- Sex, Drugs & Cranberry Juice: What You Need to Know About UTIs
- What causes a urinary tract infection?
- What should you do if you have a urinary tract infection?
- What is the recommended treatment for a urinary tract infection?
- What could happen if you leave a urinary tract infection untreated?
- What are the symptoms that a urinary tract infection is getting worse and what should you do if this happens?
- What does blood in the urine mean?
- Does sexual activity contribute to UTIs?
- Can spermicide use increase the risk of UTIs?
- What should you do if you keep getting urinary tract infections?
- Can you pass a UTI to a sex partner?
- Why do some women get more urinary tract infections than others?
- What can you do to prevent a urinary tract infection?
- What Is So Good About Cranberry Juice?
- What Are The Health Benefits Of Cranberry Juice?
- 1. Controls Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
- 2. Boosts Heart Health
- 3. Improves Dental Health And Hygiene
- 4. Prevents Kidney Calcification And Infection
- 5. Mitigates Liver Diseases
- 6. Possesses Strong Anti-inflammatory Properties
- 7. Combats Vaginal Infections
- 8. Reduces Risk And Severity Of Diabetes
- 9. Prevent Bacterial Adherence To Urinary Tract
- 10. Is An Excellent Detox Drink
- 11. Improves Gut Health And Metabolism
- 12. Might Affect Influenza (Flu Virus) Severity
- Nutritional Value Of Cranberry Juice
- How To Make Cranberry Juice At Home
- Does Cranberry Juice Cause Any Side Effects?
- What Is The Recommended Dose Of Cranberry Juice?
- Summit Medical Group Web Site
- Cranberry Allergy Rash
- Health Benefits of Cranberry
- Cranberry Allergy
- Treatment of Cranberry Allergy
- 10 health benefits of drinking cranberry juice
- Health Benefits of Drinking Cranberry Juice
- Cranberry Juice Has Mild Laxative Effects
- A Preventive Treatment for Urinary Tract Infections
- Smile – Cranberry Juice May Be Good for Your Teeth, Too!
- Cranberry Juice is Good for the Heart
- Anti-Bacterial Effects Against Helicobacter Pylori
- Cranberry Juice Has Anti-Cancer Activity
- Can too much fruit juice give my child diarrhea?
Sex, Drugs & Cranberry Juice: What You Need to Know About UTIs
What causes a urinary tract infection?
Most UTIs are caused by E. coli, bacteria that normally live in your intestines, where they help to break down and absorb nutrients from your food. But when E. coli bacteria get into parts of your body where they don’t belong — like your bladder — they can cause infection.
E. coli is the most common cause of urinary tract infection, but other bacteria, too, can travel from your rectum to your bladder, where they may cause an infection.
What should you do if you have a urinary tract infection?
If you have a urinary tract infection, you should get it treated. UTIs can be treated at a primary care clinic, urgent care clinic or virtual clinic. UTIs account for more than 20 percent of UW Medicine Virtual Clinic visits.
What is the recommended treatment for a urinary tract infection?
This is where the drugs come into play. A healthcare provider will prescribe an antibiotic to treat a urinary tract infection. Be sure to take the entire course of the prescription, even if your symptoms resolve before you finish.
You may also receive a second drug prescription for pain medication that numbs your bladder and urethra and relieves the burning sensation when you pee.
What could happen if you leave a urinary tract infection untreated?
The primary concern is that the infection could spread from your bladder to your kidneys, where an infection can do irreversible damage. You could also develop sepsis, a life-threatening complication of infection.
What are the symptoms that a urinary tract infection is getting worse and what should you do if this happens?
Fever, chills, blood in your urine, severe back or side pain, nausea or vomiting, and the feeling that you are getting sicker all warrant a visit to the healthcare provider or even the emergency room if the symptoms are severe,” says Stapleton. These symptoms all indicate that your infection is worsening, and could be spreading to your kidneys. “Vaginal discharge that is smelly, blood-stained, green or yellow, or frothy or chunky in texture also merits a visit to the doctor as you could be dealing with a vaginal infection,” she says.
What does blood in the urine mean?
While scary, blood in the urine does not mean that you are about to die on the spot or even that your urinary tract infection is particularly bad. But you should see a healthcare provider if you have this symptom, known as hematuria, as it can also be a sign of diseases other than UTI.
Sometimes sexually transmitted infections, kidney stones, overactive bladder or pelvic floor dysfunction can share some of the same symptoms as UTIs.
Does sexual activity contribute to UTIs?
Yes, many types of sexual activity can lead to UTIs. Bacteria from the colon and vagina can get into the urethra during oral sex, finger play, use of sex toys and sexual intercourse. That’s because bacteria that is in or near your vaginal opening can be introduced into the urethra during these activities.
Can spermicide use increase the risk of UTIs?
Our skin, gut and urogenital system are all normally inhabited by a variety of bacteria, which are part of our natural microbiome and play a beneficial role, including helping to protect us against harmful microbes. Like other microbial systems of our body, the urogenital microbiome is a balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria.
“Spermicide, specifically nonoxynol-9 spermicide, kills lactobacillus, a good bacterium,” says Stapleton.
By killing good bacteria, spermicides alter the microbiome balance, allowing bad bacteria to gain a foothold.
“If you’re using spermicidal condoms or a diaphragm with spermicide and also getting UTIs, you may want to try alternative birth control methods and see if that makes a difference,” she says.
