Cranberry and women’s health
Cranberry offers a number of important benefits, especially for women.
Cranberry for cystitis in women
Many women will experience cystitis during their lifetime, a urinary tract condition that causes several uncomfortable and unpleasant symptoms. Cystitis is generally caused by bacteria, particularly E.Coli, that travels up the urethra, the tube that allows urine to pass out of the body, where it multiplies and inflames the bladder lining.1 Women are more susceptible to cystitis because their urethra is only 4cm long, which gives bacteria much easier access to the bladder.1
Cranberry can reduce the risk and frequency of cystitis by discouraging the adherence of harmful bacteria to the surface of the bladder and rest of the urinary tract. Its proanthocyanidins (PACs) are believed to be responsible for this anti‐adhesion effect.2 Cranberry also contains substances that are useful for masking the urinary odours that often accompany bouts of cystitis.
Other benefits of cranberry for women’s health
Cranberry may similarly disguise the urinary odours associated with incontinence, an uncomfortable and often embarrassing condition that affects one in three women who have had a baby and one in twenty adults.3 The antioxidants in cranberry may also support cardiovascular health.
Cranberry and supplementation
To gain the benefits of cranberry for urinary and bladder health, you will need to consume 150‐600mL of juice daily or just one 15,000mg cranberry capsule. Taking a daily high strength cranberry supplement may be a more manageable way for women to reduce the risk of cystitis and support their health.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. Consult your healthcare professional if symptoms persist. Vitamin supplements should not replace a balanced diet.
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Published May 26, 2014
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