Scientists Discover How Cranberries Prevent Bladder Infections

PhotobucketBy Rod Newbound, RN, Anti-Aging Expert

Although it’s been known for several years that cranberries can prevent urinary tract infections, up until now, the exact mechanism has remained a mystery. But in a newly published study, scientists at Worcester Polytechnic Institute say they’ve discovered the secret.

They found that virulent bacteria, like the kind that create urinary tract infections, have hair-like projections called fimbriae that attach to the wall of the bladder. Their studies showed that even low concentrations of cranberry juice created a thermodynamic energy shield that keeps these nasty creatures from getting a foothold.

No Harm To Friendly Bacteria

Because the good bacteria don’t have these fimbriae, they aren’t affected. This is important, because our bodies have billions of good bacteria that provide protection from such gut wrenching disease organisms like Clostridium difficile.
Unpublished work also shows cranberry juice has potent effects on disease-causing bacteria, but that the effect is temporary. This suggests that in order to have continuous protection; you will need to consume some form of cranberry regularly – perhaps daily.

Cranberries, a Superfood You Should Enjoy Year Round

  • Cranberries are higher in antioxidants than strawberries, spinach, broccoli, red grapes, apples, raspberries, and cherries. With 8,983 total antioxidant capacity per cup, only cultivated blueberries outrank them.
  • Besides being naturally high in Vitamin C, cranberries also contain calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sulfer, vitamin A, vitamin B-1, Vitamin B-2, vitamin B-3, vitamin B-5, vitamin E, and zinc.
  • Rich in a dozen phytochemicals (phytonutrients). Phytochemicals work in a number of different ways to prevent disease, even cancer.
  • Proanthocyanidins present in cranberries are responsible for their anti-adhesion properties. In addition, these proanthocyanidins promote dental health since they inhibit the bacterial growth that causes plaque.
  • A 2001 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry revealed this red berry (in its pure form) contained the highest quantity of disease-fighting phenols, a type of antioxidant that is thought to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, stroke and heart disease.
  • Cranberries are also a good source of resveratrol, the component of red wine that makes it so good for you.

How to Get Your Cranberries Without Terrorizing Your Body With High Calorie Sugars

  • Sugar is not only highly addictive; it’s absorbed directly into the blood stream from your stomach, which upsets the natural chemical balance of your body. In addition, sugar has zero nutrient value.
  • Pure fresh cranberries have only 45 calories per cup, but when sugar is added, the result tips the scale…
  • 140 calories from 1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries. Note: Craisins (by Ocean Spray) is sweetened with sugar, but Eden Foods offers dried cranberries sweetened with apple juice. Same amount of calories, but better for you.
  • 130 calories from 8 oz. of cranberry juice cocktail (sweetened with sugar)
    5 calories from 8 oz. of Ocean Spray diet cranberry juice cocktail (sweetened with fruit juice and Sucralose). Note: Since research has shown Sucralose can cause the thymus gland to shrink, I wouldn’t recommend it. The thymus is important to your immune system.
  • 258 calories from 1/3 cup of jellied cranberry sauce
  • After an exhaustive search, I finally found unsweetened dried cranberries at Purcell Mountain Farms.

Action Plan: Add the Thanksgiving fruit to your weekly diet. Try them in salads, muffins, pancakes, breads, cheese spreads, on peanut butter sandwiches, etc. You can find unsweetened cranberry juice at some health food stores.

Since it’s very sour, you can either sweeten it with honey (heat them in a sauce pan until the honey dissolves into the juice), dilute with equal parts of pure blueberry juice (blueberries prevent bladder infections likely through the same mechanism) or make cranberry vinaigrette to serve on your salads.

Rod Newbound is a 58 year old Registered Nurse who teaches his patients how to live longer and better. Stop by for more great Anti-Aging Tips!

“Healthy longevity – the adventure of your life.”

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
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18 Responses to “Scientists Discover How Cranberries Prevent Bladder Infections”

  1. Jarret Morrow on January 3rd, 2009 10:13 am

    Excellent article that answers the age-old question as to how cranberries help to protect against urinary tract infections!