What should you do if you keep getting urinary tract infections?
It’s best to see a healthcare provider and get a culture of your urine if you have a recurrent infection – one that comes back after treatment. The type of bacterial infection you have will influence how a healthcare provider treats it. It’s also a good idea to get checked out to be sure that nothing else is going on, says Stapleton.
Can you pass a UTI to a sex partner?
“We don’t know for sure if that can happen. But we do advise you to wait until your UTI has cleared before resuming sexual activity as this will give your own bladder a break from a new influx of bacteria and allow inflammation to resolve,” says Stapleton.
Why do some women get more urinary tract infections than others?
“There may be subtle genetic factors that influence why some women get more urinary tract infections than other women, but we don’t yet have the full picture,” says Stapleton.
Regardless of your genes, your behaviors also influence the frequency of urinary tract infections, and there are preventive steps you can take.
What can you do to prevent a urinary tract infection?
The preventive measures that you can take are:
Pee before and after sexual activity. Urine helps to flush bacteria from your urinary tract.
Don’t use douches, deodorant sprays, scented soaps or powders. Products such as these disrupt the bacterial balance of your urogenital microbiome, contributing to the likelihood of a urinary tract infection.
Don’t soak in tubs. Don’t sit in hot tub or bathtub for long periods of time. Soaking for extended periods of time allows bacteria — from your body or someone else’s — time to enter your urethra.
Use a birth control method that does not require spermicide. If you use spermicidal condoms or spermicide with a diaphragm, change your birth control method.
Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water ensures that you’ll urinate more often. This helps to flush bacteria from your urinary tract before an infection begins.
Drink cranberry juice. The debate about whether cranberry juice may help prevent urinary tract infection has gone on for years. Most research seems to debunk the theory, but some suggests that cranberry juice may help to prevent UTIs. Anecdotally, many women report that drinking cranberry juice seems to help prevent UTIs, says Stapleton.
Take a probiotic. Probiotics may help to maintain the natural bacterial environment of your vagina. “We know that if we look at people around the time of a UTI, and right before that, the good bacteria are gone from the vagina. That suggests that replenishing them might stop a urinary tract infection from happening again.”
Wipe from front to back. Wiping from front to back will help to prevent bacteria from your anus from spreading to your urethra.
Clean your sex toys. Clean sex toys with hot water and soap after each use, before switching to use on a partner, and before switching from anal to vaginal use.
Don’t switch from anal to vaginal sex without a wipe-down or new condom. Wipe down a penis just like you would a sex toy when switching from anal to vaginal sex. If he’s wearing a condom, put a new condom on first.
Eat a healthy diet. “While we don’t know the exact correlation between good nutrition and our immune system, we know that there is a link, and that eating well is good preventive medicine,” says Stapleton.
Cranberry is produced from the berry fruit of a North American evergreen shrub. Cranberry is acidic and can interfere with unwanted bacteria in the urinary tract. Cranberry is also believed to act as a diuretic (“water pill”).
Cranberry (as juice or in capsules) has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid in preventing symptoms such as pain or burning with urination. Cranberry will not treat the bacteria that causes a bladder infection.
Other uses not proven with research have included: urination problems caused by an enlarged prostate; reducing urine odor to improve quality of life in people with urinary incontinence; or healing the skin around the opening of a urostomy (a surgical opening formed to direct urine away from the bladder).
It is not certain whether cranberry is effective in treating any medical condition. Medicinal use of this product has not been approved by the FDA. Cranberry should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.
Cranberry is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.
Cranberry may also be used for purposes not listed in this product guide.
Follow all directions on the product label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
You should not use this product if you are allergic to cranberry.
Ask a doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider if it is safe for you to use this product if you have:
- a history of kidney stones;
- cirrhosis or other liver disease (some cranberry products may contain alcohol);
- diabetes (some cranberry products may contain high amounts of sugar);
- a stomach disorder; or
- if you are allergic to aspirin.
It is not known whether cranberry will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are pregnant.
Cranberry may pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.
12 Benefits That Will Make You Choose Cranberry Juice For Detox! Swathi Handoo Hyderabd040-395603080 June 18, 2019
Cranberries are a boon straight from heaven! Be it their look and feel, taste, or benefits, cranberries are the best of all berries. These deep red beauties are a common sight in many kitchens because of their health benefits.
You can make jams, spreads, dips, and whatnot with these delicious berries. But, one cranberry product that possesses equal therapeutic value as the fruit is cranberry juice. Pure cranberry juice is great for your heart, kidneys, liver, vagina, urinary tract, immune system, and GI tract.
Want to know more? Let’s see how cranberry juice fares as a refreshing summer drink. Start scrolling!
Table Of Contents
What Is So Good About Cranberry Juice?
Cranberry juice is made from fresh cranberry produce, and it is a life potion. There’s more to it than its bright, deep red color and tangy tartness.
Unsweetened cranberry juice is a low-calorie detox drink. The polyphenols, vitamins, and other active ingredients found in cranberries can also be found in its juice.
Scientific studies prove its therapeutic equivalence to cranberry, the fruit. Cranberry juice is a rich source of polyphenolic compounds, particularly anthocyanins (1).
Drinking two glasses of cranberry juice daily may also protect you from cardiovascular diseases. It also keeps diabetes, kidney troubles, and dental plaque at bay (2).
