The cranberry is a bright red berry grown in bogs and is native to North America. It has a long history of use in folk medicine. Cranberry has been used by Native Americans to treat bladder and kidney infections. Native Americans taught early English settlers to use the berry. The settlers used cranberry to treat many things such as stomach problems and scurvy. Scurvy is an illness where collagen is not made because of a lack of vitamin C. Cranberries can be eaten fresh, dried, and cooked. They are often made into jellies, sauces, and teas. They can be used to make juice and juice blends with other kinds of fruits. Today, the cranberry is still used to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). It was first thought that cranberry worked because it made the urine acid in nature which killed the germs. Newer studies show that using cranberries may stop germs from being able to stay in the walls of the bladder. There have been many studies that prove that cranberry can help to prevent UTIs. There are no studies that prove that cranberries are useful to treat UTIs. Cranberries are also high in antioxidants. Antioxidants protect cells from free radicals that can damage body cells. Free radicals can also increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. You can get free radicals from things such as fried foods, smoking and pollution. Research suggests that cranberries may also prevent ulcer causing germs from attaching to the walls of the stomach. More research is needed to be sure cranberry is helpful for ulcers.
Finding a Cranberry Supplement to Fit Your Lifestyle
Although cranberries can be helpful in preventing UTIs, many people do not include them in their diet for several reasons. Many do not like the taste of cranberry because it is bitter. Due to their bitter taste, cranberries are often made into juices and jellies that are high in calories. Many people turn to supplements to get the benefits of cranberry. Supplements come in many forms and may include vitamins, minerals, herbs and amino acids. There are many kinds of cranberry supplements. These include soft gels, capsules, V-caps, tablets and fruit chews. You should always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any supplement. You should discuss your medical issues. You should also talk about all of the medicines that you are taking. These should include your prescriptions, over the counter medications and other supplements.
This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of purity, strength, or safety of the products. As a result, effects may vary. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking a supplement as supplements may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to a qualified healthcare provider before taking a supplement. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.