    Jarret Morrow’s last blog post..Scientists Discover How Cranberries Prevent Bladder Infections

  2. Linda on January 4th, 2009 10:42 am

    It’s nice to know that nature has provided us with all we need to keep healthy.

    Linda’s last blog post..Scientists Discover How Cranberries Prevent Bladder Infections

  3. HealthNut on January 6th, 2009 4:18 pm

    For years my mom insisted I drink cranberry juice because it protects against UTIs. Now I know she was right so I’m glad it’s become a healthy habit!

    HealthNut’s last blog post..Scientists Discover How Cranberries Prevent Bladder Infections

  4. Dr. Mercola on January 7th, 2009 3:24 am

    I love cranberries! In addition, cranberries also help prevent tooth decay and it provides protection against atherosclerosis.

  5. Barbara Swafford on January 7th, 2009 9:27 pm

    Hi Dr. Nicole – I love cranberries. For the holidays I made a delicious pumpkin cranberry bread. Yum.

    I have noticed though that pure cranberry juice is terribly expensive. Sometimes I do buy it and add a little to my morning smoothie.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Scientists Discover How Cranberries Prevent Bladder Infections

  6. Barbara Swafford on January 7th, 2009 9:30 pm

    Something weird just happened on CommentLuv. Look at “my” last post.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Scientists Discover How Cranberries Prevent Bladder Infections

  7. Linda on January 18th, 2009 2:28 pm

    Cranberries are great. Even my own GP who isn’t opposed to alternative remedies recommends them for bladder infection.

    They taste good too.

    Linda’s last blog post..Japanese Prawn and Noodle Salad Recipe

  8. Rhizophora on January 19th, 2009 8:06 pm

    Mmmmm, cranberries are delicious and nutritious, what more can you ask for?
    Well, turns out there really is more – prevention of bladder infections! Wow!

    That’s another reason to love cranberries!

    Rhizophora’s last blog post..How to Eat Healthy While Traveling

  9. Rhizophora on January 19th, 2009 8:10 pm

    Barbara Swafford: Yeah, something’ s definitely weird at CommentLuv, same thing happened to me – look at “my” last blog post…

    Rhizophora’s last blog post..How to Eat Healthy While Traveling

  10. Tina on February 7th, 2009 9:59 pm

    Some good information. I’ve wondered about the cranberry connection to bladder health. Thanks for posting this.

  11. linda schmitz on February 17th, 2009 12:04 pm

    how many dried cranberries do i need to eat daily to ward off bladder infections.?

  12. Cure for Hemroids on February 20th, 2009 3:14 pm

    Thanks for the useful post, I’ll eat more cranberries now.. lol

    Cure for Hemroids’s last blog post..How Long Do Hemorrhoids Last?

  13. art on April 3rd, 2009 3:04 am

    I love cranberries. dried/juice/sauce.

    good to know that something that i enjoy is also doing me good. that is rare!

    art’s last blog post..Mockett, Castor and Pollux

  14. Simple Health Exercises on April 30th, 2009 7:48 am

    Hi 5 folks yes your spot on with this observation my wife found this out years ago … it works for her and I get the added value of the great vitamin content of this wonderful fruit … its a winner in more ways the the obvious …

    All my best to you and your five a day
    Phillip Skinner

  15. Super Foods! | Kitchen Table Medicine on June 26th, 2009 1:36 pm

    [...] Cranberries [...]

  16. Jay on September 28th, 2009 1:50 pm

    I’ve had a bear of a time finding unsweetened dried cranberries locally. A friend told me to try Trader Joe’s but all they had was sweetened. I ended up ordering some online.
    Jay´s last blog ..Chef Knife Sets My ComLuv Profile

  17. Albert on October 3rd, 2009 4:29 pm

    Great article about cranberries. I like cranberry mainly because it is rich of antioxidant, vitamin C and other minerals. Thanks for providing so much information about the fruit. I never know that it could be so good in defending our body from bacteria infection.
    Albert´s last blog ..Cellulite My ComLuv Profile

  18. medjool dates on July 23rd, 2011 2:51 pm

    This one of the most interesting things about fruit I have learned this year. Possibly the most interesting thing.

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