Whole cranberry powder shows activity against recurrent UTIs

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Whole cranberry powder shows activity against recurrent UTIs

Related tags: Cranberry, Urinary tract infection

Daily consumption of a supplement containing a whole cranberry powder may reduce the risk of recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs), says a new study.

Doses of 500 or 1,000 milligrams per day of the whole cranberry powder were associated with reductions in the recurrence of UTIs of 36 and 65 percent, respectively, according to findings published in Current Bioactive Compounds​.

“Therefore, this cranberry product [PACran from Decas Botanical Synergies] can be suggested as an alternative/adjunct measure to conventional antibiotic therapy for recurrent urinary tract infections in women,”​ wrote the researchers, led by Archana Chatterjee, MD, PhD from Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha.

Health claim

In 2004 France became the first country to approve a health claim for the North American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon​) with at least 36mg of proanthocyanidins (PAC) to “help reduce the adhesion of certain E. coli bacteria to the urinary tract walls”​, and subsequently fight UTIs, a condition that will affect over 50 percent of women at least once in their lifetime.

PACs are not exclusive to cranberries, and can be found in a range of foods, including green tea, grapes, apples, and chocolate. However, the main type of PACs in cranberry called A-type PACs are different from those in these other sources, called B-type PACs. Only cranberry PACs may prevent bacterial adhesion.

The French health claim refers to 36 milligrams of PACs measured using the 4-dimethylaminocinnamaldehyde (DMAC) method. The 500 milligram dose used in the new study reportedly confers the same level of ex vivo​ urinary anti-adhesion activity against uropathogenic E. coli​ over a 24-hour period as 300 ml of Cranberry Juice Cocktail containing 36 mg proanthocyanidins.

Study details

For the 90-day randomized clinical trial, the researchers recruited 60 women aged between 18 and 40 with a history of recurrent UTI and the presence of Escherichia coli​ and mild symptoms of UTI. The volunteers were randomly assigned to receive no intervention, or a low (500 mg) or high dose (1,000 mg) daily dose of the PACran whole cranberry powder for 90 days.

At the end of the study, the control group did not show any changes in concentrations of E. coli​, while a significant reduction in the cranberry groups were observed. Specifically, the researchers report a reductions of E. coli in urine culture analysis of between 25 and 45 percent after 10 days of cranberry consumption, and this was maintained over 90 days.

In addition, 40 percent of women receiving the cranberry product reported complete relief and remission from urological symptoms such as itching and burning sensation during micturition and frequent urination.

“In conclusion, proanthocyanidins standardized whole cranberry powder was effective in safely reducing the number of E. coli positive subjects at both the 500 mg and 1000 mg dose levels and in ameliorating the symptoms of UTI in these subjects. Therefore, a daily dose of 500 mg or 1000 mg of proanthocyanidins standardized whole cranberry powder may be considered as an adjunct to antibiotic prophylactic therapy against recurrent UTIs,”​ they concluded.

Commercial welcome

“Given the many different methods used for quantifying PACs in cranberry ingredients, we believe companies planning to launch a quality cranberry supplement with beneficial effect on urinary tract health, will increasingly focus on the available documentation when sourcing their cranberry ingredient,”​ said Julie Rosenborg, product manager for cranberry ingredients for Lallemand Health Ingredients. PACran is used in Lallemand’s probiotic & cranberry combination product - Cysbiotic.

“The substantial size of the UTI market means cranberry products often have substantial strategic importance and companies are seeking a serious partner to collaborate with them in their communication efforts towards consumers, doctors and pharmacists,”​ she added.

Dan Souza, director of sales and marketing for Decas Botanical Synergies said that the new results, coupled with “other human studies conducted at Rutgers University have shown that a daily consumption of 500 mg of PACran helps support urinary tract health”​.

Source: Current Bioactive Compounds
March 2011, Volume 7, Number 1, Pages 39-46
“A Randomized, Double Blind, Controlled, Dose Dependent Clinical Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy of a Proanthocyanidin Standardized Whole Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) Powder on Infections of the Urinary Tract”
Authors: K. Sengupta, K.V. Alluri, T. Golakoti, G.V. Gottumukkala, J. Raavi, L. Kotchrlakota, S.C. Sigalan, D. Dey, S. Ghosh and A. Chatterjee

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