The Cranberry & UTI's
Cranberry UTI Prevention
The Cranberry and Urinary Tract Infections
As discussed in the previous article cranberries have enormous medicinal value. These berries are not just good to eat; they also contain different kinds of chemicals that are nutritious. While the people in the 17th century and thereabouts knew generally the basic medicinal values of cranberries (the East Europeans even believed it to have the ability to cure cancer), research today has discovered other medicinal benefits that we can derive from cranberries.
In this article, we will discuss in detail some of the medicinal values of cranberries. Cranberries have been found to be effective in battling urinary tract inflammation, oral disease, as well as even heart ailments. Here we will see how cranberries help prevent Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).
All fruits are generally good for our health. They have in them different chemical components which help us remain fit by either directly preventing disease, i.e. by enhancing our immune system, or by working out a mechanism that prevents diseases from happening.
While different food products or plants work in different ways, cranberries have their own way of reducing the risk of illness in the human body.
Cranberries and Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
One of the biggest and most widely health benefits of eating cranberries, in whatever form, either as whole fruit or juice or cocktail, is that it helps prevent urinary tract infection (UTI). While this was what our elders passed on to us as traditional oral medicinal knowledge, it is now recognized as official medical fact.
The Mechanism of an Infection
How does an infection, of whichever body part it may be, occur usually? This is how the mechanism works. The infection is basically caused by bacteria. The bacteria latch on to the surface or lining of the cells of different body parts. Once they are attached to the lining of the specific body part in question, they feed off the cells or the surface or the lining they are attached to, and increase their numbers by reproducing, and in the process cause infections. In the case of UTI, this process happens in the lining of the urinary tract.
Misconceptions about how Cranberries help prevent UTI
So where do cranberries come into the picture, as far as stopping this process is concerned? Initially, researchers went off-track when they figured that the cranberries’ ability to prevent UTI was because of its acidity. Later on, this misconception was cleared by Dr. Amy Howell, a scientist working with Rutgers University. She said that cranberries prevent UTI by preventing the bacteria causing UTI from attaching itself to the surface of the urinary tract lining. Amy Howell published this discovery in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1998.
Her research shows that cranberries are basically rich in proanthocyanidins. Proanthocyanidins are tannins, a type of organic chemical compound, that have been condensed. This is how it works. The proanthocyanidins have their own specific way of functioning – they are blockers that block the bacteria from attaching themselves to the surface of the lining of the specific body part in question. In the case of UTI, the proanthocyanidins prevent the bacteria from getting glued to the lining of the urinary tract.
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