Rose hip supplementation significantly lowered UTI incidence in women post C-section, study finds

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

Image: Peter O'Connor / FLickr via Creative Commons
Image: Peter O'Connor / FLickr via Creative Commons

Related tags Vitamin c Childbirth

Capsules containing 500 mg of R. canina rose hips fared better than a placebo in reducing urinary tract infection (UTI) incidences in mothers following a cesarean section birth, a new study finds.

“The risk of UTI following cesarean section (CS) increases due to procedures such as catheterization,”​ researchers from the University of Medical Sciences in Tabriz, Iran, wrote in a report​ published this month in Phytotherapy Research​.

While in vitro ​studies demonstrate that rose hips—or fruits of the Rosa canina ​plant—prevent the growth of UTI-causing bacteria Escherichia coli​, the researchers said that no clinical trials have been done yet looking specifically at the plant’s role in reducing post-partum UTIs, especially among women who have undergone a C-section.

The results led the researchers to conclude that “this herb can be used in post cesarean post-partum as an inexpensive and cost-effective substance for promoting maternal health.”

Participant selection

The triple-blind study involved 400 women recruited from two hospitals in Tabriz, Alzahra and Taleghani, who underwent a C-section anytime between August 2016 and March 2017. The total was divided into two, with 200 women each taking either a rose hip supplement or placebo.

To be included, the women had to have had a C-section in the last 48 hours before they begin the intervention period, and only require a maximum of three doses of antibiotics post operation.

Primary outcomes analyzed in the study included the incidence of any type of UTI during the 20-day follow-up.  

Analysis for vitamin C, flavonoids

The capsules were made out of L. Rosa canina ​fruits procured from an herbalist in Tabriz, which was milled into a powder. For the placebo, starch powder was used.

Analysis of the capsules revealed that each contained 880 mg/100 mL of vitamin C, as well as flavonoids such as quercetin, which has been studied for its antibacterial effect.

Twice a day, participants ingested the capsules half an hour after meals with a glass of water. This period lasted from 48 hours after the C-section and continued for 18 more days. Follow-up was done through telephone contacts to ensure participant compliance.

Significantly less UTI incidence in supplement group than placebo

After all women from both groups completed their intervention period, the researchers found that the total risk of UTI on the 7th​ to 10th​ days of the trial was significantly lower in the rose hip group compared to the placebo group.

Four women from the rose hip group had positive asymptomatic urine cultures, which means asymptomatic UTI, compared to 13 in the placebo group. After the 20th​ day, three women from the rose hip group had a UTI compared to 19 in the placebo group. The women were promptly prescribed an antibiotic following diagnosis of a UTI.

“The positive effect of this herb on the incidence of UTI can be due to the presence of 880 mg/100 mL of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, that can prevent UTI through its antioxidant properties,”​ the researchers wrote.

Source​: Phytotherapy Research
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1002/ptr.5950
“The effect of Rosa (L. Rosa canina) on the incidence of urinary tract infection in the puerperium: A randomized placebo-controlled trial”
Authors: M. Seifi, et al.

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