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Which supplement should you take for urinary health?

Problems urinating, urinary infections, an overactive bladder … there are so many sources of urinary discomfort. Which supplement should you choose to reduce recurring and incapacitating discomfort of this kind?
Woman suffering from urinary discomfort
Some substances can naturally help to prevent urinary problems.
Rédaction Supersmart.
2024-01-16Commentaires (0)

What are the main causes of urinary discomfort?

Urinary discomfort in women: cystitis is often to blame

In women, a urinary infection or cystitis is one of the main causes of urinary discomfort. It typically presents as a frequent need to urinate small amounts, a burning sensation when urinating, and sometimes cloudy and foul-smelling urine (1).

Cystitis is usually caused by E. coli bacteria migrating from the large intestine to the urinary tract (2). It occurs more frequently in women for anatomical reasons: the female urethra is shorter and the anus is very close to the urinary meatus.

Urinary discomfort in men: the importance of the prostate

Male urinary discomfort is often connected with the prostate. Located below the bladder, this gland tends to enlarge with age, sometimes to the point of compressing the urinary organs; this is referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia (3). It causes, amongst others, difficulty urinating, a weak and irregular urine flow, or a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder.

‘Mixed’ causes

Urinary health can sometimes be impaired by other factors, common to both sexes:

  1. an overactive bladder, characterised by a repeated urge to urinate (day or night) and a sudden and overwhelming need to do so. More common with age, it is exacerbated by consumption of stimulants, pregnancy and the menopause (4).
  2. urinary incontinence, which is the involuntary loss of urine through the urethra. It is precipitated by aging, an overactive bladder or physiological changes (pelvic organ prolapse, prostate surgery ...) (5)

Urinary health and cranberry: a match made in heaven

The cranberry is a small red berry native to North America. Traditionally used by native Americans to treat urinary infections, it has for several decades been the focus of many research studies (6).

Cranberry contains type A proanthocyanidins, tannins which are thought to make the environment ‘slippery’ for urinary tract bacteria, thus preventing them from sticking to the bladder walls (7). Scientists have thus investigated its preventive potential in women prone to recurrent cystitis (8).

For women who regularly suffer such problems, cranberry supplementation is well worth trying (for example, Cran-Max®, standardized to 7.2% type A proanthocyanidins and benefiting from Bio-Shield® delayed-release technology for maximum absorption).

Supplementing with cranberry alone represents an excellent option, but combining it with various synergistic compounds broadens its scope of action further. Among the best combinations are:

  1. D-mannose: this monosaccharide encourages urinary tract bacteria to detach from the bladder epithelium and adhere to it instead, facilitating elimination via urine (9);
  2. orthosiphon, or Java tea: its leaves have been popular in Indian medicine for centuries for treating lower urinary tract infections, due to their ability to increase urine volume (10-11);
  3. hibiscus flowers: several studies have attempted to clarify the effects of this revitalising plant on renal elimination and urinary tract asepsis (12);
  4. dandelion leaf: considered a natural diuretic in herbal medicine, its traditional use for “stimulating urine production” is recognized by the World Health Organization (13).

In some dietary supplements targeted at urinary health, all these substances are combined in a single formulation (such as U Tract Forte, in which the efficacy of Cran-Max® is combined with the multiple benefits of D-mannose, orthosiphon, hibiscus and dandelion).

The best supplement for urinary health

What should you expect the ultimate urinary health supplement to contain? A combination of targeted nutrients covering all organs of the urinary system, from the kidneys to the bladder (including, for men, the prostate).

The supplement Complete Uricare kills three birds with one stone by bringing together no less than 8 ingredients targeted at fighting urinary discomfort in the broadest sense of the term. In addition to the above-mentioned D-mannose, it contains, amongst others:

  1. pumpkin seed: hitherto used in Central America for kidney inflammation, it has since been the subject of increasing scientific research into urination disorders, irritable bladder and prostate enlargement (14-15) ;
  2. berberine: better-known for its effect on glucose metabolism, this plant is also attracting scientific interest for its potential to combat pathogens (16) ;
  3. angelica: this supports the health of the genitourinary system as a result of its antiseptic compounds (furocoumarins, phytosterols...) (17) ;
  4. zinc: this essential trace-element supports normal immune system function, especially in the urinary tract (18) ;
  5. varuna (Crataeva nurvala): this Ayurvedic medicine plant plays a role in prostate health. Studies have also examined its protective action against urinary stones (19-20).

