We know that urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common and potentially debilitating infection especially in the elderly. More than 60% of women will experience a urinary tract infection at some point in their lives, with the majority of infections caused by pathogenic e coli bacteria. What is unclear to health experts is why about a quarter of these women will get a second infection within 6 months.
Risk factors commonly associated with UTIs include sexual intercourse, urinary retention, catheter use, and underlying medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus. But researchers are also identifying risk factors that are not common knowledge with the potential for powerful preventative measures.
A discussion of current research will outline why armé™️ a natural supplement featuring Aronia berry can be an important ally in your fight against UTIs.
Biofilm: A Brief Introduction
Once bacteria attach to the bladder or an indwelling catheter for example, they immediately begin forming a colony and produce a matrix of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). The matrix covers and shields the microbes from the host environment. This combination of microbes and protective matrix is termed biofilm.
Why is it important?
The development and maintenance of bacterial biofilm is of critical importance to healthcare. Biofilm quickly coats medical devices, indwelling catheters, and in the setting of urinary tract infections, the bladder wall. Biofilms are highly resistant to conventional antimicrobial therapies by blocking penetration and inactivating antibiotics. The eradication of E. coli in biofilm requires 200-1000 times higher antibiotic concentration than for free-floating bacteria. Additionally, bacteria established in a biofilm matrix penetrate the endothelium and enter a dormant spore-like non-dividing state. Conventional antibiotics work via metabolic pathways, hence bacteria encased in biofilm provide limited targets. Once antibiotics are stopped, biofilms can rupture and disperse bacteria to start a new cycle of infection. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, cell-to-cell communication within the biofilm allows for the transfer of genetic information and the sharing of antibiotic resistance. It has been estimated that 80% of all infections are caused by biofilms.
Siderocalin, also known as lactoferrin receptor is a protein that our bodies make to recognize and bind to siderophores, which are iron-carrying compounds. It is a natural antibiotic that our body makes to fight off bacteria such as E coli. Siderocalin kills UTI-causing bacteria by depriving them of the iron they need for growth and replication.
So how can we make more of these natural antibiotics?
Part of the answer is in our genetics. Studies have identified that polyphenols found in our diet can increase siderocalin gene expression. Meaning that we can “tell” our genes to make more of the natural antibiotic that UTI-causing bacteria are not resistant to. In one study the researchers concluded, “Of note, urinary catechols are associated with consumption of polyphenol-rich foods… suggesting that dietary strategies may be feasible.”
Armé™️ is a unique nutraceutical product that is rich in polyphenols, designed to disrupt bacterial
adhesion and biofilm formation with ingredients backed by clinical research. The components work
in synergy with diverse mechanisms of action to eliminate UTI causing bacteria.
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Used for Urinary Tract Infections. FARMACIA, 2017, Vol. 65, 5.
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7. Bräunlich M, et al. Effects of Aronia melanocarpa Constituents on Biofilm Formation of Escherichia coli and Bacillus
cereus. Molecules 2013, 18.
8. Shields-Cutler et al. Human Urinary Composition Controls Siderocalin’s Antibacterial Activity, jbc.org/cgi/doi/10.1074/jbc.M115.645812.