A new meta-analysis has led scientist to conclude Cranberry should be used as the first step for the reduction of recurrent Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s) and healthcare professionals should be telling their patients about this effective, low risk and low cost way to help prevent the reoccurrence of Urinary Tract Infections.
Data from 28 different studies involving almost 5,000 participants was reviewed for this meta-analysis. A statistically significant reduction in the risk of recurrent UTI’s overall was seen with Cranberry product supplementation. Researchers stated recommendations for the duration of treatment and the dosage of Cranberry supplementation would require further study.
Researchers believe that the beneficial properties of Cranberries may be due to their individual polyphenol, proanthocyanidins (PACs) which support the body in its fight to inhibit bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. With the push to reduce the use of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance, researchers and health care practitioners are always looking for alternative therapies to prevent common infections. It is believed that over 1/3 of women in the U.S. will have a UTI by the time they reach 24.
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Data from a new study finds daily supplementation with Rhodiola Rosea Extract can improve the symptoms of burnout.
Over 100 women and men, between the ages of 30 and 60, who were suffering from symptoms of burnout, participated in this study. Participants took 400 mg of Rhodiola Rosea extract daily. The study lasted 12 weeks.
Improvements in symptoms like “loss of zest for life”, “lack of joy”, “depersonalization”, “emotional exhaustion”, fatigue and “exhaustion” were seen. Increases in sexual function and sexual interest were also seen. Burnout has been known to impair sexual function. Participants had a high rate of compliance during the course of the study and very few adverse events were reported with the supplementation of Rhodiola Rosea.
These results are encouraging and can be used as a basis for additional clinical trials.
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According to a small study extracts of Ginkgo Biloba may offer both mind and body advantages for young active men.
18 young active men participated in this study. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either a standardized extract of Ginkgo Biloba or a placebo. The study lasted six weeks. Improvements in VO2max (maximal oxygen uptake) and blood antioxidant capacity were seen in both groups, however the greatest increases were seen in the Ginkgo Biloba group. Participants in the Ginkgo Biloba supplementation group also showed increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) during exercise. BDNF acts on certain neurons of the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. These proteins help to support the survival of existing neurons and encourage growth of new neurons. BDNF is vital to higher thinking, learning and memory.
Although no statistical significance was noted between the groups (a marginal increase of 6% vs 1% was seen in VO2max) researchers attribute that to the dosage levels used in the study, since previous studies have shown even more benefits with higher doses. Researchers believe that the polyphenolic compounds found in Ginkgo Biloba enhance antioxidant effects by both indirectly boosting the actions of antioxidant enzymes like glutathione peroxidase, SOD, and catalase and by directly scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS). A 20% increase in SOD activity was seen in the Ginkgo Biloba group compared to the placebo group.
Larger studies are needed.
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A new study supports the ability of a standardized fenugreek extract (Trigonella foenum-graecum) to reduce hot flashes in postmenopausal women and aid in improving their quality of life.
88 women participated in this randomized, double-blinded placebo-controlled study. Participants randomly were assigned to receive either a 1,000 mg dose of a fenugreek extract or a placebo daily. The study lasted 90 days. When compared to the placebo participants who received the fenugreek extract experienced a 57% reduction in night sweats, a 68% reduction in mood swings and 54% reduction in headaches. Hot flashes were reduced from an average of 5 -7 times per day at baseline to 1 – 2 times daily at the end of the study period. Additionally 32% of women in the fenugreek group reported no hot flashes at the end of the trial.
Researchers believe that the fenugreek extract increased estradiol levels in the group supplementing with this herb by 120%. Estradiol is an estrogen that has been shown to play a key role in menopausal discomforts such as vaginal dryness, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, night sweats, insomnia and headaches.
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A new study found consumption of cranberry juice reduced urinary tract infections (UTI’s) in women with a history of these types of infections. Due to recent rises in antibiotic resistance, urinary tract infections, which are extremely common, have grown more difficult to treat.
Over 350 women participated in this study after having met the eligibility requirements which required individuals to have had a recent history of at least 2 UTI’s which had been treated by a health care professional within the last year. 185 women were assigned cranberry juice while the remainders of the participants were assigned to receive a placebo. Participants were prohibited from consuming blueberries or any product derived in any form from blueberries or cranberries. Also participants were not allowed to consume probiotics or any products containing probiotics. The study lasted 24 weeks.
A 39% reduction in UTI’s was measured during the study period in the group consuming the Cranberry beverage when compared to the placebo. In previous clinical trials on UTI’s and cranberries conflicting results were seen but it is believed the majority of the negative studies may have been using substandard cranberry products.
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