February 17, 2022
by Frederick Cheng, R.Ph., and Christine Cheng, R.Ph.
Cranberry is not the only natural product to treat and prevent a urinary tract infection (“UTI”), nor is it necessarily the best choice. Of course, the most effective treatment after a proper medical diagnosis would be an antibiotic prescribed by your doctor.
The main active ingredient in cranberry is proanthocyanidins (“PACs” aka. condensed tannins), which is thought to prevent adhesion of bacteria to the inside of urinary tract wall as well as offer mild antiseptic action. However, it has not been seen by scientific studies to remove bacterial growth that is already adhered to the tract walls, and, thus, is not generally recommended for treatment of UTI’s, and especially not those associated with neurogenic bladder. Cranberry extract of up to 800mg twice daily has been safely used in clinical trials, though. “UltraCran” capsules by WellQuest, “Cranberry” by New Roots Herbal, and “Utiva” are popular options. Be mindful that cranberry juice, while containing more soluble forms of PAC’s, is also very high in natural sugars which could promote bacterial growth, not to mention affect metabolic syndrome conditions (eg. blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, obesity).
Buy Cran-Mannose online HERE
A simple sugar called D-Mannose has been studied for prevention of UTI’s. This sugar is not metabolized in the body at all, and is excreted intact in the urine; it does not affect glucose metabolism. Clinically, D-Mannose has been reported to be an effective way to prevent UTI, and is especially useful in recurrent cases. The mechanism is theorized to be based on E.Coli’s affinity to sugars such as D-Mannose; by coating the urinary tract and being available to the bacteria, the E.coli selects D-Mannose rather than binding to the urinary tract wall. Trusted products that contain D-Mannose and PACs include “UTI Cleanse” by AOR, “D-Mannose & Cranberry” by New Roots Herbal, but one of our favourites is “Cran-Mannose”, which is a high-potency, high-quality standardized cranberry extract 143mg with 400mg of D-Mannose per capsule made by a highly-trusted company, Cyto-Matrix; 2 capsules taken twice daily has been reported to prevent uncomplicated UTI’s in men and women.
Both PACs and D-mannose are well-tolerated, but consult your integrative physician or pharmacist before trying any natural herbal product, which does contain an active chemical that could potentially give you side-effect(s) or interact with your diet or medications. Talk to our integrative pharmacy teams at Cloverdale Pharmasave or Pharmasave Steveston Village for options to minimize risk of recurrent infections and ways to maximize your whole-body health.
Christine and Fred Cheng are a passionate, charismatic sister-brother pharmacist team at their unique, family-operated Pharmasave stores in Cloverdale and Steveston, B.C. They specialize in natural remedies and compounding for both human and veterinarian use. Find them on Instagram and Facebook! Everything mentioned in their article is available InStore.
Articles, Q&A, blog posts and all materials submitted for publishing is the intellectual property of Cloverdale Pharmacy Ltd – reproduction in part or whole, in print or online, without written consent and permission is prohibited.