Integrative Medicine

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) burden the healthcare system with more than $2 billion in treatment costs each year.

Cranberry extract is a traditional medicine remedy that been used in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for the treatment of UTI’s. Now researchers have found that it can be a valuable Integrative Medicine resource for babies suffering from UTI’s.

Researchers from Spain and Finland have confirmed that cranberry extract helps fighting urinary tract infections (UTIs) in breastfed babies under the age of one. The 2016 complementary medicine research study concluded that prescribing cranberry extract can be used instead of antibiotics in the prophylaxis for recurrent urinary tract infections in infants with urinary reflux ; this further the risk of increasing the bacterial antibiotic resistance.

However, the researchers pointed out that the effectiveness of cranberry extract does depend on the quality i.e. the amount of proanthocyanidins present in the cranberry extract. E. Coli is the bacteria that causes approximately 85% of UTIs. Proanthocyanidins prevent E.coli from adhering to these urinary tract epithelial cells by affecting the surface properties of the bacteria. The study confirmed that there is variation in the concentration of proanthocyanidins in cranberry extract remedies which are sold over-the-counter. This is further evidence that it is best to source best quality supplements and vitamins from CAM practitioners.