Cranberry supplements are formulated to alleviate various health concerns. People take it to prevent urinary tract infections, lower lipid levels, stomach ulcers, and even cancer. The most advanced research shows that they prevent the onset of urinary tract infections. However, choosing these and other supplements can be difficult. There are different brands, methods of use and dosages. Hence, you need to make sure you get the right ones for your health needs.
Part 1 of 3: Choosing a Cranberry Supplement
Step 1. Choose a reliable source to buy them from
There are many stores where you can find supplements containing vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts (you can even buy them on the Internet). However, since these products (and all others) are not regulated by food safety agencies, you need to be careful where you buy them.
- Avoid buying them on the Internet. You probably will not know the company that produces or supplies them and therefore you will not be able to physically choose them and verify all the information on the packaging. Lots of sites can provide false information, so it would be a good idea to buy it in stores.
- You can take them at pharmacies, health food stores and grocery stores. However, it would be best to buy them from a drugstore or a grocery store that has a drugstore. Ask the pharmacist if the cranberry supplement will be right for your health and not interact with any medications you are already taking.
- Look for supplements that have been reviewed by other companies. Products verified by the Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) are tested to prove that they contain the amount of ingredients mentioned on the label and no harmful substances.
Step 2. Read the label
Whether it is a medicine or a supplement, it is very important to consult the information on the package or the package leaflet. You will find written down the ingredients, the doses and how you should use them.
- Take a look at the ingredients first. Is it a real cranberry supplement or does it contain other ingredients?
- The ideal is to consume a supplement made with cranberry juice, not zest, which contains a higher amount of antioxidants (called proanthocyanidins), which are necessary to prevent the growth of bacteria.
- The recommended daily dose will vary depending on what you are looking for while taking them. Be sure to buy it in the dose that matches your needs.
- Review the dosage and methods of use. You will probably need to take one or more tablets to reach the recommended dose. Also, check whether you should take them on an empty stomach or not.
Step 3. Get supplements in pill form
Usually, cranberry supplements are sold in tablet form, in drug stores and herbalists.
- Many health experts recommend the tablets because they do not contain more sugar and calories than regular juice or powdered supplement. Therefore, they are best if you need to pay attention to your calorie intake or your glycemic index.
- Be sure to read the package leaflet to find out if the supplement contains the zest extract or juice.
- One tablet of 1 g of concentrated extract can help prevent urinary tract infections, while 240 mg can help lower lipid levels and prevent Helicobacter pylori infection.
Step 4. Mix the cranberry powder into your drinks
Besides tablets, the supplement is available in powder form. You can easily add it to your drinks and then give them a little flavor.
- It offers the same benefits as tablets and may be even more beneficial since you have to add it to drinks, which will increase your daily fluid intake.
- Once again, you need to make sure that you are using the supplement made from the juice extract and not the one made with the zest.
- There are powdered supplements that contain added sugars. Therefore, be sure to read the packaging first to make sure that the product you choose is suitable for your diet.
Step 5. Drink cranberry juice
While not necessarily a supplement (like the one sold in tablet or powder form), you can use it as an alternative. Typically, juice has similar benefits to supplements.
- To prevent urinary tract infections, try drinking around 90 to 170 ml of pure cranberry juice or 290 ml of a cranberry juice cocktail daily. If you want to prevent other health problems, such as Helicobacter pylori infection or to lower your blood cholesterol level, you will only need about 60 ml per day, but take more (for example). example 170 ml) is also acceptable.
- Be careful when drinking cranberry juice. Since concentrated cranberry juices are quite acidic, the majority of food companies add sweeteners (such as sugar) to increase the sugar and calorie content. Look for 100% pure juice or diet juices that contain low-calorie sweeteners instead of those that contain sugar.
- Juice is also cheaper and easier to find than supplements.
Step 6. Avoid taking supplements made overseas
When you buy it, you could probably notice that there are different brands on the market. Besides checking the dosage and ingredients, you should also identify the place of manufacture.
- According to some studies, supplements produced abroad may contain ingredients that are toxic or harmful to health. In other countries, the manufacturing laws are often not the same as in France and you will therefore run the risk of ingesting something prohibited.
- Look for the words "Country of Origin" or "Made in". This way you will know exactly where your product is coming from. It would be a good idea to avoid those made in China or Mexico. However, if it is made in Canada, USA, or an EU country, you will be able to take it.
Part 2 of 3: Take Cranberry Supplements Right
Step 1. Consult the doctor
Whenever you are going to consider taking a dietary supplement, do not hesitate to visit it first. He should know what you want to take and make sure it is safe for you.
- Ask if you are taking risks by adding a cranberry supplement to your diet. You should take it with you so that it can see the dose, form, and other ingredients in it.
- Tell him the reason why you want to take it. For example, are you taking it to prevent urinary tract infection? In fact by telling him, he will also give you other tips on how to prevent this problem.
- Be sure to tell her about any medications you are taking or about your condition. This is because cranberry juice and supplements can interact with certain medications.
Step 2. Determine the benefits that supplementation can give you
There is a lot of research on cranberry supplements and juices for various health issues. The dosage and type of supplement to take may vary depending on your needs.
- They are frequently used to treat or prevent urinary tract infections. There is a lot of good evidence that supports their effectiveness in preventing this type of condition, while few that support their effectiveness in treating the disease.
