Nutrition and Renal Disease
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Nutrition and Renal Disease
Cranberry Juice: An Old Remedy Is Clinically Tested
Cranberry juice has long been used as a folk remedy for urinary infections. A 1994 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that it does indeed have at least a preventive effect. In a test involving 153 elderly women in Boston, half the subjects drank 300 milliliters (about one and one-quarter cups) of cranberry juice cocktail each day, using the same bottled beverage that is commonly sold in grocery stores.18 The other subjects consumed a drink that looked and tasted like cranberry juice, but had no real juice in it.
Over the next six months, urine samples were collected and tested for signs of bacteria. The women consuming cranberry juice had only 42 percent as many urinary infections as the control group. The number of cases that had to be treated by antibiotics was also only about half, which is a real advantage, since antibiotics can sometimes lead to yeast infections and other problems. It takes about four to eight weeks for the preventive effect to be seen.
The explanation for the effect of cranberry juice is probably not an acidification of the urine, because the placebo drink also reduced urinary pH. Rather, cranberries contain a substance that stops bacteria from being able to attach to cells, and this is probably true whether the cranberry juice reaches the bacteria in the digestive tract or the urinary tract. Substances that interfere with bacterial adhesion have also been found in blueberry juice, but not in orange, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, or guava juice.
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