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