This juice may help in warding off fungal, yeast, and bacterial pathogens. It can effectively control chronic urinary tract infections and keep your intimate areas healthy (2).
In the following sections, we will discuss the benefits of drinking cranberry juice along with the scientific evidence to back them. Keep reading!
What Are The Health Benefits Of Cranberry Juice?
1. Controls Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Cranberry contains flavonoids, terpenoids, anthocyanins, catechin, and organic acids like citric, malic, quinic, benzoic, and glucuronic acids. Benzoic acid is excreted from your body as hippuric acid. This hippuric acid is identified to inhibit bacterial growth (3). It maintains the acidic pH of urine, making it difficult for the bacteria to survive.
Several controlled trials with women as subjects were conducted in which they were put on cranberry juice for 12 months. It was reported that cranberry juice decreased the recurrence of UTIs in these women (3).
In another study, 225 children were given cranberry juice and placebo for 6 months. The children who received cranberry juice needed less number of days on antibiotic therapy. But, the acidity of cranberry juice makes it less palatable to children (3).
2. Boosts Heart Health
The active ingredients of cranberry juice have vasorelaxing properties. In simpler terms, drinking cranberry juice can relax the stiff blood vessels in your body. Thus, it lowers blood pressure or hypertension. This property of cranberry juice was proven in rat and pig studies (4), (5).
A study was conducted on 30 women and 26 men, who were given 8 oz. of low-cal, sucralose-sweetened cranberry juice or identical placebo. After 8 weeks, the volunteers who were given cranberry juice had lower levels of 5 out of the 22 indicators of cardiometabolic risk in their blood (6).
That means they had a lower combined risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, and stroke (6).
If you are looking for a heart-healthy meal, add a glass of cranberry juice to your daily diet.
3. Improves Dental Health And Hygiene
Cranberry juice creates a protective layer on your teeth. The cranberry juice-film makes it difficult for the bacteria that cause cavities to cling to the surface of your teeth (7).
Glucan is the building block of plaque. Oral bacteria utilize glucan to build dental plaque. Ultimately, the plaque covers your teeth and triggers decay. However, cranberry juice disrupts the formation of glucan (7).
Cranberry juice prevents bacteria from forming plaque by inhibiting these enzymes. When added to dental products, this juice can also stop additional bacteria from adhering to the surface of your teeth (7).
4. Prevents Kidney Calcification And Infection
Cranberry juice is a traditional remedy that has been used for decades to treat UTIs and kidney conditions. The active ingredients of cranberry can inhibit the adherence of pathogens (8).
A 2003 study conducted on healthy males reported a positive effect of this juice. Drinking about 500 ml of cranberry juice a day reduced oxalate excretion in these males. The oxalate ions interact with calcium and form calcium oxalate kidney stones (8).
This study also found that phosphate ion excretion decreased while citrate increased. Together, oxalate, citrate, and phosphate control the calcification of kidneys. Hence, drinking this juice can prevent chronic kidney disease (CKD), kidney calcification, nephritis, and other kidney diseases (8).
5. Mitigates Liver Diseases
Recent mice studies have reported that cranberry extract can decrease lipid accumulation in the liver. It was found to prevent the build-up of oxidative stress in high fat-fed mice (9).
A daily dose of cranberry extract can improve blood cholesterol and lipid profile in humans. As a result, the HDL levels of subjects fed on this extract are higher. The expression of anti-inflammatory genes and substances goes up too (9).
Dietary supplementation of cranberry extracts can mitigate liver diseases. These include non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), steatohepatitis, and cirrhosis. Such foods ensure these conditions do not progress to hepatocarcinoma and other cancers (9).
6. Possesses Strong Anti-inflammatory Properties
Research has found that intake of low-calorie cranberry juice reduces the biomarkers of inflammation. Daily consumption of this juice or cocktail lowers the level of C-reactive protein (CRP) in your body. CRP concentration in your blood usually increases when there is inflammation (10).
Several in-house anti-inflammatory enzymes (like glutathione peroxidase, phospho¬-c-Jun-N-¬terminal kinase) levels are boosted, thanks to the polyphenols found in cranberry juice (10).
Drinking cranberry juice can, therefore, reduce the severity of chronic and acute inflammatory disorders. These include atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, colitis, periodontitis, UTIs, and diabetes. (10), (11).
7. Combats Vaginal Infections
Women are more prone to UTIs because their urethra is close to the vagina and anus. Also, it is shorter in length than in men. Escherichia coli causes most UTIs. These bacteria can easily travel from the anus to the urethra while urinating or during intercourse (12).
Therefore, it is imperative for women to monitor their vaginal health. Dietary changes can naturally boost immunity against several vaginal pathogens, and the various forms of cranberry are known to prevent UTIs.
Cranberry polyphenols, particularly proanthocyanidins, are said to demonstrate this property. These proanthocyanidins decrease the adherence of E. coli and Candida fungus to uroepithelial and vaginal epithelial cells, thus preventing the aggravation of vaginal infections (13).
Hold That Thought!
Researchers do not have enough evidence to prove that cranberries are effective against UTIs.
A 2012 research review of 24 clinical trials concluded that cranberry juice and supplements don’t prevent UTIs. But, many of those studies were of poor quality.
The bottom line is that cranberry juice can only weaken the attachment of bacteria to the walls of your urethra, but not treat the infection thoroughly.
