“ Brand: Holland & Barrett / Type: Cranberry Concentrate Capsules. / Dosage Form: Capsules „
One health issue that I have suffered with on and off since my teens is water infections. Normally brought on by sex and using perfumed products. I however after going to numerous doctors and hospital visits have been told that I get water infections basically "because I do". I am an unfortunate sufferer of them for no good reason and because it is not causing me any internal damage they cannot do anything to help other than recommend the usual ways in helping to relieve these unpleasant infections so for example drinking cranberry juice, water as well as using un-perfumed products such as soaps, shower gels etc.
As I have become older the water infections have become less frequent (my last being Christmas 2011!) but I am paranoid about trying to prevent them as much as possible as they are just so uncomfortable. I therefore take cranberry capsules. Cranberries are known for there soothing properties as well as helping to maintain the health of the urinary system and have been used for decades by women. For years it was thought that it was the high acid consent of cranberries was the key component in tackling these infections but it apparently turns out to be their proanthocyanidins as their structure acts as a barrier to protect the urinary tract lining and therefore prevents any bacteria or other nasties to latch on.
Anyway back to the capsules! As said above I take these on a daily basis in order to prevent any infections and my usual port of call is Holland & Barratt generally because they are nearly always on offer and there is a store on my high street so it is easy to get to. Their cranberry capsules are concentrated and are without any of the unnecessary sugars and calories found in commercial cranberry juices so I will no doubt be getting more of the benefits from them rather than drinking the juice and of course it is far cheaper taking the capsules than it would be buying litres of the juice. Holland & Barratt advise that each one of their concentrated capsules provides the equivalent of 1680mg of fresh cranberry juice plus 100mg of vitamin C.
Holland & Barratt's Cranberry Capsules come in a very fitting clear red plastic cylindrical container together with a snap on dark red plastic lid which is attached to the container so you'll never loose it! On the front there is of course the Holland & Barratt logo together with an image of a cranberry bush. On the reverse there is all the information you need about the product such as dosage, ingredients, warnings etc. Underneath the lid there is a seal which should be intact when you purchase them otherwise if its broken either return to the store or do not buy - this is simply a precaution.
The dosage is relatively straight forward, you are advised to take one capsule 3 times a day preferably with meals. Now as I'm not currently suffering I only take two a day - one first thing in the morning and one last thing at night. The capsules are classed as a 'softgel' capsule as they are slightly soft to the touch if pressed between the fingers. They are a dark red colour and are 25.4mm x 25.4mm in size making them quite an easy size to swallow. One of the warnings is that these are not suitable for under 18s but I have been taking them since I was 16 via doctors advice and I haven't as far as I am aware had any reaction or internal problems but I would always make sure if uncertain to speak to a doctor who will hopefully point you in the right direction. Of course it should go without saying that you should not exceed the stated dose.
I'm never the greatest at taking tablets of any kind. Despite how much water I take when trying to swallow them I either end up choking on them or I just don't end up swallowing them. Part of the reason why I opted for the Holland & Barratt is they have the soft gel capsules in the hope that they are more easily swallowed because they are soft and have a smooth coating. I am happy to report that I don't have any problems taking them, they are swallowed easily and I've never had an issue with them. They don't have any taste whatsoever and definitely no aroma which is even better as there is nothing worse than taking a tablet and being able to taste it. The only issue I have with these is that once you end up getting down to the last few they tend to stick together and trying to get one out can be fiddly but they do tend to unstick easily without causing damage to the other capsules.
Now I cannot say these work 100% as I have had water infections whilst taking these. Although my confession is that I do sometimes forget to take one of them if not two and when I used to take 3 a day there were times I'd completely forget but since Christmas I have become a lot stricter on myself and touch wood I haven't had another infection but I do feel that they do help prevent them in some way but then it may just be a mind over matter thing! If I had only had one or two water infections in my life then I really wouldn't waste my money on taking cranberry capsules as there is little point but as I have been a regular sufferer I find that taking something which has been researched to help the urinary tract then I'm quite happy to take them as I do feel that they help.
The capsules are my cranberry capsule of choice and I don't buy any other brand although I have tried several brands before and always came back to Holland & Barratt as I find that they are easier to take and worth the money. I would recommend them to all women (and men!) who suffer with UTI's (urinary tract infections) as a precautionary measure as they take seconds to take and they will hopefully provide a little relief or even a little prevention. I can't find fault with them and will continue buying them and doubt very much I would swap to another brand. 4 stars from me - knocking a star off simply because I can't advise that they 100% work and are completely effective which I think is a far comment to say with regards to health supplements.
