranberry
products is timely.

Cranberry is not effective for the prevention or treatment of urinary tract infections in individuals with spinal cord injury.

Posted: 
October 28, 2010
Authors: 
Opperman EA
Journal: 
Spinal Cord 48(6):451-6
Abstract: 

STUDY DESIGN: Literature review. OBJECTIVES: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common medical complication experienced by individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). Recent research presents conflicting evidence regarding use of cranberry in reducing growth and colonization of uroepithelial cells by uropathogenic bacteria. The objective was to determine whether the literature supports the use of cranberry in preventing or treating UTIs in the SCI population. METHODS: MEDLINE was searched for intervention studies, which investigated the use of cranberry in the prevention or treatment of UTIs in the SCI population. If the studies met the inclusion criteria, full articles were located and reviewed. RESULTS: Five studies (four randomized clinical control-three trials using cranberry tablets vs placebos and one using cranberry juice-and one pilot study using cranberry juice) were identified which evaluated the effectiveness of cranberry products for the prevention or treatment of UTIs in the SCI population. Three studies reported no statistically significant effect of cranberry tablets in urinary pH, urinary bacterial count, urinary white blood cell (WBC) count, urinary bacterial, and WBC counts in combination or episodes of symptomatic UTIs. A fourth study showed that cranberry juice intake significantly reduced biofilm load compared with baseline. A final study reported fewer UTIs during the period with cranberry extract tablets vs placebo. CONCLUSIONS: Limited evidence from clinical trials that vary in design suggests that cranberry, in juice or supplement form, does not seem to be effective in preventing or treating UTIs in the SCI population. More rigorous clinical research is needed to confirm this.

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