Bonus: supplements targeted at male urinary health

In the particular case of prostate-linked urinary discomfort, certain plants can significantly improve the situation for male sufferers. They include:

Because of their complementary nature, you’ll often find these three extracts combined in supplements (such as ProstaNatural Formula which also contains zinc and betasterols for an enhanced action).

SUPERSMART ADVICE

-40%
Cran-Max® Cran-Max®
Cran-Max® is a cranberry extract for supporting the urinary tract
$16.20$27.00
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0 No reviews
-35%
U-Tract Forte SupplementU-Tract Forte
U-Tract Forte is an enhanced supplement for urinary health
$16.90$26.00
+
0 No reviews
Complete Uricare SupplementComplete Uricare
Complete Uricare is the ultimate nutritional formulation for supporting urinary health
$44.00
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0 No reviews
ProstaNatural Formula SupplementProstaNatural Formula
ProstaNatural Formula is an enhanced formulation that supports prostate health, particularly in men over 50
$39.00
+
4 2 reviews

References

  1. Li R, Leslie SW. Cystitis. [Updated 2023 May 30]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482435/
  2. Mao BH, Chang YF, Scaria J, Chang CC, Chou LW, Tien N, Wu JJ, Tseng CC, Wang MC, Chang CC, Hsu YM, Teng CH. Identification of Escherichia coli genes associated with urinary tract infections. J Clin Microbiol. 2012 Feb;50(2):449-56. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00640-11. Epub 2011 Nov 9. PMID: 22075599; PMCID: PMC3264149.
  3. Ng M, Baradhi KM. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. [Updated 2022 Aug 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK558920/
  4. Foon R, Drake MJ. The overactive bladder. Ther Adv Urol. 2010 Aug;2(4):147-55. doi: 10.1177/1756287210373757. PMID: 21789091; PMCID: PMC3126078.
  5. Tran LN, Puckett Y. Urinary Incontinence. [Updated 2022 Aug 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559095/
  6. Xia JY, Yang C, Xu DF, Xia H, Yang LG, Sun GJ. Consumption of cranberry as adjuvant therapy for urinary tract infections in susceptible populations: A systematic review and meta-analysis with trial sequential analysis. PLoS One. 2021 Sep 2;16(9):e0256992. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0256992. PMID: 34473789; PMCID: PMC8412316.
  7. Howell AB, Reed JD, Krueger CG, Winterbottom R, Cunningham DG, Leahy M. A-type cranberry proanthocyanidins and uropathogenic bacterial anti-adhesion activity. 2005 Sep;66(18):2281-91. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2005.05.022. PMID: 16055161.
  8. Hisano M, Bruschini H, Nicodemo AC, Srougi M. Cranberries and lower urinary tract infection prevention. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2012;67(6):661-8. doi: 10.6061/clinics/2012(06)18. PMID: 22760907; PMCID: PMC3370320.
  9. Ala-Jaakkola R, Laitila A, Ouwehand AC, Lehtoranta L. Role of D-mannose in urinary tract infections - a narrative review. Nutr J. 2022 Mar 22;21(1):18. doi: 10.1186/s12937-022-00769-x. PMID: 35313893; PMCID: PMC8939087.
  10. Sarshar S, Brandt S, Asadi Karam MR, Habibi M, Bouzari S, Lechtenberg M, Dobrindt U, Qin X, Goycoolea FM, Hensel A. Aqueous extract from Orthosiphon stamineus leaves prevents bladder and kidney infection in mice. Phytomedicine. 2017 May 15;28:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2017.02.009. Epub 2017 Feb 28. PMID: 28478807.
