It is estimated that in North America 20% to 40% of women have had at least one urinary tract infection1. The symptoms of this infection are a strong, persistent urge to urinate, even though there is a sensation of incomplete emptying (called pollakiuria), a burning feeling when urinating, and a cloudy urine with or without unpleasant odors2. The current treatment of this bacterial infection remains the prescription of antibiotics, which destroy beneficial bacteria of the body and favor the emergence of pathogenic bacteria and yeasts3. Furthermore, antibiotic therapy does not always work for urinary tract infections because of the now recognized phenomenon of antibiotic resistance4.
A two-in-one for digestive and urinary health
The key remains prevention to avoid infection in the first place. The cranberry contains proanthocyanidins that prevent pathogenic bacteria from residing on the walls of the bladder. Several studies have found that a good dose of this small fruit can significantly help decrease the incidence and recurrence of urinary tract infections4,5,6. It is understood that probiotic bacteria colonize the urinary flora of good bacteria, combat unwanted strains and then prevent chronic infection7. The oral supplement Probaclac with cranberry not only nourishes the gastrointestinal flora with 9 human strains (mostly lactobacili) but also prevents urinary tract infection with its cranberry extract.
Gentlemen, it also concerns you!
Although women are more vulnerable to urinary tract infections because of their anatomy, they can also affect men8. Probiotics with cranberry extract can therefore help prevent this type of infection and contribute to the health of the prostate. In addition, some male patients may experience the side effects of certain anti-diabetes medication and would benefit from supplementation with probiotics and cranberries to alleviate urinary symptoms. Lastly, children who learn the rules of hygiene in the toilets would also benefit from taking probiotics to avoid uro-genital concerns. In fact, the problem of urinary infection has already affected at least 7% of girls and 2% of boys9.
Flash Quiz to see who the Experts are!
True or False? You can exercise vigilance and foresight by following a few lifestyle habits to prevent urinary tract infections.
True. It is wise to drink plenty of water, wash your hands, eat cranberries regularly, among other anti-infectious reflexes.
True or False? The harmful bacteria that cause urinary infections (also called cystitis) are Escherichia coli predominantly, then other species such as Staphylococcus and Enterococcus.
True. There are many more, the list goes on and includes a good number and includes a good number of indesirable strains.
1 Passeport Santé [Website]. Consulted August 25 th 2017. http://www.passeportsante.net/fr/Maux/Problemes/Fiche.aspx?doc=infection_urinaire_pm
2 Infection Urinaire – Informations médicales [Website]. Consulted August 25th 2017. http://www.infectionurinaire.org/infection-urinaire-femme#symptomes
3 Zaura E, Brandt BW, Teixeira de Mattos MJ et al. Same exposure but Two Radically Different Responses to Antibiotics : Resilience of the Salivary Microbiome versus Long-Term Microbial Shifts in Feces. American Society for Microbiology. 2016 Mar; publié en ligne www.mbio.asm.org.
4 Cha-Nam S. The Effects of Cranberries on Preventing Urinary Tract Infections. Clinical Nursing Research. 2014; 23(1): 54–79.
5 Foxman B, Cronenwett AE, Spino C et al. Cranberry juice capsules and urinary tract infection after surgery : results of a randomized trial. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Aug; 213(2): 194.
6 Micali S, Isgro G, Bianchi G et al. Cranberry and recurrent cystitis : more than marketing ? Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014; 54(8): 1063-75.
7 Borchert D, Sheridan L, Papatsoris A et al. Prevention and treatment of urinary tract infection with probiotics : Review and research perspective. Indian J Urol. 2008 Apr; 24(2): 139-44.
8 Le Collège des médecins de famille du Canada [Website]. Consulted August 25th 2017. http://www.cfpc.ca/ProjectAssets/Templates/Resource.aspx?id=3809&langType=3084
9 Iacobelli S, Bonsante F et Guignard JP. Urinary tract infections in children. Arch Pediatr. 2009 Jul; 16(7): 1073-9.