One Fruit, Two Health Benefits: Cranberries

October 24, 2016 by Marilyn Gemino NutritionEnglish
One Fruit, Two Health Benefits: Cranberries

For women and men alike, urinary tract and bladder health is important. So, take a look at how one fruit—the cranberry—can support both.

Women’s Urinary Tract Health 101

A healthy urinary tract is something all women want and probably most take for granted—that is until they have a problem. The urinary system is comprised of the bladder, kidneys, ureters and urethra. The ureters are the tubes that take urine from the kidneys to the bladder, and the urethras are the tubes that take urine from the bladder out of the body. A healthy bladder is normally sterile, which means it is free of bacteria and infectious organisms.

However, even in a healthy bladder, microbes can get past the body’s natural defenses and throw the urinary tract off balance. Escherichia coli (E. coli), usually found in the small intestine, is an example of an invader that tries to spread to the urinary tract and adhere to its cell walls. Once it makes its home in the urinary tract, it can attract more bacteria and an imbalance may occur.

For centuries, women have used cranberries to support urinary tract health. Rich in natural phytochemicals called proanthocyanidins, or PACs, cranberries can help keep unhealthy bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract and bladder wall, thereby flushing out invaders.

Men’s Prostate Health 101

The prostate gland, located directly beneath the bladder, surrounds the urethra, which drains urine from the bladder. In healthy young men, the prostate is the size of a walnut. By the time a man reaches age 40, the prostate can grow to apricot size. By age 60, the size can be that of a lemon.

As the prostate gland grows larger, it can compress the urethra, resulting in weak urinary flow, leading to frequent urination. As the urethra gets further compressed, the bladder wall becomes thicker, eventually weakens and loses its ability to empty completely, creating a sensation of constantly needing to urinate.

Some men never experience any problems with their prostate, but for others, this is literally a growing problem that seriously affects their quality of life. Many men, especially after 40 years of age, seek natural remedies and dietary supplements to support prostate health. However, it appears that while certain herbal remedies may be helpful for some men, many men find them to be ineffective. Clearly, there is a need for an effective natural product to help support a healthy prostate gland as men naturally age.

Fortunately, cranberries can also offer support for a healthy prostate gland.

This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

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