PACs for Prevention
For years, cranberries have been considered a superfood, meaning it's nutritionally dense, packed with antioxidants and good for maintaining overall health. Among its powers, the ability to prevent urinary tract infections is high on the list – but is there any truth behind it?
In fact, there are multiple studies that look at various forms of cranberries to the prevention of UTIs. But that doesn't mean you should start adding cranberries to your morning smoothie any time soon.
It was apparent that the results on studies were actually varied unless there was a consistency in the proanthocyanidin (PACs) amount and concentration within the powder. Further studies have shown that PACs are the bioactive components of the cranberry responsible for preventing UTIs. In standard cranberries or even cranberry capsules, there is a minimal amount of PACs (usually 1%) which are not typically mentioned on the nutritional facts.
Studies showed significant reductions in UTIs and even our own patient testimonials on Utiva UTI Control Supplement have been very positive.
Watch this quick video learn about natural UTI prevention and cranberry PACs.
What are proanthocyanidins (PACs)?
PACs are a type of polyphenol, a plant-based micronutrient that's packed with antioxidants. It can be found in many fruits, but cranberries contain a particularly high content in PACs. For Utiva UTI Control Supplement, we create a 15% concentration of PACs in 1 single capsule which provides excellent anti-adhesion capabilities.
PACs and UTI Prevention
Research has shown that PACs found in cranberries have a special ability: anti-adhesion. When PACs are present, they interfere with harmful bacteria like E.coli to stop them from latching on to the urinary tract or bladder walls minimizing the chances of bacteria causing an infection.
This results in your urinary system flushing out the harmful bacteria and therefore preventing an infection from developing.
Minimum dosage requirements
In order to be effective in preventing UTIs, studies have proven that 36mg of PACs once a day is required to help prevent recurrences.
Remember that not all cranberry supplements are created equal! In fact, major healthcare centers and clinics around the US have been saying the same, such as:
To be certain that a supplement contains the necessary dosage of PACs, be sure to read the ingredient list. It should be clearly listed. If not, there's probably not a high enough concentration for it to be worth mentioning.
Based on an in vitro lab test at Rutgers University, various supplements were tested for bacterial (E.Coli) anti-adhesion activity. The lab results showed the following:
- High Concentration 500mg Cranberry products had no effect on E. Coli.
- Products with 36mg of PAC showed anti-adhesion activity on E. Coli.
- Utiva proved to be most effective at stopping E.Coli activity.
Some Interesting Facts about Cranberries
Most supplements are high dose 500mg cranberry capsules. They do not typically state their PAC quantity but usually it is <1% concentration. That means less than 5mg PACs in total!
Cranberry juice has been recommended for years as it is made from cranberries but does contain a lot of sugar. It also has <1% PACs but additionally has a whopping 31g of sugar per glass!
Cranberry extracts, with a focus on proanthocyanidins, are specially processed to concentrate PACs. Utiva UTI Control Supplement is made to provide > 15% PAC, which provides 36mg PACs per day.
Utiva Urinary Tract Infection Control Supplement
Our Utiva UTI Control Supplement is produced at a 15% concentration of PACs resulting in 36mg of PAC in each 240mg capsule. We also use a scientifically proven method to measure the PAC concentration (called the BL-DMAC method).
Additionally, our supplement is extracted from whole fresh cranberries which ensure we get PACs from all components of a cranberry - not only from the juice or the insoluble parts of the fruit(seeds, skins, pulp, flesh, etc). This full source of PACs has shown strong positive effects on gut and bladder health and provides a greater amount of antioxidants.
How are PACs measured?
Getting scientific, there are various methods to measure PACs. In North America we typically use BL-DMAC whereas some companies use EP (European Pharmacopoeia). There is a significant difference between the 2 methods so it is important to compare apples to apples. BL-DMAC method is published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture as a standard measurement.
An example here would be that 15% BL-DMAC = 68% EP concentrations.
How do these 2 methods compare with Utiva capsules which are 240mg each?
By BL-DMAC method, each capsule is 15% concentration providing 36mg PACs.
By EP method, the same capsule is 68% concentration providing 163mg PACs.
Utiva always measures PAC concentration by the BL-DMAC method.