Lucky for you, I'm going there. I am blunt, and I have no shame. Hey, if I can talk about my pooping habits in a post for probiotics, what happens when a very pregnant woman tries to speed up labor with castor oil, and even my own marital relations, I can talk about pee-pee problems. Easy, peasy. (No pun intended!)
The fact of the matter is, Urinary Tract Infections can be horrid. I have had a few of them. The first one I remember was a month or so after my husband and I started dating. I was a good girl and made him wait for "the Golden Ticket" till I was sure the relationship was going somewhere. So needless to say, once the welcome gates were opened, we had a lot of fun. Probably TOO much fun, actually. After a weekend of breeding like bunnies, I started noticing that it hurt when I went to the bathroom and I had pretty painful abdominal cramps. It literally felt like I was peeing flaming razor blades, and I was scared to death. I had never felt anything like this before, so I immediately assumed that I got gotten some crazy STD from him. When my husband was younger, like many men, he was not overly discriminating as to who he got physically involved with. While there weren't many women, (thank goodness!) the vast majority of them are dirty enough that I would want to take a bath in Lysol if they ever brushed up against me.
So I was furious, and headed to my OBGYN to get tested. As I started describing my issues with my doctor and asked if I could kill my guy for infecting me with the "heebie-jeebies" and plead temporary insanity, my very down-to-earth doc laughed his butt off and then told me I should stop contemplating murder and take antibiotics for a UTI. I was STD-free, but too much nookie caused me to get a Urinary Tract Infection. Who knew so much of a good thing could cause so much pain?! So I promptly apologized to my hubby for over-reacting, took my meds, and all was right with the world again. I can laugh about this now, but trust me, at the time it was NOT funny!
Fortunately, there are ways to help prevent a UTI before it even has a chance to take hold and wreak havoc on the body. One commonly used method involves drinking cranberry juice. The acid in cranberries has been proven to have very beneficial effects on urinary tract health. Drinking cranberry juice on a regular basis can actually help reduce the occurrence of UTI's. However, I happen to despise cranberries. I think they're vile. So drinking cranberry juice is not an option for me at all. I would end up gagging and projectile vomiting the stuff, Exorcist style.
Another option is taking cranberry supplements in pill or capsule form. I have been doing this daily for the past couple of years. Recently I learned that not all cranberry supplements are created equal and some may have little to no benefit to the body, and may not help in the prevention of urinary tract infections or discomfort. It's all in how the supplements are made.
The American cranberry contains proanthocyanidins (or PACs), which help flush bacteria from the urinary tract. When consumed in the correct amount of 36 mg, PACs inhibit the ability of bacteria to stick to the urinary tract. The bacteria are simply flushed out of the body before an infection can begin.
That's why I was so excited to learn about Ellura. Ellura is different than your average cranberry supplement. Ellura is the ONLY cranberry supplement on the worldwide marketplace that meets a health claim from a government organization. (The French government (ANSES) states that cranberry products with 36 mg of PACs “reduce the adherence” of bacteria to the urinary tract walls.)
Even the way Ellura is made puts them a cut above other cranberry supplements. Rather than using berry powders or presscake powders (i.e. containing stem, skin and seeds), which greatly reduce their bioactivity, the makers of Ellura use a patented process of extracting PACs from the highest quality cranberry juice, therefore preserving all of the benefits that nature has to offer. Plus, unlike some products that do not show activity in the urinary tract until 8 to 12 hours after ingestion, Ellura shows activity in the bladder after only 3 to 4 hours.
How does Ellura compare to cranberry juice?
- Many believe it is the acidity of the cranberry that provides its wonderful benefits. It is not. In 1998, a research scientist with Rutgers University published the discovery of proanthocyanidins or PACs. PACs are the active part of the cranberry that is responsible for urinary tract health. With the proper dosing, this natural ingredient has the ability to flush bacteria from the urinary tract, providing the cranberry’s healthy benefits.
- To receive the same effect as 1 Ellura capsule, a person would need to consume 10 ounces of 27 percent cranberry juice within 10 minutes each day.
- The acidity level of cranberry juice (pH of 2.3) is much higher than Ellura’s (4.4). A pH of 7 is neutral. If you can enjoy a cup of coffee, you should be able to take Ellura. The acidity of juice can lead to other conditions and problems for those who consume it, specifically for those who have any tolerance issues or sensitivities to high-acid foods.
- The amount of calories in 10 ounces of juice is significantly higher than a once-a-day capsule. For the required amount of cranberry juice, 175 calories would be consumed daily. Ellura contains less than 1 (.77) calorie per capsule.
- The sugar content in cranberry juice is also prohibitive for many, such as diabetics. This is not an issue with Ellura.
I have been taking Ellura for about a week now, and I can honestly feel a difference. No, I don't have the early symptoms of a UTI, but I have been taking cranberry supplements for years to help prevent them. (FYI: If you DO have a full-blown UTI, Ellura will not cure it. Only prescribed antibiotics will clear it up completely.) Since starting an Ellura regimen, I have noticed that my urine is clearer, doesn't really have an odor, and my body feels almost as if I were doing one of those popular toxin cleanse programs. The best part? Ellura can be taken daily to help prevent UTI's, at the onset of symptoms, and even before and after intercourse. No need to wait until you're in agony!
If you're looking for a great preventative measure against UTI's, or hoping to stop one in its tracks at the first signs and early symptoms, Ellura is definitely for you. Sure, we don't talk about UTI's, but most of us will get them. Rather than suffer from pain and extreme discomfort, why not nip them in the butt before they start by maintaining urinary tract health with Ellura? I know this will be my new go-to cranberry supplement!
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***Disclosure: I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***