This week our contributing writer Doctor Gifford-Jones talks about the benefits of liquid cranberry supplement.
Is Mother sometimes right about medical treatment? This week a report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal shows that, at times, her batting average is better than that of doctors.
Drs. Blayne Welk and Duane Hicklings report the case of a 35 year old woman with a 24 hour history of urinary frequency. She had experienced two previous urinary tract infections (UTIs) due to a common bladder infection caused by a bacteria called E coli.
Doctors advised the usual recommendations, such as increased fluid intake and voiding after sex. But Welk and Hicklings say a large study showed these precautions had little effect on recurrent UTIs. Rather, it was the use of spermicidal jelly that was interfering with normal vaginal flora. The use of condoms alone was advised.
The patient’s attack of E coli infection was temporarily cured by antibiotics. But this treatment did not prevent further attacks. So doctors asked, could natural products cure E coli infection?
Mother’s time-honoured advice was the use of cranberry juice. But its efficiency has been “pooh-poohed” by doctors. However, Harvard researchers showed Mother was right. Their studies revealed that a substance in the juice prevented E coli from adhering to the wall of the urinary bladder. So E coli were washed out during urination.
But Drs. Welk and Hicklings also report that cranberry juice is not always effective in stopping repeat UTIs. They discovered that when different cranberry supplements were used, such as juice or tablets, they showed inconsistent strengths, and women often stopped treatment due to the large amount of fluid they had to consume. In addition, cranberry juice contains unwanted calories.
Now we know another natural remedy escaped Mother’s attention. Dr. Michael Weisspapir, Medical Director of Eastgate Biotech Corp, reports that for over 20 years liquid cranberry extract has been used successfully in Europe to treat E coli urinary infections.
Weisspapir adds that liquid cranberry extract is more effective than cranberry juice. In addition to its anti-sticking ability, it has antibacterial and antiseptic properties and also forms a protective layer on the wall of the urinary tract to prevent further bacterial growth.
If UTI strikes, it’s prudent to treat it quickly, particularly if it’s associated with fever and flank pain involving the kidneys. If previous urine cultures have diagnosed E coli bacteria, doctors often give patients an antibiotic prescription so there’s no delay in treatment. And the sooner liquid cranberry extract is started, the sooner symptoms subside.
Liquid cranberry extract will help to put an end to people saying, “We know where you’re going!” by decreasing the number of embarrassing and painful attacks of recurring UTIs.
Every year 100,000 patients die in North America from prescription drugs. So it’s reasonable that a safe, natural herbal remedy, tested by time, should be tried before drugs are prescribed. Particularly when antibiotics are often associated with side-effects such as irritating yeast infections or allergic reactions. And I’m sure Mother would say “Amen” to that advice.