Can blueberries help treat cystitis?

Cystitis is a very common urinary tract infection that can be contracted in public bathrooms or through different forms of exposure to germs and bacteria. Antibiotics are needed to get rid of it, but some patients prefer to look for natural remedies.

This condition has many people questioning whether cranberries have any real role in its prevention or treatment. A recent report by professional portal CuidatePlus highlights the importance of demystifying this popular belief and analyzing what scientific research actually says.

Jesús Redondo, a member of the infection group of the Madrid Society of Family and Community Medicine (Somamfyc), said there is insufficient scientific evidence to support a positive role for blueberries in preventing urinary tract infections in certain patient groups. in postmenopausal women.

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In contrast, Josep Allué, a medicinal plant member of the Official College of Pharmacists of Barcelona, ​​believes that cranberries themselves have no effect on the urinary system.

Do cranberries help?

In contrast, American cranberries (scientifically known as Vaccinium macrocarpon) do have a special effect on this system. According to the European Phytotherapy Society (Escop), this variety is recommended for preventing urinary tract infections.

This fruit contains a component called proanthocyanidins (PAC), which exerts its purported beneficial effects. In vitro studies show that blueberries prevent bacteria from sticking to urinary tract cells, preventing them from causing infection.

According to Iván Espada, head of the field of medical information at the General Council of Pharmacists, these PACs are responsible for the urinary tract antibacterial effect of cranberries.

However, there is no consensus on the correct dosage of cranberries to prevent cystitis. Allué pointed out that Escop recommends consuming 240 to 750 grams per day, divided into 2-3 liquid preparations with a content of 25% to 100% cranberry juice.

On the other hand, the World Health Organization recommends taking 30 to 300 ml of a preparation containing 30% pure fruit juice daily. The French Food Safety Authority (Afssa) recommends a daily dose equivalent to 36 mg of PAC, whether in juice or dry extract.

Experts consulted by CuidatePlus agreed that there is insufficient scientific evidence to support the use of blueberries and their derivatives to treat cystitis. If you have an active infection, it’s important to see your doctor and receive appropriate treatment.

While cranberries may have some benefits in preventing cystitis, it’s important to remember that symptoms may vary from person to person. If you experience discomfort while urinating or other symptoms that suggest an infection, it is recommended to see a doctor rather than self-prescribe antibiotics, as antimicrobial resistance may be present.

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In summary, while cranberries may have a modest effect in preventing cystitis in some patient groups, their effectiveness is not supported by sufficient scientific evidence. It is important to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of cystitis.

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