Burgundy expands science behind hibiscus extract for UTIs

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Urinary tract infections Urinary tract infection Burgundy

An extract from hibiscus may cut the incidence of urinary tract infections by almost 80 per cent, suggests data from Burgundy.

Both regular and premium 200 mg doses of the hibiscus sabdariffa​ extract reduce the incidence of urinary tract infections (UTIs), according to study with 90 participants for 184 days.

The data adds to the preliminary findings of the company released earlier this year. Earlier studies with rats and in vitro​ reportedly support the new results. However, NutraIngredients.com has not seen the full data.

Gontran Gaillot, sales manager for Burgundy, told NutraIngredients.com that the company will be submitting the results for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, but could not clarify when or which journal.

Burgundy claims to be the only company to offer hibiscus extracts for UTIs, a market dominated traditionally by cranberry.

Study details

Ninety women aged between 18 and 55 with a history of at least eight UTIs per year were randomly assigned to one of three groups: to receive a daily dose of 200 mg of the hibiscus extract, brand name UTIrose, in the premium (90 per cent polyphenols) or regular (60 per cent polyphenols) form, or placebo (maltodextrin) for six months.

The data of the double-blind, placebo-controlled study presented to this website indicated that placebo resulted in a non-significant decrease in urinary infections 38 per cent, while both forms of UTIrose led to significant decreases of 77 per cent, while the premium variety was associated with a 68 per cent reduction.

Toxicity issues

According to the Globally Harmonised System (GHS), the hibiscus sabdariffa​ extract is classified in the hazard Category 5, or unclassified, which means non-toxic.

And in its literature, Burgundy draws attention to the flavonoids and pro-anthocyanidins in Hibiscus sabdariffa​ exert antimicrobial activity against bacteria like E coli, preventing them from adhering to the bladder wall.

Cranberry-dominated market

UTIs affect eight million people each year, mostly women, the elderly and infants, and results in $1.6bn (€1.3bn) in health care costs.

The market is traditionally dominated by cranberry and its extracts. Companies such as Lallemand Health Ingredients and Chr Hansen launched new cranberry ingredients last year. According to data from a Lallemand study, daily consumption of 1200 mg cranberry powder showed a 40 per cent reduction of adherence of uropathogenic E. coli in urine.

Chr Hansen’s NutriPhy Cranberry uses both the European (vaccinium oxycoccus) and North American (vaccinium macrocarpon) cranberry, and is aimed chiefly at preventing bacteria in the urinary tract.

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