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Nutrient Support For Urinary Tract Health

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If you’ve ever experienced a urinary tract infection (UTI), you will know how painful and debilitating they can be. Around one in two women and one in 20 men will suffer a UTI in their lifetime, making UTIs one of the most common bacterial infections worldwide. 

UTIs commonly affect the urethra and bladder but can also occur in any part of the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys and ureters. UTIs are typically caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli bacteria, and the risk is increased due to poor hygiene, impaired immune function and sexual intercourse. Another factor, which may certainly increase the risk of recurrent infection, is the overuse of antibiotics. This is standard treatment that, unfortunately, may cause more problems in the future by destroying probiotics in the urinary tract, which can also alter local pH and reduce resistance to infection. Long-term antibiotic use can also result in antibiotic-resistant strains of E. coli. An alternate approach would see treatments that directly treat the infection while also promoting the immune response, restoring the urinary tract ecology and improving the pH to reduce the risk of recurrence. 

In this infographic we explore these treatment strategies in-depth and review the research relating to some key therapeutic agents shown to be of benefit such as probiotics, vitamin D and ellagic acid, which is found in cranberry and pomegranate.


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  2. Urinary tract infection (UTI). Mayo Clinic 2015. Viewed 22 November 2016. [Link]
  3. Hannan TJ, Totsika M, Mansfield KJ, et al. Host–pathogen checkpoints and population bottlenecks in persistent and intracellular uropathogenic Escherichia coli bladder infection. FEMS Microbiol 2012;36:616-648. [Full text
  4. Flores-Mireles AL, Walker JN, Caparon M, et al. Urinary tract infections: epidemiology, mechanisms of infection and treatment options. Nature Rev Microbiol 2015;13:269-284. [Abstract
  5. Bien J, Sokolova O, Bozko P. Role of uropathogenic Escherichia coli virulence factors in development of urinary tract infection and kidney damage. Int J Nephrol 2012; Article ID 681473; 15 pages [Full text
  6. Soto SM. Importance of biofilms in urinary tract infections: new therapeutic approaches. Adv Biol; 2014. [Full text
  7. Reid G, Bruce W. Urogential infections in women: can probiotics help? Postgrad Med J 2003;79:428-432. [Full text
  8. Gross G, Snel J, Boekhsort J, et al. Biodiversity of mannose-specific adhesion in Lactobacillus plantarum revisited: strain-specific domain composition of the mannose-adhesin. Bennett Microbes 2010;1(1);61-66. [Abstract
  9. Bakkiyaraj D, Nandhini JR, Malathy B, et al. The anti-biofilm potential of pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) extract against human bacterial and fungal pathogens. J Bioadhesion Biofilm Res 2013;29(8):929-937. [Abstract
  10. Weidner-Wells MA, Althom J, Fernandez J, et al. DNA gyrase inhibitory activity of ellagic acid derivatives. Bird Med Chem Lett 1998;8(1):97-100. [Abstract
  11. Yoshida H, Nakamura M, Bogaki M, et al. Mechanism of action of quinolones against Escherichia coli DNA gyrase. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 1993; 37(4):839-845. [Full text
  12. Howell AB. Bioactive compounds in cranberries and their role in prevention of urinary tract infections. Mol Nutr Food Res 2007;51:732-737. [Abstract
  13. Jepson RG, Williams G, Craig JC. Cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections. Cochrane Database for System Reviews 2012, Issue 10. [Abstract
  14. Osawa R, Kuroiso K, Goto S, et al. Isolation of tannin-degrading Lactobacilli from humans and fermented foods. Appl Environ Microbiol 2000;66(7):3093-3097. [Full text
  15. Zasloff M. Antimicrobial peptides, innate immunity, and the normally sterile urinary tract. J Am Soc Nephrol 2007;18:2810-2816. [Full text


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The information provided on FX Medicine is for educational and informational purposes only. The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional advice or care. Please seek the advice of a qualified health care professional in the event something you have read here raises questions or concerns regarding your health. 

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Melissa Lee
Melissa is a designer turned nutritionist, who has combined the two modalities to create purposeful designs for various health publications and websites. Having initially studied Multimedia Systems Design, she then went on to complete a BHSc in Nutritional Medicine which led to her involvement in the integrative medicine industry and eventually to FX Medicine.