Therefore, it cannot be used as an independent treatment for chronic UTIs. This juice can only delay/manage the aggravation of such attacks.
8. Reduces Risk And Severity Of Diabetes
The fruit and vegetable intake of people with type 2 diabetes is typically low. This is probably because of its perceived adverse effect on glycemic control. Low-calorie cranberry juice can be a healthy way of increasing fruit intake in such cases (14).
In a study conducted on 58 males with type 2 diabetes, half of them were given a cup of cranberry juice per day, while the rest were served placebo. After 12 weeks, there was a significant decrease in serum glucose in the experiment group (15).
Elevated levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) are commonly seen in people with diabetes. The oxidation of LDL worsens diabetes. Thus, ultimately, cranberry juice can bring down the severity of diabetes. While at it, this drink can also reduce the risk of metabolic disorders (like obesity and CVDs) (15)
9. Prevent Bacterial Adherence To Urinary Tract
How do you think UTIs occur? It is an interesting model of bacteria-human cell interaction.
E. coli (bacteria) is the primary cause of most UTIs. Certain infectious strains of E. coli are covered with small hair-like projections known as fimbriae. Fimbriae act like hooks and latch onto cells that line the urinary tract, thus triggering the infection (16).
The best way to prevent such UTIs is to disturb the human-bacterial cell attachment. And that’s exactly what cranberry juice does! When exposed to cranberry juice, the fimbriae on E. coli cells curl up. Thus, the ability of the bacteria to cling to your urinary tract and infect it is reduced multifold (16).
That’s why unsweetened cranberry juice is one of the best remedies for UTIs and vaginal infections.
10. Is An Excellent Detox Drink
Cranberries contain abundant amounts of antioxidants, such as phenolic acids and flavonoids. Cranberry juice phenolics are also known to boost antioxidant capacity. Hence, it can effectively reduce oxidative stress (17).
Cranberry juice is rich in potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins C, A, and K. Therefore, this summer drink is sure to replenish your body’s electrolytes (18).
Pure cranberry juice is also said to aid weight loss. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to support this fact.
11. Improves Gut Health And Metabolism
Cranberry extracts can protect your gut health and digestion. This berry has potent antimicrobial activity that blocks pathogenic infections in your gut (19).
Cranberry juice may also inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori, Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli (19).
Cranberry proanthocyanidins, flavonols, and hydroxycinnamic acids may prevent such bacterial adhesion and cause lesser biofilm formation, thus controlling inflammation in your gut (19).
These active ingredients also exert a prebiotic effect on your stomach lumen and boost the growth of gut microbiota. This is probably why cranberry juice is given when you feel nauseous. It is clear, rich in vitamin C, and settles your upset tummy (19), (20).
12. Might Affect Influenza (Flu Virus) Severity
Cranberry juice blocks the process of bacterial and human interaction. A 2005 study reported an active substance in this juice called NDM. This substance is said to interfere in the life cycle of the Influenza virus (21).
It is proposed that NDM can inhibit the adhesion and activity of this virus. The in-vitro findings suggest that NDM may target certain vital proteins of influenza virus (21), (22).
This juice may also prevent the development of secondary bacterial complications as it boosts the proliferation of immune system cells like NT cells, γδ-T cells, and so on (22), (23).
A glass of cranberry juice is a shot of health. It repairs, recharges, and rejuvenates your body. To top it all, its benefits have been experimentally proven.
The active components behind these properties have been characterized and studied extensively. Take a look at its nutrition profile below for more info.
Nutritional Value Of Cranberry Juice
|Nutritional value per 1 cup (253 g)|
|Total lipid (fat)||g||0.33|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||g||30.87|
|Fiber, total dietary||g||0.3|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||mg||23.5|
|Vitamin A, RAE||µg||5|
|Vitamin A, IU||IU||114|
|Lutein + zeaxanthin||µg||172|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||mg||3.04|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||µg||12.9|
The two major classes of phenolics identified in cranberries are phenolic acids and flavonoids. The most abundant phenolic acid is benzoic acid. It is followed by hydroxycinnamic, p-coumaric, sinapic, caffeic, and vanillic acids (24).
Hyperoside, quercetin, myricetin, avicularin, quercitrin, and their glycosides are also present in cranberries. Seventy five percent of the flavonols in processed cranberry juice were found to be quercetin (24).
No wonder this drink is a detox A-lister!
With the best and most potent phytochemicals in town, cranberry has the highest antioxidant capacity (4.56 μmol TE/g). It ranks on top among 24 most commonly consumed fruits (24).
Wondering how to experience the power of this juice? Why search elsewhere?
Scroll down to find a quick recipe to make this refreshing drink.
How To Make Cranberry Juice At Home
Here’s a super quick recipe for making cranberry juice at home. You can have it sweet or unsweetened. This versatile drink can be played around with, and you can add a variety of fruits to give it your twist!
What You Need
- Cranberries: 1 quart
- Water: 1 quart
- Sweetener of choice: ½ to 1 cup (to taste)
- Boiling pot: Medium-large
- Strainer or muslin cloth
Let’s Make It!
- Pour the water and cranberries into a pot.
- Bring them to a low boil until the cranberries pop. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Drain the cranberry juice through a fine strainer into a container.
- Squeeze the berries to extract the juice.
- Let the juice to cool down.
- Serve fresh or chilled.
