Carotenoids Show Reduced Risk of Lower Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)


Infections of the urinary tract represent a wide variety of syndromes, including urethritis, cystitis, prostatitis, and pyelonephritis.

Urinary tract infections are one of the most commonly occurring bacterial infections in medicine today and account for 7 million patient visits annually. UTIs are disorders involving a repeated or prolonged bacterial infection of the bladder or lower urinary tract. Most urinary tract infections occur in the lower urinary tract, which includes the bladder and urethra. Cystitis occurs when bacteria, with resultant inflammation infect the normally sterile lower urinary tract. Chronic or recurrent urinary tract infections include repeated episodes of cystitis (more than two occurrences in six months), or urinary tract infections that do not respond to usual therapies or that last longer than two weeks. UTIs are most common in women; however, men and children may experience them as well.

Recent research published in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in men may be reduced by dietary, but not supplemental sources of antioxidants. The study included 1,466 men between the ages of 30 and 79 years who completed food frequency questionnaires and in-person interviews. The results revealed significant reductions in the risk of LUTS in men who consumed the greatest amounts of dietary carotenoids. More specifically it was found that men with the highest average intakes of beta-carotene (4,780 micrograms per day) were 44 percent less likely to report lower urinary tract symptoms than men consuming the lowest average levels (775 micrograms per day). The highest daily dietary intakes of lycopene (2,248 micrograms per day) were associated with a 39 percent reduction in total LUTS, compared with the lowest average intake of 285 micrograms per day. In regards to vitamin A, researchers found that men with the highest average intakes (10,926 IU per day) were 47 percent less likely to report storage symptoms than men consuming the lowest average levels (4,717 IU per day). On the other hand, high doses of supplemental vitamin C were found to increase the risk of LUTS in men, which may be due to the increased acidity of urine. These findings suggest that dietary changes including increased fruit and vegetable consumption may reduce the risk of LUTS in men.

Article courtesy of, found here. Posted 2/11/2011.

Blogger's note: Goji berries, Spirulina and Bee Pollen are excellent sources of beta-carotene (plus high in protein and amino acids).

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