(article) Gunter Haesaerts, the man who won the initial proanthocyanidins (PACs)-based Cranberry-UTI health claim in France in 2004, and owner of supplier Pharmatoka, says the issue is settled – that finally the DMAC method has received the official French validation he has fought for so long.
But David Tournay, owner of Tournay Biotechnologies and president of Euracran, a group that includes Burgundy Botanical Extracts and Diana Naturals, and which backs the European Pharmacopoeia PACs measuring method, says otherwise.
Tournay says a subsequent note from the French body in question – the Directorate General of Competition, Consumption and Fraud Repression (DGCCRF) shows the issue is far from resolved in the €25m French market.
Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon ) has been used as both a food and a medicine for centuries. It is native to North America and was used by Native Americans to treat bladder and kidney diseases. Early settlers from England learned to use the berry both raw and cooked for many ailments, including appetite loss, digestive problems, blood disorders, and scurvy (vitamin C deficiency).
Cranberry is best known as a preventive treatment for urinary tract infections (UTIs), commonly caused by bacteria known as Escherichia coli (E. coli). Originally, scientists thought cranberry worked by making urine acidic enough to kill the bacteria. Now, studies show that cranberry actually prevents bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urinary tract. Valid scientific studies support the use of cranberry (taken as a supplement or as juice) for preventing — though not treating — UTIs.
I personally have been a regular suffer of uncomfortable stinging when attempting to pass urine. I learned a long time ago to carry in the glove box, a packet of Cranberry Capsules. I am not selling a particular brand, simply showing you what works for me personally. I remember in particular one long road trip, where I awoke with the tell tale signs of bladder irritation. I got my husband to stop at the first chemist shop on our way through town, paid the cashier for the product – asked for a glass of water. Downed the pills, and continued on our way. I can guarantee you that taking that simple step that early morning saved me from a very difficult and uncomfortable situation. The discomfort was dealt with post haste! We continued on with a long and more comfortable car journey. From that time On I keep a packet in the glove box of our car for such emergencies.
It is also important to note that sugar can contribute to the number of unhealthy organisms, which can cause a bladder irritation. NO I am not writing anti-sugar, but I do feel very strongly that if you are going to reap the health benefits of this wonderful fruit (cranberry) then you must steer clear of processed (store bought) cranberry drinks, and seek the pure unadulterated cranberry juice, which you can add yourself, to plain sparkling water, or filtered tap water.
Several studies indicate that cranberry helps prevent UTIs of the bladder and urethra (the tube that drains urine from the bladder), particularly for women who have recurrent UTIs. In one study of older women, cranberry juice significantly reduced the amount of bacteria present in the bladder compared to placebo. Another study showed that younger women with a history of recurrent UTIs who took cranberry by capsule significantly reduced the recurrence of UTI compared to those who took placebo.
In Australia Pure 100% (nothing added) Cranberry Juice is available in the supermarket: Made from 100% fresh pressed organic cranberries, this juice is undiluted, with nothing artificial added. It is pasteurised and vacuum sealed in glass bottles.
While I was living in the USA I sought out a 100% pure cranberry product, and was completely happy with R.W Knudsen’s Just Cranberry Juice which I was able to buy at Walmart. I am also able to buy this here in Australia from my local Health Food Store.
YES it is ‘tart’ to the taste, but a little goes a long way – and it is not loaded down with sugars to feed unwanted bacteria.
So let the industries continue their ‘infighting’. We who use nature’s gift – cranberry juice, already know it works. We don’t need convincing.