Cheers! You just made some fresh homemade cranberry juice!
You can add a dash of lemon or orange to this juice. Apples, tangerines, citrus fruits, other berries, and watermelon go well with this drink.
You can also blend milk and cereal to make a cranberry-flavored meal smoothie!
Mix some chilled cranberry juice with vodka. Just what you need on a Friday night to get happy high!
Sip on some cranberry juice while you read the last few sections of this article.
It’s so easy to make this low-cal drink that you may almost want to have it every day for breakfast.
But, there are some side effects of drinking too much cranberry juice. Find out what they are in the next section.
Does Cranberry Juice Cause Any Side Effects?
Drinking cranberry juice is generally safe. However, large amounts can cause an upset stomach. With time, it may also increase the risk of kidney stones (25).
High doses of cranberry and its extracts may also exhibit drug interactions. Blood thinners or anticoagulants are particularly reactive to cranberry juice. Drugs like warfarin, heparin, aspirin are examples of this class of drugs (25).
Immunosuppressive drugs like tacrolimus might also interact with cranberry extract. Such situations might arise especially in someone who has received an organ transplant (26).
Such drug interactions can cause blood pressure fluctuations. If left untreated, fruit/herb-drug interactions can be fatal.
So, what is a safe way to consume cranberry juice? What is the daily limit of this drink?
What Is The Recommended Dose Of Cranberry Juice?
Well, there is no set value or range for this.
Ideally, 1-2 cups of cranberry juice per day are recommended for UTI prevention. You can also take about 3-6 cups a day, but make sure it is pure, unsweetened, or less sweet, and low in calories (27).
The safety of cranberry juice for pregnant and lactating women is not clear yet. It is best to consult a gynecologist before taking the plunge.
Also, if you are diagnosed with a UTI, consult a urologist or a nephrologist. Give an explicit account of your food habits. This helps the doctor choose the right supplements and doses for you.
Cranberry juice is the best summer drink with all its necessary bioactive ingredients. So, you can now relish cranberry cocktails without feeling guilty!
But, stick to the set limit. Follow the instructions given by your healthcare provider. You can try eating raw, whole cranberries for more fiber. Jams, powders, capsules, and other forms of cranberry supplements are available these days as well.
If you prefer homemade goods, try our recipe for making your own batch of cranberry juice. Write to us how you and your family liked it. Use the comments section below to reach us. We’d be happy to answer your queries.
Crank up the juicer for some cranberry cocktails!
- “Effects of cranberry juice consumption on vascular…” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Cranberry” Health Encyclopedia, University of Rochester Medical Centre.
- “Cranberry juice for urinary tract infection in children” Official Publication of The College of Family Physicians of Canada, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Cranberry juice induces nitric oxide-dependent…” Journal of Medicinal Food, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Compounds in cranberry may have heart…” News, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
- “Cranberry Juice Can Boost Heart Health” United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.
- “Give Thanks for the Cranberry…” Newsroom, University of Rochester Medical Centre.
- “Influence of cranberry juice on the urinary risk factors for…” Upper Urinary Tract, British Journal of Urology (BJU) International.
- “Cranberry extract attenuates hepatic inflammation in…” Author manuscript, HHS Public Access, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Impact of Cranberries on Gut Microbiota and Cardiometabolic…” Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal, Plants for Human Health, NC State University.
- “Cranberry juice decreases disease activity in…” Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Research backs cranberries for preventing urinary tract…” Harvard Women’s Health Watch, Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School.
- “Cranberry-derived proanthocyanidins prevent formation of…” Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Favorable glycemic response of type 2…” Journal of Food Science, US National Library of Medicine.
- “The effects of cranberry juice on serum glucose…” Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, US National Library of Medicine.
- “WPI Research Shows How Cranberry Juice…” News & Events, Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
- “Antioxidant Effects of Cranberry Powder in Lipopolysaccharide…” Preventive Nutrition and Food Science, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Ivana Visnjic: The Best Drinks for Weight Loss” Scalar Summer Institute, University of Southern California.
- “Impact of Cranberries on Gut Microbiota and…” Advances in Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Stomach Flu – What to Do?” BuckMD Blog, The Ohio State University.
- “Cranberry juice constituents affect influenza…” Antiviral research, US National Library of Medicine
- “High molecular weight constituents of cranberry…” Planta Medica, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Consumption of cranberry polyphenols enhances human γδ-T…” Nutrition Journal, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors” Special Article, Nutrition Reviews, National Agricultural Library Digital Collections, USDA.
- “Cranberry” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, National Institutes of Health.
- Suspected Interaction of Cranberry Juice Extracts…” Cureus., US National Library of Medicine.
- “Cranberry” Monograph, University of Colorado Denver.
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Swathi holds a Master’s degree in Biotechnology and has worked in places where actual science and research happen. Blending her love for writing with science, Swathi writes for Health and Wellness and simplifies complex topics for readers from all walks of life.And on the days she doesn’t write, she learns and performs Kathak, sings Carnatic music compositions, makes plans to travel, and obsesses over cleanliness.
Summit Medical Group Web Site
What are other names for this remedy?
Type of medicine: natural remedy
Scientific and common names: Vaccinium macrocarpon; Vaccinium oxycoccos; Vaccinium erythrocarpum; Vaccinium vitis; Vaccinium edule; cranberry
What is cranberry?
