Urinary tract infections are the most common infections in humans and affect around 150 million people annually worldwide. The introduction of cranberry, or American cranberry, into your diet is considered a very effective natural remedy to fight this type of infection. A research published a few months ago in the PLoS One magazine by an American team (O’Connor et al, Nov 2019) has not only demonstrated this property but also explained this action.
The causes of urinary tract infections are different types of bacteria. Among all these bacteria, however, the one that is the cause of most of the reported cases is certainly Escherichia coli. Our intestinal microbiota represents a natural reserve of this bacterium and it is so frequent that imbalances in the microbiota can cause Escherichia coli to pass from the intestine to the urinary tract. Antibiotics have always proven effective against Escherichia coli, unfortunately, however, resistance from bacteria to antibiotics is increasingly being observed. Here the infections become more and more difficult to eradicate and recurrent. The cranberry introduced in the diet has proven to be a very interesting food to fight urinary tract infections caused by Escherichia coli. Researchers have managed to observe that this beneficial role is due to the ability of the cranberry to modulate the intestinal microbiota. In fact, following the ingestion of cranberry, substances called salicylates increase in the body. Salicylates decrease the presence of bacteria of the Enterobacteriaceae family, to which Escherichia coli belongs. At the same time, another effect of cranberry is to increase the presence of Bacteroidaceae bacteria, which are considered to be a type of healthy gut bacteria. According to scientists, it is possible that cranberry acts in two ways, on the one hand with antimicrobial properties aimed at fighting Escherichia coli, on the other hand with a prebiotic action that strengthens the good bacteria of the intestine, thus avoiding imbalances in the intestinal flora.
Cranberry can be found in frozen form in supermarkets or specialty stores. It is excellent to eat for breakfast added to yogurt.