~ Useful Information ~
Brand: Holland & Barratt
Availability: In store and online
Price: 250 capsules - £3.37
Ingredients: Capsule Shell (Gelatine, Glycerine), Cranberry Concentrate, Soya Bean Oil, Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid), Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin), Magnesium Hydroxide, Vitamin E (as d-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate),Tricalcium Phosphate, Thickener (Yellow beeswax).
Contains (or contains an ingredient/s derived from): peanuts, nuts, soya and sulphites.
Guaranteed Free Of: No Artificial Colours, Flavours or Sweeteners. No Preservatives. No Starch, No Milk, No Lactose, No Gluten, No Wheat, No Yeast, No Fish, No Porcine.
~ This review will also be added to Ciao under my username PerfectPeaches ~
WHAT IS IT?
A tub of 250 soft capsules, similar to cod liver oil capsules except these are a reddish colour. They can help prevent a urinary tract infection if taken regularly and if you feel the warning signs can help to lessen the severity and speed recovery.
HOW DO YOU USE THEM?
Take one capsule three times a day with meals.
ARE THEY ANY GOOD?
I have mixed feelings about these capsules, I suffer from the occasional UTI and now I am pregnant with my third child I am bound to start getting more as its something I suffer from while pregnant.
I have not noticed a reduction in the amount of infections I get but they seem to clear up quicker. The capsules are quite big but easy to swallow with water, it's not a chore taking them 3 times a day as they slip down so easily. Each capsule contains 1680mg of fresh cranberry juice and 100mg of vitamin C. It's the cranberry that helps with urinary health but at that dose it would be cheaper to drink a glass of high quality cranberry juice, for those of us who don't like the taste of fresh cranberry juice they're perfect though.
I sometimes get a slight aftertaste after taking these capsules, it's not highly unpleasant but now I'm pregnant I am starting to feel sick whenever I experience this aftertaste. I think that at £14.99 for 250 capsules this is an expensive way to try and prevent a UTI, if you like the taste of cranberry juice you would be better to drink juice as its long known to help urinary tract problems. I will continue to use the capsules at least until I have had my baby in May and then for as long as I feel confident in their preventative properties.
3 Dooyoo Stars.
UTI's or urinary tract infections can be the result of many things, poor personal hygiene, sexual activity with a person with poor personal hygiene, for lady's it can be as simple as..... How can I put this ..... The wrong wiping technique, always remember front to back and never back to front, I'm going to have to learn to get used to talking about these sort of things as I'm hopefully going to be a doctor. Or another more common reason can be not drinking enough water. UTI's are far more common in females dew in part to the "design" of their area (this is the most awkward review I have ever written). However it isn't unheard of for men to get this condition a I am proud to say I am one of those men (I'm not proud at all, it hurt like hell)
Now for the fun part, how did I get it? Lets recall the list above.
Poor personal hygiene?
No, I'm obsessive when it comes to that kind of thing.
Let's skip to the next question shall we.
The wrong wiping technique?
Are you having a laugh? No thank you all is well when it comes to that thank you very much.
Not drinking enough water?
But I didn't answer the question about my bed hopping, no in all seriousness promiscuity is not the reason for my one bad case of a urinary tract infection. Unfortunately the reason is the most boring in the list. I don't tend to drink liquids at all, tea, coffee, soft drinks, fruit juice, water. I drink very little of anything on a daily basis so it's no wonder I ended with a fever and vomiting and excruciating pain below my bellybutton. I had been having discomfort Urinating but not pain which seems to be more of a common symptom in females. I was finding it hard to go, I was feeling like I needed to go but when I'd make the journey not much would happen. Being a typical guy I of course ignored the symptoms and continued with my nightly routine of waking up needing the bathroom but holding it in rather just getting my lazy bum out of bed and do what I needed to do.
This of course is one I forgot to add to the list above. If like me you don't go when you need to and literally hold it for hours on end, this gives the bacteria the time needed to multiply and attach to the bladder Walls and cause these very enjoyable UTI's (sarcasm). As I said this went a little bit further than a standard UTI and progressed in to cystitis and a kidney infection. Shivering one minute boiling the next my hypothalamus was in overdrive ( MEDICAL TERM ALERT! the hypothalamus is the body's own temperature gage and is located in the brain, which is surprising, as by the way I had been acting it didn't seem like I had a brain at all).
