Sunday, October 29, 2017 by Frances Bloomfield
One of the most common postpartum infections is urinary tract infection (UTI), particularly among women who have had epidurals or catheters in their bladder. Fortunately, researchers from the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in Iran may have found a solution to this exacerbating problem: rose hip supplements.
Following previous in vitro studies that demonstrated the efficacy of rose hips on UTI-causing bacteria, the researchers decided to look into their impact on women who underwent cesarean sections (c-sections). To that end, they conducted a triple-blind study using 400 women from Alzahra and Taleghani educational hospitals in Tabriz, Iran. To be included in the study, each woman had to have undergone a c-section between August 2016 and March 2017, been required a maximum of three doses of post-operation antibiotics, and had their c-sections in the last 48 hours before the intervention period.
The volunteers were divided into two groups: the 200 women in the first group took rose hip supplements, while the 200 women in the second group were given placebo. While the placebo consisted of starch powder, the rose hip supplements were made of fresh fruits — obtained from an herbalist — which were then milled into powder.
For 20 days, the participants were made to take one capsule twice a day with a glass of water 30 minutes after meals. The researchers ensured that the women were taking the capsules by following up through phone.
Once the 19 day-period had passed, the researchers collected urine samples from the participants. They found that the risk of UTI on the 7th to 10th days of the experiment was lower in the group that had been given rose hip supplements. About 13 women in the placebo group had asymptomatic UTI, while only four women in the rose hip supplement group showed signs of this condition. Moreover, by the 20th day only three women from the rose hip group had UTI compared to 19 women from the placebo group.
“The positive effect of this herb on the incidence of UTI can be due to the presence of 880 milligrams (mg)/100 milliliters (ml) of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, that can prevent UTI through its antioxidant properties,” said the researchers. They concluded: “This herb can be used in post cesarean postpartum as an inexpensive and cost-effective substance for promoting maternal health.”
Also known as rose hep or rose haw, rose hips are the accessory fruits of the rose bush that have a wide range of culinary and ornamental uses. Nutritionally, rose hips are not known to contain an abundance of minerals. They are, however, an excellent source of vitamin C, with a single ounce of rose hips containing as much as 119 mg of vitamin C, which accounts for 199 percent of the recommended daily value of this essential vitamin.
Apart from its role in strengthening our immune system, vitamin C has also been found to play a role in preventing UTI. According to WholeHealthChicago.com, vitamin C accomplishes this in two ways: first, its presence makes our urine more acidic and less hospitable for the bacteria that cause UTI. The acidification process can also convert bacterial nitrites into nitric oxide, a compound that’s believed to have potent bacteria-killing abilities. Secondly, by reinforcing the immune system, vitamin C can make you less susceptible to infections. (Related: 9 Home Remedies To Relieve Urinary Tract Infection)
So if you want to avoid one of the most common yet painful infections in the world, be sure to stock up on vitamin C-rich foods and supplements. As was mentioned in the study, rose hips are good for this thanks to their impressive vitamin C content. Though if you don’t have access to rose hips at present, then you can turn to other dietary sources like cranberries and citrus fruits.
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