Urinary infections: cranberry extracts effective from the intestine

Urinary infections cranberry extracts effective from the intestine

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    A very common urinary condition, cystitis affects at least one in two women during her lifetime. For some women, this problem is even recurrent. Researchers at the University of Laval had the idea of ​​targeting their research on the intestine, in order to limit or prevent these urinary tract infections. Their results are published in the journal Microbiology Spectrum on August 16.

    In 80% of cases of cystitis, the bacterium Escherichia Coli is the cause. Present naturally in the intestines, it can also migrate and reach the bladder. The bacterium colonizes the bladder by clinging to the wall and creates an inflammation: cystitis.

    Two in vitro models

    To work on bacteria, the researchers developed two in vitro models. The first component was a digestive system with intestinal microbiota, recreated thanks to two donors and the second was an equivalent of urinary mucosa.

    First, the researchers simulated what happens in people who have a urinary tract infection by adding a strain of uropathogenic E. coli to the gut microbiota recreated in vitro. After 7 days of fermentation, they transferred extracts of this microbiota to the compartment containing the urinary mucosa.

    Creation of cystitis in vitro

    Result: the strain of E.Coli bacteria has adhered to the tissue reproducing that of the bladder. The scientists also observed that the bacteria’s virulence genes were activated while they were still in the intestine, so before their transfer to the bladder.

    Treat bacteria in the gut?

    It is this observation that gave scientists the idea of ​​treating bacteria from the intestine. They therefore reproduced the same experiment, but by adding a daily dose of cranberry extract, rich in polyphenol, to the digestive part.

    Indeed, the cranberry is recognized as having substances, called proanthocyanidins which make it possible to inhibit the adhesion of bacteria to the bladder wall. The scientists therefore placed, after 14 days, extracts of microbiota that had been in contact with the cranberry. They found that the activation of E. Coli virulence genes decreased substantially in the intestine and adhesion to the urinary mucosa decreased in the order of 20% to 50%, depending on the donor.

    Not all strains of bacteria

    For Charlène Roussel, first author of the study, “this variability could be caused by differences between individuals in the composition of their gut microbiota. The ability to degrade cranberry polyphenols into bioactive compounds that block the uropathogenic strain of E. coli may be limited to certain species of bacteria.”. The researchers will now try to find the bacteria or bacteria in question.

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    Reminder of prevention rules

    For Dr. Odile Bagot, gynecologist and member of the Doctissimo expert committee, “the novelty of this work lies in the fact that the action of cranberry extract can take place in the intestine and this reinforces the idea of ​​a relative effectiveness of food supplements containing enough cranberry extract in preventing cystitis”. The gynecologist, however, recalls the important rules to follow in the event of repetitive cystitis, such as the importance of drinking well, wiping from front to back because if the urine is sterile, the stools contain many germs and to empty your body well. bladder.