- People usually take them to lower lipid or cholesterol levels in the blood. However, there is still little evidence to support its usefulness for this purpose.
- You can also consider using them to prevent gastric ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori, but keep in mind that there isn't much evidence to support their effectiveness in these cases.
- In addition, there is little evidence to support the effectiveness of cranberry products for managing diabetes, having good oral health, preventing metabolic syndrome, and caring for the prostate.
Step 3. Follow some instructions
Follow the directions for the recommended daily doses. Each type of supplement contains its indications for use. It is essential that you read the package leaflet carefully and decide how much to take.
- In the Nutrition Facts table (found on the box or bottle), you can find dosage information. If it is a tablet or a capsule, there is usually something like “1 tablet per day” or “2 capsules per day”.
- Be sure to take the recommended amounts to prevent urinary tract infection, lower cholesterol, or reduce your risk of getting an infection from H pylori.
- Avoid taking more than the recommended daily amount. Doing so does not necessarily mean that it will increase the benefits of the product. Additionally, it may cause other side effects or interfere with the effects of other medicines you are taking.
Step 4. Watch out for side effects
All supplements can potentially cause unwanted side effects. You may experience a mild headache or nausea. Often, they can also interact with medications and produce side effects. So, watch out for any changes you may have while taking them.
- The majority of healthcare professionals believe that supplement use is safe for healthy adults. What's more, numerous studies have shown that there are few side effects associated with these supplements.
- Due to the presence of oxalates, there is an increased risk of developing kidney stones when taking a high dose of supplements or cranberry juice.
- When consumed in large quantities, cranberry juice, especially 100% pure, sometimes causes stomach pain and diarrhea.
- If you notice any of these symptoms, stop taking them and go to your doctor.
Step 5. Do not take it if you have a urinary tract infection
You should also avoid it if you develop any other infection. Although they help prevent urinary tract infections, they should not be used to treat infections that already exist. Do not take them if you think you are already developing it.
- It was once thought that they made urine acidic, thus preventing the development of urinary tract infections. However, more recent studies have shown that it is the substances in the juice that prevent bacteria from adhering to the surface of cells and causing infection.
- No scientific study has proven that they can relieve an already existing urinary tract infection. So if you have ever been diagnosed as suffering from this infection then avoid taking them.
- If you think you have it, see your doctor immediately and have your urine tested. If the result is positive, you can only be treated with antibiotics.
Part 3 of 3: Take care of your urinary tract
Step 1. Increase your fluid intake
Taking these supplements can help prevent urinary tract infections, but also encourage other eating habits, including getting enough fluid. So be sure to drink constantly during the day if you are prone to urinary tract infections.
- The majority of healthcare professionals recommend drinking at least 2 liters of clear, moisturizing fluids each day. However, if you are prone to developing urinary tract infections, consider increasing your daily intake (2.5-3L).
- The more water you drink, the more diluted your urine will be. In addition, it will allow you to empty your bladder more frequently and at the same time get rid of bacteria present in the urinary tract.
- Avoid drinking sugary or watered down drinks. Limit yourself to clear, calorie-free drinks, such as plain water, flavored water, soda water, decaffeinated coffee and tea.
Step 2. Incorporate cranberries into your diet
In addition to taking these supplements or drinking the juice extracted from these fruits, you will be able to experience the benefits that they provide by consuming them directly. Include them in your diet as an additional source of healthy antioxidants.
- You can buy them fresh, frozen or dried. Regardless of how you take them, they will retain their health benefits and all of the antioxidants and vitamins needed to prevent urinary tract infections.
- If you go for dried cranberries, buy those that don't contain added sugar. You can add them to yogurt, oatmeal or salads or mix them into a dried fruit salad.
- Both fresh and frozen cranberries can be eaten to anyone's taste. You can eat them raw, even if they are acidic as well. You can also cook them and add them to desserts or make a sauce out of them.
Step 3. Consider taking probiotics
These are actually other substances that help prevent urinary tract infections. These "good bacteria" have been shown to not only help relieve stomach problems, but also benefit the urinary tract.
- Healthcare professionals point out that bacteria in the urinary tract (for example, in the urethra) are usually "good" bacteria. However, there can also be "bad" bacteria that cause urinary tract infections.
- By increasing the amount of healthy or good bacteria, you can limit the growth of bacteria that cause infections.
- Take probiotics in supplement form or eat kefir, yogurt which are foods rich in probiotics.
Step 4. Take precautions to prevent urinary tract infections
In addition to a healthy diet and nutritional supplements, there are good hygiene habits that can prevent this kind of problem. Be sure to follow the rules of hygiene so as not to be re-infected.
- Maintain good bowel movements. Faeces can easily contaminate the urethra, which is quite close to the intestine. Women should take care to clean the private parts, always proceeding from front to back. Also, avoiding constipation or diarrhea is another good way to prevent contamination of feces.
- Do not use potentially irritating feminine hygiene products. Women should also avoid the use of irritating or harmful products such as aerosol deodorants, vaginal pears, harsh detergents or powders. They can easily irritate the urethra and cause urinary tract infections.
- Although many studies have shown that these supplements are effective in preventing urinary tract infections, they have no therapeutic effect if you are already infected.
- Do your best not to get a urinary tract infection.
- If you think you are infected, see your doctor immediately.