  11. Arafat OM, Tham SY, Sadikun A, Zhari I, Haughton PJ, Asmawi MZ. Studies on diuretic and hypouricemic effects of Orthosiphon stamineus methanol extracts in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Aug 13;118(3):354-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2008.04.015. Epub 2008 Apr 22. PMID: 18602231.
  12. Chou ST, Lo HY, Li CC, Cheng LC, Chou PC, Lee YC, Ho TY, Hsiang CY. Exploring the effect and mechanism of Hibiscus sabdariffa on urinary tract infection and experimental renal inflammation. J Ethnopharmacol. 2016 Dec 24;194:617-625. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2016.10.059. Epub 2016 Oct 20. PMID: 27773797.
  13. Clare BA, Conroy RS, Spelman K. The diuretic effect in human subjects of an extract of Taraxacum officinale folium over a single day. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Aug;15(8):929-34. doi: 10.1089/acm.2008.0152. PMID: 19678785; PMCID: PMC3155102.
  14. Damiano R, Cai T, Fornara P, Franzese CA, Leonardi R, Mirone V. The role of Cucurbita pepo in the management of patients affected by lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia: A narrative review. Arch Ital Urol Androl. 2016 Jul 4;88(2):136-43. doi: 10.4081/aiua.2016.2.136. PMID: 27377091.
  15. Nishimura M, Ohkawara T, Sato H, Takeda H, Nishihira J. Pumpkin Seed Oil Extracted From Cucurbita maxima Improves Urinary Disorder in Human Overactive Bladder. J Tradit Complement Med. 2014 Jan;4(1):72-4. doi: 10.4103/2225-4110.124355. PMID: 24872936; PMCID: PMC4032845.
  16. Petronio Petronio G, Cutuli MA, Magnifico I, Venditti N, Pietrangelo L, Vergalito F, Pane A, Scapagnini G, Di Marco R. In Vitro and In Vivo Biological Activity of Berberine Chloride against Uropathogenic E. coli Strains Using Galleria mellonella as a Host Model. 2020 Oct 29;25(21):5010. doi: 10.3390/molecules25215010. PMID: 33137930; PMCID: PMC7662377.
  17. Batiha GE, Shaheen HM, Elhawary EA, Mostafa NM, Eldahshan OA, Sabatier JM. Phytochemical Constituents, Folk Medicinal Uses, and Biological Activities of Genus Angelica: A Review. 2022 Dec 28;28(1):267. doi: 10.3390/molecules28010267. PMID: 36615460; PMCID: PMC9822461.
  18. Mohsenpour B, Ahmadi A, Mohammadi Baneh A, Hajibagheri K, Ghaderi E, Afrasiabian S, Azizi S. Relation between serum zinc levels and recurrent urinary tract infections in female patients: A case-control study. Med J Islam Repub Iran. 2019 Apr 22;33:33. doi: 10.34171/mjiri.33.33. PMID: 31456957; PMCID: PMC6708089.
  19. Kumar DG, Deepa P, Rathi MA, Meenakshi P, Gopalakrishnan VK. Modulatory effects of Crataeva nurvala bark against testosterone and N-methyl-N-nitrosourea-induced oxidative damage in prostate of male albino rats. Pharmacogn Mag. 2012 Oct;8(32):285-91. doi: 10.4103/0973-1296.103654. PMID: 24082632; PMCID: PMC3785166.
  20. Agarwal S, Gupta SJ, Saxena AK, Gupta N, Agarwal S. Urolithic property of Varuna (Crataeva nurvala): An experimental study. Ayu. 2010 Jul;31(3):361-6. doi: 10.4103/0974-8520.77161. PMID: 22131740; PMCID: PMC3221072.
  21. Suzuki M, Ito Y, Fujino T, et al. Pharmacological effects of saw palmetto extract in the lower urinary tract. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2009;30(3):227-281. doi:10.1038/aps.2009.1
  22. Safarinejad MR. Urtica dioica for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. J Herb Pharmacother. 2005;5(4):1-11. PMID: 16635963.
  23. Wilt T, Ishani A, Mac Donald R, Rutks I, Stark G. Pygeum africanum for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2002;1998(1):CD001044. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001044
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