Ingredients in cranberries protect against infections, so we need fewer antibiotics
Experts around the world are looking for ways to reduce antibiotic use. Researchers have now found that drinking cranberry juice regularly causes women to have much less urinary tract infection (UTI). This infection is a common reason for using antibiotics.
The researchers at Boston University found that if women were to drink cranberry juice more often, antibiotics would have to be used less. Cranberries contain substances that can prevent bacterial infections. For example, this prevents women from having a urinary tract infection. This in turn is often the reason for the use of antibiotics. The experts published the results of their study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Women with frequent urinary tract infections should drink more cranberry juice
Medical doctors around the world are warning of the dangers of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. The experts have said that these have continued to increase in recent years. One reason for this is the overuse of antibiotics. Researchers have now found that less antibiotics would have to be used if women drank more juice from cranberries. Even the consumption of 240 ml per day in the trials reduced the symptoms of patients who were susceptible to urinary tract infections by about forty percent, the doctors explain.
The chronic overuse of antibiotics must be counteracted
At the present time, the primary goal is better treatment and prevention of urinary tract infections in order to reduce the use of antibiotics, the authors say. A kind of side effect of the frequent prescription of antibiotics is the development of bacterial strains that are resistant to all known types of antibiotics, explains Professor Kalpana Gupta from Boston University. Due to the chronic overuse of these drugs, resistance is increasing globally at an alarming rate, the researcher adds. Some experts have previously rated this problem as a greater threat to humanity than the cancer threat. For this reason, serious measures must be taken to prevent this problem, the experts say.
Six out of ten women suffer from urinary tract infections
Urinary tract infections are among the most common bacterial infections. There are over 150 million urinary tract infections worldwide each year. Six out of ten women suffer from this painful infection in their lives, the doctors explain. Up to a quarter of all women affected then relapse within the next six months. The symptoms include a strong, persistent urge to urinate and a burning sensation when urinating, the scientists explain.
Study examines nearly 400 women with previous urinary tract infections
373 women in the United States and France were examined for the study. The researchers tried to determine whether repeated infections could be avoided by drinking cranberry juice. All subjects were healthy women with an average age of 40 who had had at least two urinary tract infections in the past year, the authors say. All participants were either given daily doses of approximately 240 ml cranberry juice or were given a placebo drink. The rate of urinary tract infections dropped significantly among cranberry juice drinkers. In the cranberry group, there were only 39 diagnoses of infections, compared to 67 cases in the placebo group, the doctors explain.
Drink cranberry juice for prevention
Cranberries contain chemicals, including what are known as Type A PACs (proanthocyanidins). These have antibacterial properties, for example to prevent infections caused by E. coli. Most people make the mistake of waiting to drink the cranberry juice until they already have a urinary tract infection, but once the symptoms start, they will likely need antibiotics, warns Prof. Gupta. The key to using the protective effect of cranberries is the daily consumption of at least one glass of the juice. It is possible to completely avoid the painful infections, explains Professor Kalpana Gupta. (as)