Cranberry Polyphenols and Prevention against Urinary Tract Infections: A Brief Review

Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is a unique source of polyphenols in the form of flavonoids and phenolic acids that has been shown to have antibacterial properties against urinary tract infections (UTIs), the second most common type of infection in the world. Due to high rates of recurrence and antibiotic resistance, UTIs may cause significant morbidity, particularly in healthy females. Antibiotic replacements for prophylaxis and treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs) are constantly being sought. In contrast to cranberry, which has long been used to prevent UTIs in traditional medicine, Probiotics have emerged as a new alternative to antibiotics in the treatment of these infections, and they are the subject of new research. Other etiological agents, such as Klebsiella pneumoniae or Gram-positive bacteria from the Enterococcus and Staphylococcus genera, appear to be more widespread than previously thought. Current research is also focusing on the mechanisms behind the UTI-protective effects of cranberry, probiotics, and their new combined formulations, which are still being unraveled. In this paper, all of these current topics in the understanding of cranberry’s protective effects against UTIs are reviewed. Finally, the evidence for probiotics and their combinations with cranberry in the treatment of UTIs is insufficient to draw any conclusions, but they appear to be a promising strategy for future treatments.

Author (s) Details

Dolores González de Llano
Institute of Food Science Research (CIAL), CSIC-UAM, Nicolás Cabrera, 9, Campus de Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain.

M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas
Institute of Food Science Research (CIAL), CSIC-UAM, Nicolás Cabrera, 9, Campus de Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain.

Begoña Bartolomé
Institute of Food Science Research (CIAL), CSIC-UAM, Nicolás Cabrera, 9, Campus de Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain.

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