After having had a doctor called to the house I was prescribed a course of antibiotics and told to drink copious amounts of water and of course I was told to drink more fluids on a daily bases. As a closing note my doctor suggested I take these cranberry concentrate pills or at the very least drink cranberry juice. The reason behind this suggestion was that cranberry juice has been proven at preventing UTI's it makes the urine acidic and therefore prevents the harmful bacteria form attaching to the bladder wall and causing the unpleasant infection.
I bought two tubs of the 250 capsules for £15. That was 500 capsules in total. I bought one tub of 250 for £14.99 and got the other for 1p in Holland and Barret during their 1p sale. They are very well dated so if your are interested in taking these do stock up. They are a small gel like capsule containing 252mg of cranberry extract plus each capsule also contains 6mg of vitamin E and a good dose of vitamin C at 60mg. There is also a double concentrate formula available, with these slightly larger capsules I only have to take two a day with some water while with these I have to take three a day again with some water.
These do work, these definitely do work.
I haven't completely changed my ways as old habits die hard as they say. I do drink more water but that's as a result of having to take these pills. I take a glass of water with each, so that's either two or three glasses a day depending on the concentration I'm taking at the time. Thankfully I haven't had any bladder infections in the two years since I have been using these capsules. And seeing that I'm still a lazy sod and won't get up to tinkle, it's a sure sign that these are actually doing their job.
Thanks for reading :0) 2night
Until the last couple of years I've never had a urinary tract infection (UTI) in my life and then suddenly they've become a bit of a problem. Everyone who's ever had one will know the awful stinging when you pee, having to go every few minutes and the chills and shivers if it gets out of hand and the other thing that really got me thinking about cranberry was a trip to the out of hours centre at our hospital with a particularly bad one and having to come out of the loo with a paper hat containing a sample right into the busy waiting room! Having no previous experience of UTIs I had no idea if cranberry really worked or if it was just a myth but I was willing to give it a go to stop them in their tracks.
I shop online at Holland and Barrett quite a bit as it's one of the shops listed on the cashback site I use so I logged on to see what was available and it turns out not very much. They only have a handful of cranberry products and none of them are especially cheap but the one that caught my eye was a 250 capsule bottle for £14.99 but with a second one for 1p. That offer isn't always on but it's worth stocking up if it is. The capsules each contain 252mg of cranberry plus 60mg of vitamin C and 6mg of vitamin E. Vitamin C is well known to support the immune system and vitamin E is a good antioxidant. The allergy advice is they may contain peanuts, nuts, soya and sulphites which doesn't affect me thankfully. One capsule is to be taken 3 times a day with water preferably with your meals so this bottle should last just under 3 months which makes the initial outlay easier to swallow.
It used to be thought that drinking cranberry juice would help ward off UTIs but they since discovered you cannot possibly consume enough this way to be of use. Then they thought perhaps cranberry helped by acidifying the urine and killing bacteria but a bit of testing and head scratching revealed this wasn't the case. They've now discovered cranberries contain proanthocyanidins which can disable some bacteria and prevent it sticking to the bladder wall and the urinary tract so that seems to be the most likely explanation why millions of people, mostly women, take cranberry with some success.
I first started taking Holland And Barrett's cranberry capsules months ago after a particularly nasty UTI and a desire to never repeat that and while I couldn't say for sure it was the cranberry helping I didn't get another while I was taking them. Then I got a bit slack, as you do, and didn't buy anymore once I'd reached almost 6 months of taking them. Part of me thought I'd be ok now I'd had a good long run on them and another part was just being tight! A couple of weeks later when cranberry capsules were a distant memory I got yet another UTI so I can conclude it does help to take them.
There are lots of reasons why people get UTIs ranging from poor health and being run down to sitting around in a wet bathing suit so if you have obvious risk factors going on it's a good idea to stop those too to help the cranberry do its job. In my case I think it's yet another problem associated with my hypermobile pelvic joints as my pelvic floor has to be in spasm to hold me together and can prevent complete emptying of the bladder so any urine left in there for lengthy peiods of time can cause an infection. My "risk factor" isn't something I can change so cranberry capsules are going to be a long term feature in my supplement regime. I'm back on them now and have been for a while and can happily say I haven't had another UTI so far (touch wood..) and I really do think it's down to the cranberry.
The capsules are tiny and dark red, surprisingly I haven't punctured one to see what's inside but I haven't so I don't know! The bottle is also mostly red so very easy to spot in the shop. It is always slightly more cost effective to buy the larger size but I'd say watch out for any offers which take the sting out of the initial £14.99. I can't really fault these, they do help and once you've got over having to pay £14.99 for a bit of fruit they really are worth the trouble if you're prone to UTIs. A full 5 stars from me.