Misconceptions about how Cranberries help prevent UTIs

Posted 02/13/2011


Misconceptions about how Cranberries help prevent UTIs

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 UTIs 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 UTIs by preventing the bacteria causing UTIs 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 UTIs, the proanthocyanidins prevent the bacteria from getting glued to the lining of the urinary tract.

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