The anatomy of the female urinary tract differs greatly from men, resulting in the need for additional nutritional support for women. A wealth of published studies indicates that cranberry polyphenols may help to support a healthy urinary tract.1-5
Of particular importance is the flavonoid content of the cranberry, including anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins. These natural compounds exert powerful antioxidant effects that can reduce oxidative stress. Recent clinical data suggest that the proanthocyanidins found only in cranberries also possess unique molecular features that specifically promote urinary system health.6-8
Cranberry is the best-known natural preventive option for frequent UTIs. It first emerged as an effective intervention for bladder and urinary tract health in the early twentieth century. Scientists speculated that the benzoic acid in cranberries was metabolized to hippuric acid and excreted in the urine, which prevented bacterial growth by creating an acidic environment in the bladder.
Since then a wealth of clinical data have detailed the precise mechanism by which certain constituent components of the whole cranberry act to powerfully counter UTI onset.9-12 The most recent studies do not indicate a change in urine pH brought about by cranberries (meaning they do not acidify urine). Instead, cranberry’s antimicrobial action arises from a class of flavonoids called proanthocyanidins (PACs). In addition to exerting potent antioxidant effects, cranberry PACs block bacteria from taking hold of the cells lining the urinary tract.
The surfaces of E. coli and many other bacteria are covered with motile, tendril-like structures called fimbriae. The fimbria acts as a kind of tentacle, enabling bacteria to “grab onto” other microorganisms, inanimate objects and—most importantly—host cells. A single bacterium may possess as many as 1,000 fimbriae. It is this feature that renders E. coli and other species endowed with fimbriae—including Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Salmonella, and Helicobacter pylori—especially virulent and infectious. They employ these structures to latch onto cells in the mucous membranes at multiple sites of the body and initiate a debilitating and potentially lethal proliferation.
A 2009 study demonstrated conclusively that cranberry PACs provoke disabling alterations in the fimbriae and other surface properties of the E. coli bacterium, vastly diminishing its capacity to attach specifically to the surface of the cells lining the urinary tract.9
This process, known as bacteriostasis, prevents harmful bacteria from colonizing the urinary tract. Instead, they are flushed from the urethra during the natural voiding process.
1. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(2):CD001321.
2. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jun;51(6):732-7.
3. Evid Based Med. 2008 Aug;13(4):105.
4. BMJ. 2001;322:1-5.
5. Phytomedicine. 2007;14(4):237-41.
6. J Med Food. 2009 Apr;12(2):259-70.
7. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2002;42(3 Suppl):273-8.
8. Wien Med Wochenschr. 2007;157(13-14):325-30.
9. Pinzón-Arango PA, Liu Y, Camesano TA. Role of cranberry on bacterial adhesion forces and implications for Escherichia coli-uroepithelial cell attachment. J Med Food. 2009 Apr;12(2):259-70.
10 Jass J, Reid G. Effect of cranberry drink on bacterial adhesion in vitro and vaginal microbiota in healthy females. Can J Urol. 2009 Dec;16(6):4901-7.
11. Lee YL, Owens J, Thrupp L, Cesario TC. Does cranberry juice have antibacterial activity? JAMA. 2000 Apr 5;283(13):1691.
12. Howell MB. Bioactive compounds in cranberries and their role in prevention of urinary tract infections. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jun;51(6):732-7.
Why Freeze Drying vs. other less expensive drying methods?
Freeze drying, or Lyophilization is the most common processing method for removing moisture from biopharmaceuticals, and it can increase the stability, temperature tolerance, and shelf life of these products. Although Freeze drying is well established within the industry, it requires expensive equipment that takes up a great deal of space within a production facility. Freeze drying also can take days to complete, and manufacturers that need a powdered product must incorporate a granulation step to the process. In an environment where budgets are tightening, and where time and facility space are at a premium, Freeze drying might be a difficult option for some companies.
Freeze drying removes the water, not the flavor. So freeze dried foods retain virtually all their fresh food taste, vitamins and nutritional content. Weighs less than fresh Freeze dried foods have 98% of their water removed. This significantly reduces the food’s weight, making it easier to handle and less costly to transport.
Once freeze dried, food products have the following benefits:
Appearance – Freeze dried foods maintain their original shape and texture, unlike air dried foods which shrink and shrivel due to high temperature processing. Just add water and in minutes the food rehydrates to its original form.
Taste – Tastes as good as fresh. Freeze drying removes the water, not the flavor. So freeze dried foods retain virtually all their fresh food taste, vitamins and nutritional content.
Weight – Weighs less than fresh. Freeze dried foods have 98% of their water removed. This significantly reduces the food’s weight, making it easier to handle and less costly to transport.
Long Shelf Life – Freeze dried foods can be stored for months or years at room temperature without deterioration or spoilage.
Low Storage Costs – Because it can be stored at room temperature, freeze dried food does not require costly cold or chilled storage facilities, making it much cheaper to store.
Freeze Drying vs. Other Drying Methods: