Cranberries come through
The aim of the new study was to determine if a cranberry extract might improve lower urinary tract symptoms in men with prostatitis or BPH. During the six-month study, 21 men were given 1,500 mg of cranberry fruit powder per day and asked not to eat other foods high in phenolic compounds (especially those with red/blue pigments like blueberries, cherries, grapes, and cranberries). Another 21 men (the control group) received the same dietary advice, but did not take the cranberry supplement.
Compared with the control group, men symptoms in the cranberry group significantly improved in several areas by the end of the study, including quality of life, rate and amount of urine flow, urinary frequency, urgency, straining, and waking at night to urinate. No adverse effects were reported.
"Although it hasn't been compared to placebo, cranberry extract appears to be a safe and effective treatment to manage symptoms of chronic prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia," says Dr. Jonathan Goodman, a naturopathic doctor practicing in Bristol, Conn. "Given the side effects of common treatments for these conditions, cranberry offers a compelling alternative. I will recommend cranberry extract in this dose for my patients."
Add some tart to your table
While the study used a cranberry extract, it certainly can't hurt to add the bright little berries to your diet, too.
- Start your day with a glass of cranberry juice. If you're really brave, opt for the unsweetened stuff.
- Cook with the whole berries. Try adding cranberries to cookies, pies (they're great with apple), breads, smoothies, and even stuffing.
(Br J Nutr 2010;104:1181-9)