Don't Have A GYN Surgery Without This Fruit Juice!
Posted Sep 12 2010 1:02pm
New research shows a common fruit juice could help you avoid one of the most serious post-surgical complications. Read on to discover how to protect yourself!
By Colette Bouchez
If you’re facing any kind of surgery –even a minor operation – then you probably already know the risk of acquiring a hospital-based infection can be high. Among the most dangerous is MRSA (S. aureus) – the "staph" infection that is often resistant to medication and can have life threatening consequences, particularly following gynecological surgeries such as a hysterectomy.
Now, a new study says you may be able to protect yourself via the simple addition of a fruit juice drink to your diet. And that drink is cranberry juice!
In studies conducted at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), researchers reported that a cranberry juice cocktail was able to block a strain of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) in a way that prevented an infection from forming.
"Most of our work with cranberry juice has been with E. coli and urinary tract infections, but we included Staphylococcus aureus in this study because it is a very serious health threat," said lead researcher Professor Terri Camesano.
The results, she says, were surprising – and important.
Indeed, in the past studies have shown that cranberry juice may reduce the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) by interfering with the ability of bacteria to cling to the walls of the urinary tract. This in turn prevented the creation of a “bio film” that would otherwise act as a kind of incubator encouraging the bacteria to grow. With no biofilm, no infection could develop.
While the protective mechanisms of cranberries was believed to be limited to E.coli – the bacteria most responsible for UTIs - today’s research shows that various forms of staph infection may also respond to cranberries protective effects. This , say researchers, is key since staph not only can cause a UTI but a range of infections from minor skin rashes to the potentially deadly toxic shock syndrome. Between 1999 and 2005 the number of deaths from the antibiotic resistant strain of staph known as MRSA ( S. Aureus) more than doubled.
While MRSA can affect both men and women and develop after any surgery, there is some evidence that women may be more susceptible, particularly if their surgery involves open an incision in the pelvic region, such as that used during an abdominal hysterectomy. Indeed, the US Centers for Disease Control reports that the rate of post operative infection following abdominal hysterectomy runs a close third, just behind open heart surgery and a colon surgery.
A recent study conducted by the University of Nottingham in England found that in particular women undergoing gynecological surgeries were at greater risk for post operative infections.
How Cranberry Juice Might Help You
The new study was conducted on urine samples taken from patients who recently consumed cranberry juice. When the samples were incubated in a laboratory dish with strains of either E.coli or S. Aureus (staph) bacteria, cells were unable to form the biofilm necessary to promote proliferation of the bacteria. The end result: The dangerous infections could not develop.
"What was surprising is that Staphylococcus aureus showed the most significant results in this study,” said Camesano.
"We saw essentially no biofilm in the staph samples, which is very surprising because Staph aureus is usually very good at forming biofilms. That's what makes it such a health problem,” she added.
Indeed, not only can staph infections quickly and easily form the biofilms necessary for bacteria to grow, once formed they can difficult to break down - so the infections continue to proliferate and thrive. Currently there are numerous strains of drug-resistant staph infections threatening to become completely unresponsive to any drug therapy.
While this new study on the protective effects of cranberries is far from conclusive, when presented recently at the national meeting for the American Chemical Society in Boston, it appeared to attract significant interest from other researchers. So, don't be surprised to see more on this in the coming months.
In the meantime, if you are facing a surgery anytime soon - but particularly a hysterectomy, or any type of bladder reconstruction - do check with your doctor about whether or not adding cranberry juice, whole, fresh cranberries, or a cranberry supplement to your diet prior to and just after surgery might help reduce your risk of infection. While there is no proof at this point, if your diet permits it, remember that cranberries are generally healthy, brimming with vitamin C and other antioxidants which can boost your overall health and could make recovering from any surgery faster and easier.
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