In light of the holiday season, we thought it might be appropriate to reintroduce you to the cranberry. This little fruit which graces the tables of Americans during Thanksgiving and finds itself strung around Christmas trees with popcorn as garland has been consumed for generations. Using Cranberry for kidney health has a long and storied history in the United States. Some of the first uses of cranberry for kidney health traces back to the Native Americans, as tribes used extracts from cranberries to treat various medical conditions, including kidney infections.
There is some evidence that cranberry juice for infections can be beneficial when it concerns urinary tract infections, especially in women. Studies have shown cranberry juice or specifically, the chemicals in cranberries, may play a role in inhibiting bacteria from sticking to cells along the urinary tract, thus preventing urinary tract infections (UTI). There is, however, no evidence that supports cranberries is effective against treating UTI. The evidence points only to the promotion of urinary health at this point.
Although cranberries for kidney health may be true in the case of the urinary tract, the same may not be the case for the support of other kidney related health issues. The excessive use of cranberry juice in an effort to treat kidney stones as an at-home remedy may make the problem worse. Cranberry and cranberry extracts contain a chemical compound known as Oxalate. There is existing scientific evidence that points to cranberry consumption increasing the amount of oxalate in the urine by as much as 43% due to its high concentration of Vitamin C. The composition of kidney stones consists primarily of oxalate and calcium that may lead to developing kidney stones. If kidney stones are a part of a your family medical history, you may want to consult your health care provider who may suggest reducing the amount of cranberry juice or extract in your diet.
Important to urinary health is the consumption of adequate water as well. Be sure to not rely on juice or other beverages alone to hydrate yourself. Clean water daily is imperative to maintaining good kidney and urinary tract health. Cranberry supplements in the way of liquid extracts or capsules can help promote urinary health, but be sure to take the right dose.