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    Archive for the ‘cranberry juice’ Category

    Who Said It?

    QuestionMark-300x2991“Cranberry juice works on cellulite because … the flavonoids in the fruit improve the strength and integrity of connective tissue and help keep your lymphatic system working smoothly.”

    Leave your guess in the “comments” section and come back on Friday for the answer — and my particular issues with this statement!

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    You Ask, I Answer: Conflicting Kidney Stone Advice

    45015076A friend and I recently developed kidney stones, and we are getting very different advice from our doctors.

    My doctor suggested I consume citrus fruits.  Her doctor said citrus fruits have been linked to kidney stone formation.

    Who’s right?

    — Alice (last name withheld)
    Wilmington, NC

    Both your doctors are partially right (or wrong, depending on how forgiving you want to be).

    All citrus fruits contain citrate, which is important in several ways:

    • It inhibits the growth and formation of calcium oxalate crystals
    • It binds with urinary calcium and makes it unavailable to form calcium oxalate crystals
    • It increases levels of urinary citrate (individuals prone to kidney stone formation have low levels)

    If you don’t like oranges or orange juice, I recommend adding a few squirts of lemon juice to water.

    There is one exception to this citrus fruit rule — grapefruits!  Although the exact mechanism or component has not been identified, something in them increases the incidence of kidney stones.

    While not a citrus fruit, I often see people get confused about the benefits of cranberry juice.

    Pure cranberry juice can be great for treating urinary tract infections, but its high oxalate content makes it a terrible choice for anyone looking to lower their risk of kidney stone formation.

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    You Ask, I Answer: Urinary Tract Infections & Cranberry Juice

    I was just told to drink cranberry juice to help treat a UTI.

    The nurse said the juice’s acidity [would help].

    This confused me because I thought that food from the stomach is neutralized by a base before getting digested in the small intestine, so it wouldn’t matter how acidic foods are to begin with.

    So, is there any reason to drink cranberry juice for a UTI?

    I’m cautious because all of the juice brands I’ve seen at stores have a lot of sugar, and drinking cranberry juice needlessly seems like a way to ingest a lot of empty calories.

    — Christine (last name unknown)
    Via the blog

    Lots to cover here.

    Does cranberry juice play a role in preventing and treating urinary tract infections? Yes, but it has nothing to do with the fruit’s acidity.

    Cranberries — and blueberries, for that matter — contain an antioxidant known as proanthocyanidin.

    This just so happens to also be the flavonoid that gives these two berries their unique pigments.

    Several studies (mostly conducted over the past five years) have concluded that this phytochemical inhibits certain bacteria from adhering to the cell membranes of the cells lining the walls of the bladder.

    By not being able to stick to these cells, bacteria have no chance to claim land, play house, and set off an infection.

    The majority of the research on these components in cranberries and their relationship to urinary tract infections has mainly focused on prevention.

    This is not to say, however, you are wasting your time by using cranberry juice in your treatment.

    In fact, cranberries’ anti-adherent properties against pesky bacteria can be a great complement to the 8 to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water you should be drinking every day day to help flush out said organisms.

    The key, though, is to drink PURE cranberry juice — usually found at select health food stores.

    This means cranberry “juice drinks,” “cranberry-based fruit cocktails,” “cranberry energy water” will not be of much help.

    Since that can be quite bitter medicine to swallow (despite there being no official dosage, most recommendations call for anywhere from 8 to 16 ounces per day), you may opt for concentrated cranberry extract pills (which have been used in several clinical trials.)

    Then again, since no government agency regulates supplements, you always run the risk of buying an extract pill that, for all you know, offers a tenth of the dosage it claims on its label.

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