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CRANBERRY - Are acidic berries that are rich in Vitamin C and believed to have excellent infection-fighting properties. Cranberries contain phytochemicals known as condensed tannins. These are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Cooking does not destroy these tannins.
Cranberry fruit juice is for individuals with urinary tract infections, with research supporting its uses. Cranberry is a close relative of the American blueberry and European bilberry. It has been used for centuries in cooking and as a garnish. In the United States, cranberry has been used to prevent kidney stones, as well as to remove unwanted toxins from the body. As early as the 1840's, German researchers were examining the connection between using the cranberry and the incidence of UTI. Researchers thought that cranberry worked for UTI by acidifying the urine, preventing the bacteria from growing.
In 1984, a researcher reported that cranberry does not acidify the urine sufficiently to produce an anti-bacterial effect in the bladder. Instead, cranberry prevented E. coli from adhering to the cells lining the bladder wall, thus preventing infection. Studies also report that other members of the Vaccinium genus have similar properties, including bilberry and blueberry. Cranberry is a safe, well-tolerated herbal supple-ment that does not have significant drug interactions.
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