At least one whole fruit cranberry product is proving the benefits of combining science-based ingredients – such as Cran Naturelle organic cranberry – to support multiple areas of women’s health, including digestive health. When combined with high-quality probiotics, cranberry can work synergistically to support urinary tract, vaginal, digestive and immune health.
Half of all women will experience at least one urinary tract infection (UTI) in their lifetime. Antibiotics are the standard remedy, but published research shows that Cran Naturelle organic cranberry, and probiotics such as those found in the UP4 Women’s formula, may work synergistically to reduce an E. coli infection, a common cause of UTIs. This is one example of how best-in-class ingredients can be combined to create powerful new formulas.
In a laboratory study, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Complete Phytochemical Solutions, Fruit d’Or Nutraceuticals and UAS Laboratories examined the potential benefit of combining bioactive cranberry proanthocyanidins (PACs) with probiotics. These two powerful functional ingredients create a synbiosis, which is condition-specific and tailor-made for a particular benefit. This resulted in the first synbiotic cranberry/probiotic supplement targeting women’s health for both UTIs and vaginal health.
Previous research has shown that PACs may obstruct pathogenic E. coli’s ability to adhere to epithelial cells in the urinary tract. This study suggested that PACs interfere with an E. coli invasion by interacting directly with the bacteria’s surface. The probiotic blend appeared to significantly reduce the E. coli numbers by changing the environmental pH.
Cran Naturelle was selected for the study because it undergoes a Cranberry Quality Assurance (CQA) testing program. CQA is a supplier voluntary, quality testing program that guarantees that the cranberry product being sold has been tested to ensure authenticity, safety, purity and efficacy. Cran Naturelle has been tested to show the highest PAC content of any whole fruit cranberry powder. In addition, Cran Naturelle, as a whole fruit powder, contains the lowest water activity of all other natural cranberry powders. Water activity is the enemy of probiotic cultures and will cause degradation of these strains.
The study results are encouraging, as components within the whole cranberry, such as protein and fiber, seem to provide a source of food for the probiotics to create this synbiotic effect. The study also helps to confirm the health benefits of cranberry consumption and offers additional insight into mechanisms of action of cranberry PACs against E. coli responsible for infection, and also demonstrates the additional benefits of consuming probiotics alone or in combination with cranberry.
With increasing resistance to the antibiotics used to treat infections, it is important to find alternatives, such as cranberry and probiotics which help prevent infections, ultimately reducing the need for the antibiotics. Using alternative preventive measures will help preserve our current arsenal of antibiotics for when they are really needed.
The efficacy of this cranberry/probiotics combination will vary depending on the quality and purity of the individual ingredients. Manufacturers should do their own testing for efficacy and stability. It is important to remember that what makes Cran Naturelle the best choice for probiotics is that there is low water activity that will not cause degradation of the probiotic strains. When it comes to cranberry and probiotics, no other cranberry powder can compare with Cran Naturelle.
UP4 Probiotics’ UP4 Women’s, the unique combination of Cran Naturelle certified-organic cranberry blended with select strains of probiotics, was chosen two years in a row as one of the best new products in the popular consumer magazine Better Nutrition’s annual “Best of Supplements Awards”!