Cranberry plants grow as small, trailing evergreen shrubs. The berries are used as a remedy.
What is it used for?
This remedy has been used to treat several conditions. Studies in humans or animals have not proved that this remedy is safe or effective for all uses. Before using this remedy for a serious condition, you should talk with your healthcare provider.
This remedy is helpful to treat H. pylori stomach infection. It also helps to prevent urinary tract infections.
Cranberries and their juice have been used to treat:
- Fungal infections
- Urinary tract infections
Cranberry juice has also been used to control odor from loss of bladder control. It has also been used as a diuretic.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve uses for natural remedies. The FDA does not inspect or regulate natural remedies the way they do prescription medicines.
How is it taken?
Cranberries come fresh or frozen, and in juice and concentrate forms. Cranberry is also available in tablet or capsule form.
Follow the directions printed on the product label or given by your healthcare provider.
What if I overdose?
Symptoms of an acute overdose have not been reported.
What should I watch out for?
If you have a history of kidney stones, do not drink large amounts of cranberry juice.
Cranberries contain salicylic acid, a chemical that is similar to aspirin. Do not drink large amounts of cranberry juice if you are allergic to aspirin or if you have asthma.
Do not try to use cranberry instead of antibiotics for a severe urinary tract infection.
Some cranberry juice products are sweetened with sugar. If you have diabetes, look for sugar-free products.
If you need emergency care, surgery, or dental work, tell the healthcare provider or dentist you are taking this medicine.
Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist about any natural remedy that you are using or thinking about using. If your provider does not tell you how to take it, follow the directions that come with the package. Do not take more or take it longer than recommended. Ask about anything you do not understand. Remember:
- Natural remedies are not always safe.
- You should not take them if you are pregnant or breast-feeding without your healthcare provider’s approval. They should not be taken by infants, children, or older adults without your provider’s approval.
- They affect your body and may interact with prescription medicines that you take.
- Natural remedies are not standardized and may be contaminated. They may have different strengths and effects.
What are the possible side effects?
Along with its desirable effects, this remedy may cause some unwanted side effects. Some side effects may be very serious. Some side effects may go away as your body adjusts to the remedy. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that continue or get worse.
Life-threatening (Report these to your healthcare provider right away. If you cannot reach your healthcare provider right away, get emergency medical care or call 911 for help.): Allergic reaction (hives; itching; rash; trouble breathing; chest pain or tightness in your chest; swelling of your lips, tongue, and throat).
Drinking too much cranberry juice can cause diarrhea.
What products might interact with this remedy?
When you take this remedy with other medicines, it can change the way the remedy or the medicines work. Vitamins and certain foods may also interact. Using these products together might cause harmful side effects:
- Warfarin (Coumadin)
If you are not sure if your medicines might interact, ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider. Keep a list of all your medicines with you. List all the prescription medicines, nonprescription medicines, supplements, natural remedies, and vitamins that you take. Be sure that you tell all healthcare providers who treat you about all the products you are taking.
Keep all natural remedies and medicines out of the reach of children.
This advisory includes select information only. The information was obtained from scientific journals, study reports, and other documents. The author and publisher make no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the information. The advisory may not include all side effects associated with a remedy or interactions with other medicines. Nothing herein shall constitute a recommendation for the use of any remedy. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information.
Cranberry Allergy Rash
Cranberry is an evergreen berry shrub native to North America. This berry plant is used for treating bladder and kidney disease, yeast infection and helicobacter pylori infections resulting in gastrointestinal ulcers and dental plagues. An allergic reaction to cranberry is rare but possible. If you experience a severe allergic reaction, and experience difficulty breathing, heart palpitation, light headedness and low blood pressure, seek immediate medical attention.
Is This an Emergency?
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Health Benefits of Cranberry
Cranberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidants. Cranberry is used to treat urinary tract infections of the urethra and bladder in women 1. The acidic content in cranberry inhibits E. coli colonization in the urinary tract, and bladder. It also used to prevent bacterial infection from Helicobacter pylori, which can result in stomach ulcers. The antioxidants in cranberry prevent the damaging effects of free radicals on the cells and tissue of your body 2. The antioxidants in cranberry prevent DNA damage, and lipid oxidation in the bloodstream which results in the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. Regular consumption of cranberries prevents diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, and tumor development and growth.
Although an allergic reaction to cranberries is rare, it is possible. An allergic reaction can occur in response to proteins formed from DNA fragments homologous to Mal d 1 and Mal d 3, which are allergens present in apples. The immune system recognizes these proteins as foreign, and mounts an IgE mediated response in which the immune system begins producing IgE plasma cells. These antibody-producing cells increase the immune response by activating and binding to pro-inflammatory immune cells known as mast cells. The immune response encourages the release of histamines and other immune mediators to the bloodstream.
The release of histamine into the bloodstream results in vasodilation and increased permeability of blood capillaries. Fluids and toxins leak to the surface of the skin resulting in swelling, redness and inflammation. Itchy, hives involves with a skin rash is a common symptom of an allergic immune response. The hives typically appear within 24 hours of ingesting cranberries, and can appear anywhere on the body. The hives are red, itchy and elevated with a pale center, and may migrate throughout the body. The hives are typically accompanied with eczema, a skin inflammation that typically appears on the knees, elbows, neck and face. The rash due to eczema is also elevated, red and extremely itchy. They may also leak fluids that eventually crust over, making the skin leathery and cracked as a result of the itching and scratching.
