- Cranberries and probiotics may be useful in urinary tract infections
- Garlic featured in new research
- Many women with symptoms of urinary tract infections are choosing to avoid antibiotics
Older women with urinary tract infections who are taking the commonly prescribed antibiotic nitrofurantoin are more likely to experience treatment failure, resulting in a second antibiotic prescription or a hospital visit, than if they received another antibiotic, according to research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
More than 25% of older adults have low kidney function, and bladder infections are common. Nitrofurantoin is one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics for bladder and other urinary tract infections, with an estimated 25 million prescriptions worldwide each year.
cranberry and probiotics
In the past, we have reported on the numerous medical studies that suggest cranberry and probiotics may be useful in urinary tract infections.1 Including studies that suggest dried cranberries may reduce the number of urinary tract infections in susceptible women.2
Recent research confirms cranberries are beneficial in reduction of urinary tract infections (UTI) in susceptible women. In one study something as simple as one serving of cranberries for two weeks helped reduce or eliminate recurrent UTIs in the 20 test subjects.3
Many women with symptoms of urinary tract infections are choosing to avoid antibiotics
The emergence of community-acquired infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTI), due to strains resistant to common antibiotics are on the rise, according to Rhode Island Hospital researchers.4
With research showing the benefits of non-antibiotic treatments, it is no wonder that given the option, many women with symptoms of urinary tract infections are choosing to avoid antibiotics and give their bodies a chance to heal naturally, finds research in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Family Practice. The research shows that 70% of women with symptoms of uncomplicated urinary tract infections who did not use antibiotics for a week were cured or showed improvement.Antimicrobial-resistant bacteria are already a big problem and the incidence of ‘superbugs’, which are resistant to several antibiotics, is on the rise. Over use of antibiotics increases the chances of disease causing bacteria developing resistance to antibiotics. Obviously for serious bacterial infections antibiotics can be a life saver, but they do not work on viruses, and for many minor bacterial infections the body’s own immune system is more than capable of fighting off the invaders on its own.
In this study, based at the University of Amsterdam, women with symptoms of uncomplicated urinary tract infections were asked if they would be willing to postpone taking antibiotics. A third of the women asked were willing to delay treatment and a week later about half of these had still not used antibiotics and more than two thirds of these were better or had improvement in their clinical condition.
New research on garlic
A wide range of microorganisms – including bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses – are known to be sensitive to garlic preparations. Allicin and other sulphur compounds are thought to be the major antimicrobial factors in garlic.
In a new study, researchers found that 56% of 166 bacteria strains isolated from the urine of people with UTI showed a high degree of resistance to antibiotics.
However, about 82% of the antibiotic resistant bacteria were susceptible to a crude aqueous extract of Allium sativum. According to the researchers, “ours is the first study to report the antibacterial activity of aqueous garlic extract against multidrug resistant bacterial isolates from infected urine samples leading to UTI.”5
The Role of Estrogen
“Estrogens play a major role on the lower urinary tract physiology and physiopathology both on the urethra and the bladder.”6
“Estrogen deficit in postmenopausal women causes urogenital atrophy, which is responsible for a wide range of urinary disorders (urinary incontinence, urge incontinence, recurrent urinary infections) and genital disorders (prolapse, dispareunya, vaginal dryness). The efficacy of estrogen therapy on urinary incontinence is not yet demonstrated, but it is widely recognized that the topical use of estrogens lowers the risk of recurrent urinary infections and improves urogenital atrophy.” 7
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1. Bruyère F, Boiteux JP, Sotto A, Karsenty G, Bastide C, Guy L, Lavigne JP.Anti-infectious treatments in urology sell over the counter. Prog Urol. 2013 Nov;23(15):1357-64. doi: 10.1016/j.purol.2013.09.002. Epub 2013 Oct 21.
2. Burleigh AE, Benck SM, McAchran SE, Reed JD, Krueger CG, Hopkins WJ. Consumption of sweetened, dried cranberries may reduce urinary tract infection incidence in susceptible women – a modified observational study. Nutr J. 2013 Oct 18;12(1):139. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-12-139.
3. Gamé X, Rischmann P, Arnal JF, Malavaud B.Role of estrogens in lower urinary tract physiology and physiopathology. Prog Urol. 2013 Jun;23(8):502-10. doi: 10.1016/j.purol.2013.03.012. Epub 2013 Apr 19.
6. Della Martina M, Xodo S, Vogrig E, Rinuncini D, Ganzitti L, Driul L, Fabiani G, Marchesoni D. Hormone replacement therapy and urogenital disease in postmenopausal women. Minerva Ginecol. 2012 Aug;64(4):337-44.
7. Karolinska Institutet – a medical university: http://ki.se/english