For some time now Farmacia Campoamor has observed that medical recommendation of cramberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) and lingonberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) as a help for the treatment of repetitive cystitis has been, for its effectiveness, extended. But although they are plants belonging to the same family, both indicated for genitourinary infections, there is more bibliography of studies about cramberries in urinary tract infections than about lingonberries.
The active substance is extracted from the ripe fruit of cramberry, and it is normally presented as a juice or concentrated in capsules for its oral ingestion. Native Americans from New England used it as plasters in the treatment of wounds, for urinary disorders, diarrhoea and diabetes.
1. Bacterian Anti-Adherent effect
In 1991 the mechanism of action of cramberries was demonstrated: it prevents bacteria —specially of P-fimbriated Escherichia coli bacteria— from adhering to cells of the urinary tract. These bacteria cause 85% of symptomatic urinary infections and they are normally polluted from the rectal area, where they live being a part of the ordinary intestinal flora.
Fitoterapia.net points out that preliminary studies which show that cramberry can be useful against Helicobacter pylori (which causes gastritis and is related to stomach cancer) and against other bacteria causing dental plaque, gingivitis and periodontitis have been carried out.
2. Cardiovascular effect
Fitoterapia.net indicates that there are preliminary researches pointing out that cramberry can play a beneficial role in maintaining cardiovascular health, since it can reduce total levels of cholesterol and LDL (low-density lipoprotein, also known as "bad cholesterol")
3. Anti-oxidant and anti-inflamatory effects.
Cramberry in juice and its main components have showed anti-oxidant activity in in vitro studies. Its activity can be related to a slight anti-inflamatory effect.
Although no indications have been described, some studies suggest an interaction with warfarin and cyclosporine, but later studies have dismissed that interaction. Therefore, in case you are taking anti-coagulant or immunosuppressant drugs, you should consult a doctor.
PRESENTATIONS OF BLUEBERRY RECOMMENDED BY FARMACIA CAMPOAMOR
Cramberry Arkocápsulas (Arkopharma)
Rabenhorst (Lingonberry juice)
MSc in Pharmacy