Treatment of Cranberry Allergy
The best treatment for a cranberry allergy is strict avoidance of cranberry in any form. You might also be allergic to other members of the Vaccinium species, thus you should also avoid blueberries, buckberries, and bilberry. Always read the ingredient list and labels on all foods and drinks to ensure it does not contain cranberries. If you do experience an allergic skin rash, antihistamines and over the counter corticosteroids such as can help alleviate the itching, inflammation and discomfort.
Many modern doctors and nutritionists recommend cranberry juice for relief from various health problems. But the health value of cranberries was first discovered by Native Americans. The natives used cranberry extract as a dye for clothing, as food, and even as medicine, especially for treating urinary and bladder problems. The high nutrient and antioxidant content of cranberries puts them on top of the list of health foods. And given that a cup of cranberries contains only 25 calories, it’s easy to understand why most doctors and nutritionists look upon these berries as a “superfood”.
10 health benefits of drinking cranberry juice
Modern clinical research now confirms that the health benefits of cranberry juice go beyond just urinary and bladder problems. The following list will give you a good idea why cranberry-juice is such a go-to solution for many nutritionists.
1. Heart health
Cranberry juice has been shown to lower the risk of heart-related ailments and play a role in maintaining heart and artery health. Cranberries contain flavonoids that are rich in antioxidant properties. These flavonoids help in reducing the risk of atherosclerosis – a condition where buildup of fat, calcium, and cholesterol in the artery walls causes narrowing of the arteries. Narrow arteries slow down the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the important organs and cause serious problems. For example, if the blood supply to the heart muscle is reduced, it can cause a heart attack. And if the supply to the brain is affected, it could cause a stroke.
2. Dental benefits
In addition to the flavonoids, cranberries contain a chemical compound called proanthocyanidine. According to research studies, this compound helps in the preventing the formation of tooth cavities as it does not allow harmful bacteria to cling to the teeth. Proanthocyanidine also protect the teeth from periodontal disease by inhibiting the production of acid and preventing the growth of plaque. Regular consumption of cranberries/cranberry juice combined with sensible oral hygiene, can play a big role in disrupting the pathogenic activity responsible for dental caries and promotes good dental health. However, it must be noted that many of the bottled cranberry juices are high in sugar content and are also quite acidic. So it’s best to stick to eating the berries or consuming natural juices.
3. Stomach health
Foods like cranberries that are rich in anthocyanins, flavonols, and proanthocyanidins help reduce the risk of stomach disorders. These compounds help prevent stomach ulcers (peptic ulcers) by inhibiting the growth of H. pylori bacteria, which attack the protective inner lining of the stomach and cause serious inflammation of the lining and ulceration. A recent study involving patients with this type of inflammatory stomach disorder showed that the participants who consumed cranberry had a 50% advantage over the participants who did not take cranberry. No wonder many doctors recommend regular intake of cranberry juice to suppress stomach inflammation and infections.
4. Weight loss
The next time you want a drink, turn to cranberries. They are ideal for making a delicious health drink as they contain fewer calories than most other fruits. Substituting other juices and sodas with cranberry juice is a great way to get rid of unwanted pounds. Here’s an easy recipe to make the juice at home.
1 lb cranberries
1 quart water
apple chunks (to taste, but no more than 1 lb)
cinnamon (optional, to taste)
Rinse the cranberries and apple chunks, add them to a quart of boiling water. Simmer until most of the cranberries pop. Turn off the heat, and let the mixture sit for another 10-20 minutes to steep the cranberries. If required, add some honey or an artificial sweetener. Blend the mixture until it becomes a thick, viscous liquid. Strain it through a cheesecloth. Chill and serve.
5. Digestive health
As you may already know, fiber is crucial for healthy digestion. The high fiber content in cranberries helps the digestive system function smoothly. But to get the full fiber content of cranberries, you must either eat them whole or make a smoothie. Just drinking cranberry juice will not be of much use, as most of the fiber is left out in the juice extraction process.
6. Anti-aging benefits
According to the scientists at the Human Research Center in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), cranberries can protect against age-related problems like memory loss and lack of coordination. The phytonutrients and antioxidants present in cranberries provide therapeutic properties by protecting the cells and tissues of the brain. They can also fight against free radical damage in the dermal cells, thus making the skin look younger.
7. Fights lung inflammation
Cranberries can prevent the influenza virus from causing inflammation in the lungs. Cranberries contain a substance called nondialyzable material (NDM) that prevents the influenza virus from sticking to the cells, and causing inflammation. Stocking up on this amazing berry during the flu season is highly recommended.
8. Bladder health
Cranberries’ role in urinary tract infections is legendary. The proanthocyanidins found in cranberry juice prevent the bacteria from binding to the cells of the bladder walls. These compounds prevent the bacteria from multiplying further and flush them out of the body through urine. Also, as cranberry juice makes the urine more acidic, the infection-causing bacteria find it difficult to thrive and get driven out. Drinking cranberry juice regularly is recommended for pregnant and middle-aged women to prevent frequent urinary tract infections.
9. Fights scurvy
In ancient times, sailors used to carry cranberries on their voyages to prevent against the dreaded scurvy. Cranberries have a high vitamin C content that is crucial for collagen production in the body. Collagen helps in the healthy functioning of tissues and organs and prevents scurvy and other related health conditions.
