Cranberry Extract May Support Bladder Health

by | Updated: July 3rd, 2012 | Read time: 1 minute

Mashed into sauce, baked into breads or strung with popcorn in a garland, cranberries are a cheerful presence this time of year. Besides satisfying your sweet tooth, these round, red jewels may also help support urinary tract and kidney health.

In the 1920's, scientists discovered that people who ate a lot of cranberries had notably acidic urine. Because bacteria can't survive in acidic environments, it was believed that a diet rich in cranberries could contribute to urinary tract health.

Recent laboratory studies have shown that cranberries help prevent E. coli (a bacterial organism) from adhering to bladder wall cells. They're also a potent antioxidant that protects healthy cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.

Cranberries are available fresh, frozen or canned; in juice form; or powdered (in capsule form). For best urinary health protection, drink three ounces of cranberry juice daily, or consume 400 mg cranberry extract capsules, four times a day.