I appeared for the All India post-graduate medical entrance examination ,in 2007 .That year our exam paper had a question .
Which berry helps prevent urinary tract infection ?
I knew the answer and have till date told many people about these berries.Cranberries are perfect.They are sweet ,tart ,and packed full of delicious goodness.Though fresh cranberries are hardly available in India ,the dried ones are not too bad either.
Researchers previously thought, that the acidic nature of the cranberry juice prevents urinary tract infection.Recent reports suggest something different.The cranberry has Proanthocyanidins (PAC).These magic molecules prevent bacteria from attaching itself to the urinary tract mucosa.This protective barrier between the bad bacteria and the lining of your urinary tract protects you from developing recurrent urinary tract infection.
Women unfortunately are prone to get UTI more often and recurrently ,if not taking proper care.Mothers who have UTI, can pass on the resistant organism during birthing .So taking care of personal hygiene is important,specially if you have to use public restrooms.This is specially important during school years when children are not always aware.So teaching them at home is the best way you can keep them safe.
.Also drink water to flush out those few, which do sneak in.Antibiotics are a necessity but the scary part is ,frequent antibiotic use gives rise to the horrors known as “ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANT BACTERIA”.There are cases where a child has to be given intravenous injections because oral drugs don’t help anymore !
Some stomach ulcer due to Helicobacter pylori infection, may occur because of overgrowth of bacteria .Research suggests that Cranberry may be protective in that case too.
The UTI preventive action is more pronounced in women with recurrent mild infection .Further studies are being done to explore the benefit of this berry in both these fields.
What else Cranberry does?
- Cranberries has flavonoids, anti-oxidants which protect your heart,vessels and prevents ageing.
- Prevent cancer of breast ,colon,lungs,and prostate.
- They keep teeth healthy by preventing growth of harmful bacteria, causing plaques.
What are the main Micronutrients in Cranberry
- Vitamin C
Deeper their color, the more nutritious it is.
Precaution: Who needs to be careful with Cranberry?
Cranberries and those who have Warfarin:
Warfarin is a prescription drug given to people with a strong tendency of clotting.Generally after certain heart surgeries,ischaemic strokes ,vascular diseases .It helps keep blood liquid in these people.
Cranberry juice detoxifies an enzyme ,needed for breaking down warfarin in time.If Warfarin is not broken down properly there may be an uncontrolled episode of bleeding.This can be life threatening.
Since it’s an acidic fruit ,if you have acid reflux ,you need to take care .
Is it ok to have cranberry juice with kidney stones?
Cranberry has a mixed effect on kidney and other urinary stone forming tendency. Urinary pH is reduced by reducing the excretion of Oxalate and phosphate and increasing citrate excretion.This increases the risk of calcium oxalate and uric acid stone formation but decreases the risk of brushite stones.
Brushite (i.e. calcium monohydrogen phosphate, CaHPO4·2H2O) is the precursor phase of hydroxyapatatite. Brushite stones are hard and are particularly resistant to shock wave lithotripsy (SWL).
Should you have Cranberry?
Should children have cranberry ?Absolutely.Use it as a snack.Use it as a topping with your breakfast cereal and start your day on the right note.Have it in moderation and drink plenty of water .
Do you like cranberries?Where do you get it from?Comment below to let me know.
Disclaimer:If you have a tendency of stone formation, on any anticoagulant medication ,definitely consult your doctor before adding cranberries to your diet.This is meant as information to raise awareness and not a replacement for professional advice.
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- PROFILE OF THE BRUSHITE STONE FORMER
Amy E. Krambeck, M.D.,1 Shelly E. Handa, R.N.,1 Andrew P. Evan, PhD,2 and James E. Lingeman, M.D.1