10. Yeast infection
Yeast infections commonly occur in men and children and are characterized by an overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth, intestines, or urinary tract. Cranberries contain anti-yeast substances that prevent the bacteria from clinging to the walls of the cells in these areas. Fresh cranberry juice is very helpful in flushing out yeast bacteria and other irritant fungi from the body.
These are just a few of the top cranberry juice benefits. The simple rule of thumb as far as cranberry benefits go is this: wherever there is inflammation, cranberry can help. Even if there is silent inflammation, where there are no external signs and symptoms. So it’s a good idea to make these amazing berries a regular part of your meal plan. It does not matter whether you snack on them, make a juice, make a jam, or add them to a salad. And, yes, while you’re at it, ask your doctor or nutritionist about the cranberry juice detox.
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Health Benefits of Drinking Cranberry Juice
By now, almost every woman knows that drinking cranberry juice is good for the urinary tract (provided that you don’t have an existing health problem involving the kidneys, bladder, or the urinary tract). But did you know that cranberry juice also provides a whole host of other health benefits, including laxative, cardioprotective, antibacterial, and anti-cancer effects. Keep reading to get the full lowdown of the benefits of cranberry juice.
Cranberry Juice Has Mild Laxative Effects
If you’ve ever drank a lot of cranberry juice all at once, you may have found yourself rushing to the toilet. Diarrhea and loose stools are common side effects of drinking cranberry juice (in excess), but for looking for natural foods that can help with constipation cranberries’ mild laxative effects can be great news! To maximize the laxative effects of cranberry juice, combine it with other laxative drinks such as coconut water or prune juice.
A Preventive Treatment for Urinary Tract Infections
One of the most researched potential health benefits of cranberry juice is its ability to prevent urinary tract infections, especially in women. The proanthocyanidins (condensed tannins) in cranberry juice have been shown to prevent Escherichia coli, the main UTI-causing bacterium, from clinging to the cells in the urinary tract wall. It has been demonstrated, however, that cranberry juice is not capable of removing E. coli bacteria that have already adhered to the urinary tract wall.
Smile – Cranberry Juice May Be Good for Your Teeth, Too!
In general, fruit juices are not considered good for oral health as they typically contain high amounts of sugar which contributes to the formation of dental caries. However, cranberry juice may be an exception. A substantial body of evidence suggests that cranberry juice contains compounds that may help reduce oral diseases, including caries and periodontitis. A 2008 review of earlier studies on cranberries and caries concluded that cranberry components can act as potential anti-caries agents due to their ability to inhibit acid production, attachment, and biofilm formation by Streptococcus mutans, a bacterium that causes cavities and tooth decay.
Cranberry Juice is Good for the Heart
Cranberry juice also shows up on HealWithFood.org’s list of the top 18 foods and drinks hat help improve cardiovascular health due to its potential cholesterol-lowering abilities. One study with nineteen subjects with high cholesterol levels found that on average, three glasses of cranberry juice a day increased the amount of HDL cholesterol (the “good cholesterol”) by 10 percent. Based on earlier studies, the researchers estimated that this increase in LDL cholesterol would correspond to a 40 percent reduction in heart disease risk. Cranberry juice was also found to increase plasma antioxidant capacity, which further suggests that drinking cranberry juice may provide cardiovascular benefits. Note: Cranberry juice may interfere with the anti-coagulant drug warfarin. Talk to your doctor if you are taking warfarin, or other anti-coagulants, before using cranberry juice or cranberry supplements.
Anti-Bacterial Effects Against Helicobacter Pylori
You may have already heard about the ability of turmeric to kill H pylori in test tubes. But guess what, turmeric is hardly the only natural substance that can help kill Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that can cause damage in the intestinal tracts of the infected people. Evidence from both test tube experiments and human studies suggests that also cranberry juice has H. pylori fighting properties. For more on this, check out HealWithFood.org’s in-depth article on the ability of cranberry juice to kill H. pylori bacteria.
Cranberry Juice Has Anti-Cancer Activity
Fresh cranberry juice, like many other natural fruit juices, contain compounds that may make them effective at preventing cancer, when consumed as part of an overall healthy cancer prevention diet. A study published in the December 2006 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry assessed the anti-cancer activity of extracts from six commonly consumed berries and found that all the tested berries, including cranberries, were capable of inhibiting the growth of human breast, prostate, colon, and oral tumor cell lines in test tubes.
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Can too much fruit juice give my child diarrhea?
Yes, too much fruit juice can cause diarrhea. That’s because many juices contain sorbitol, a nondigestible form of sugar. Excess sorbitol levels cause the body to try to dilute the sugar by pulling water from the bloodstream into the intestine, which causes loose stools. That’s how prune juice, which is high in sorbitol, helps prevent constipation. Apple, pear, peach, and cherry juice are also fairly high in sorbitol.
Juice is not recommended for children younger than 12 months. See how the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting juice for kids older than 12 months. Besides causing stomach upset, too much juice can ruin kids’ appetite for healthier foods and cause tooth decay.
Your child needs two servings of fruit per day. If one of those servings is a glass of juice, make sure the other serving is a piece of fresh fruit, which will provide fiber and additional nutrients. Diluting the juice is a good way to make sure your child doesn’t drink as much, but between meals (when most “juice abuse” occurs), offer water instead.