02.24.2016 New Approach In The Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Summary: Research suggests that consuming cranberries daily may be a nutritional approach to help reduce the recurrence of symptomatic UTIs and thereby decrease the use of antibiotics and the risk of bacteria developing antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance, “an even greater threat to mankind than cancer” –George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom Modern medicine is great – we get sick and antibiotics treat our infections. But what if the next time you get sick, you find the antibiotics you’ve been prescribed don’t make a difference? You feel sicker, your doctors can’t figure out a treatment plan and, suddenly, what you had assumed was a treatable infection, isn’t. It may sound far-fetched, but according to the World Health Organization (WHO) antibiotic resistance is “one of the greatest challenges for public health today” In fact, the WHO estimates 400,000 people in Europe are infected with a resistant strain of bacteria each year — and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are more than 2 million cases in the United States. A correlation between UTIs and antibiotic resistance UTIs are among the most common bacterial infections in women worldwide. Up to 60 percent of all women suffer a UTI in their lifetime, and 1 out of 4 will experience a recurrence within six months. Some 150 million UTIs occur annually worldwide, according to the American Urological Association, resulting in $6 billion in annual health care costs. Antibiotics are usually the first line of treatment for urinary tract infections, and women who have frequent UTIs may even be prescribed low-dose antibiotics regimes. Unfortunately, chronic overuse of these drugs has increased antibiotic resistance at an alarming rate globally. So much in fact that the WHO cites a 50 percent resistance rate to one of the most widely used antibiotics to treat UTIs. Hope on the horizon: the cranberry While the reports are bleak, findings from a landmark clinical study recently published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have given rise to a new hope for those looking for alternatives to antibiotics for the prevention of symptomatic recurrent UTIs – cranberries. The study, which is the single largest clinical trial of its kind on urinary tract infections and cranberry juice, demonstrates that a daily regimen of cranberry juice reduces the symptoms of UTIs by about 40 percent in women with recurrent UTIs – reducing the burden of UTIs and reducing the antibiotic use associated with treating recurrent UTIs. So if you’re someone who suffers from recurrent UTIs, or you know someone who has them regularly, consider adding 8 ounces (240 mL) of cranberry juice to your daily routine. It may just be just the alternative you’re looking for to help reduce those pesky UTI symptoms and therefore the antibiotics used to treat them.