An Open Letter from Ocean Spray
You may have heard or seen some confusing headlines about cranberries and their health benefits. As a cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry farmers we want to set the record straight.
Cranberries work. Drinking an 8-ounce (240 ml) glass of cranberry juice a day can help reduce symptomatic UTIs and prevent additional UTIs. Let’s be clear however, cranberry juice will not cure an existing infection.
More than 60% of all women get at least one UTI in their life and a quarter of those will have a reoccurrence in the next six months. This isn’t news to the millions of women who suffer from recurring UTIs. In fact, thousands of women took to social media last month and got the topic trending on twitter. Their message was clear: UTIs affect their quality of life and more needs to be done to help them.
The fact that cranberries are a nutritional approach to maintaining urinary tract health is not exactly “new” news. It’s a health tip that has passed from mother to daughter and friend to friend for decades; but unlike other “old wives tales” this one has 50 years of well-documented research to support it.
Cranberry health research takes place at and in conjunction with some of the world’s leading universities, including Harvard, McGill and Cornell. At Ocean Spray, we believe that public health is a shared responsibility among industry, government, academia, and NGOs, so we do our own research as well as fund outside research. That said, cranberries are one of the most researched fruits in the world and most of that research is not industry funded. In fact, in the last twenty years alone there have been 37 clinical studies and only 5 of them were fully industry funded.
What does this have to do with public health and antibiotic resistance?
In short, if consuming cranberry means fewer UTIs, then that means fewer antibiotics. Antibiotics are usually the first line of treatment for UTIs, and women who have frequent UTIs may be prescribed low-dose antibiotics. Unfortunately, chronic overuse of these drugs has increased antibiotic resistance at an alarming rate globally. The World Health Organization (WHO) refers to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) as one of the greatest challenges to public health today, and the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer said it could become a threat ‘greater than cancer.’
At Ocean Spray, we’re guided by the science. Last fall we made a commitment to spend $10 million over the next five years researching cranberry health benefits and the role cranberries can play in the global AMR crisis. The Ocean Spray Cranberry Health Research Institute will launch later this year and you’ll be able to learn more at a redesigned cranberryhealth.com later this month.
We want to be clear, if you have a urinary tract infection, you need to reach out to your health care provider for the proper diagnosis and treatment plan. This will likely require antibiotics and depending on your personal situation may include cranberry products. At Ocean Spray, nothing is more important to us than the health and wellness of you and your family. Our promise to you is that we will continue researching this truly exceptional fruit and exploring how it can play a role in building a healthier world.
Sources can be found on cranberryhealth.com
Find out why 50+ years of research says Cranberries DO help reduce recurring UTI incidents.
Besides helping consumers meet the recommended daily intake of fruit and being an important part of a balanced diet, cranberries are supported by more than 50 years of research suggesting that they play an essential role in promoting health and wellness
Now, new research shows that the cranberry’s benefits may have a more impactful role than previously thought. Results from a landmark clinical study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conclusively shows that cranberries can be a nutritional approach to reducing symptomatic UTIs, and as a result, may be a useful strategy to decrease worldwide use of antibiotics. This comes as welcome news as the threat of antibiotic resistance continues to grow worldwide.
To learn more about the exceptional cranberry, its one-of-a-kind health benefits and why researchers believe it may be able to reduce the worldwide use of antibiotics, explore the sections below.
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