Q: What is ellura?
A: ellura is a natural cranberry supplement made from the purest cranberry juice and designed to promote and maintain urinary tract health. Because ellura is extracted from pure cranberry juice concentrate, it has high bioactivity to begin protecting you from bacteria faster than other products. Each capsule of ellura delivers 36mg proanthocyanidin (PAC) as measured by BL-DMAC. PAC is the active component in cranberries that inhibits bacteria from sticking to the inside of the urinary tract. This is the required daily PAC dosing that has been clinically proven to effectively promote urinary tract health. ellura is superior to other cranberry extract products which usually contain only 2mg to 8mg PAC as measured by the BL-DMAC method.
Q: Is there a difference in quality among cranberry supplements?
A: Yes. ellura is extracted from pure cranberry juice, which has the highest levels of PACs, and are the most bioactive. Most other cranberry supplements are extracted from presscake, which is what’s left of the cranberry after the juice has been squeezed out. Presscake also contains seeds, stems and skins which the PACs attach to so they are not free to work in your body. PACs taken from presscake show little or no bioactivity, and can’t be accurately measured.
Q: What are proanthocyanidins (PACs)?
A: PACs, with unique molecular structures, have been identified in cranberry and exhibit powerful bacterial anti-adhesion activity. In 1998, Dr. Amy Howell of the Marucci Center of Blueberry and Cranberry Research at Rutgers University discovered that the A-type PAC in cranberries is responsible for the bacterial anti-adhesion in the urinary tract.PACs are defense compounds produced by plants in response to environmental stress and microbial infection. The high levels of astringency of PACs protect fruits from animal and insect predators. Large quantities of PACs are found in apples, grapes, prunes, peanuts, coffee, tea, cocoa and many other fruits. Through our diet, some of these beneficial compounds are transferred into the human body. Most PACs are B-type (single bonds) that enable them to demonstrate antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and other health characteristics that are essential to our daily diet.
It is important to note that PACs can have very diverse structures and characteristics, which lead to extremely varied biological properties.The American cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon, is unique in that it contains A-type PACs. These A-type PACs are the only compound with proven bacterial anti-adhesion activity that promotes a healthy urinary tract. The PACs of other fruits or plants (with a B-type single bond) have not been shown to have this ability. A-type PACs help keep bacteria away from adhering to the bladder walls, allowing the bacteria to be eliminated with the urine. This anti-adhesion mechanism has been validated on three occasions by AFSSA (Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments – the French approval authority for food and drugs) at an effective dosage of 36 mg once daily as measured by BL-DMAC.
Q: Is PAC bioactivity important?
A: Yes. Bioactivity means that the PACs and their metabolites are able to interact with the bacteria. If the PACs are less bioactive, their effect can be strongly reduced. Without bioactive PACs the anti-adhesion and flushing out of bacteria will not occur efficaciously. Unlike some products that show limited and delayed bioactivity like after 24 to 36 hours, ellura's strong anti-adhesion activity can be measured by a bioactivity test after 3 to 4 hours. The results of systematic testing over the past 5 years show that ellura delivers the highest bioactivity ever measured among commercially available cranberry products.
Q: Are all PACs created equal?
A: No, it is critical to measure the quantity of PACs in cranberry products accurately in order to guarantee that you, the consumer, get what you need and what you expect. 36mg PAC as measured by the BL-DMAC method is not equivalent to 36 mg PAC using other methods of measurement such as HPLC or Bate-Smith. An additional ruling related to the original cranberry health claim reinforces that PACs must be measured using the standardized method of BL-DMAC to show an accurate reading.
Q: What is BL-DMAC?
A: BL-DMAC is the only validated, standardized and published method to accurately measure the PAC content of cranberry extract. The BL-MAC method was developed by Brunswick Laboratories (BL), Southborough, MA. It replaced the 10-year-old methodology, DMAC/PAC003 and produces statistically the same results as the operating procedures it replaces. With the endorsement of the Cranberry Institute and the Cranberry Marketing Committee of the United States, the BL-DMAC method was internationally validated in April 2010. It is also the only method that has been validated by French authorities for use in urinary health claims on products containing 36 mg proanthocyanidins per day. Other methods are available, but the quantities they measure do not accurately reflect the quantity of "UTI-PACs" needed for the anti-adhesion against the bacteria in the bladder.
Q: I’m pregnant. Can I take ellura?
A: Yes. ellura is made from a pure cranberry juice extract, which like all fruit, is permitted during pregnancy. Plus, women have a higher risk of getting UTIs while pregnant, which can cause risks during pregnancy. Make sure to follow the dosage instructions on the label, and talk to your doctor before you start taking ellura.
Q: I'm a nursing mother, can I take ellura?
A: ellura is derived from cranberries, and no negative effects are known at the recommended dosing indicated on the label. As with all dietary supplements considered for use during nursing, consult your physician prior to use.
Q: Can I give ellura to my child?
A: Yes, ellura has been tested for safety and efficacy for use with children. Children under 50 pounds can take half a capsule of ellura once daily. Children 50 pounds and up can take the entire capsule. If the child is unable to swallow the capsule, the contents of the capsule can be mixed into a beverage or soft food, preferably sweet due to the somewhat bitter taste of the cranberry juice extract.
Q: I’m a diabetic, can I take ellura?
A: Yes. ellura has a very low glycemic index. There is no added sugar in ellura and only a trace amount exists from the fruit as the majority is removed during the extraction process.
Q: Can I take ellura continuously?
A: Yes, ellura is all natural and derived from a fruit. ellura may be taken continuously throughout the year if necessary.
Q: Does ellura color urine?
A: No. The pigments in ellura break down during the digestive process, leaving no discoloration to urine.
Q: Will ellura modify my CBEU (cytobacteriological examination of urine)?
A: Yes. If you do a CBEU at regular intervals, say every 2 weeks, you should see a systematic decrease in the presence of uropathogenic E.coli in the results of the tests, on condition that you take your daily capsule of ellura.
Q: I have a known allergy to red berries. Can I take ellura?
A: If you are allergic to cranberries, you should not take ellura. If you are allergic to other red fruits such as strawberries, consult with your doctor before taking ellura.
Q: Are there any side effects?
A: No serious side effects have been reported when taking ellura at the recommended amount of one or two capsules per day.
Q: What about interactions with other medications or dietary supplements?
A: Cranberry juice cocktail has been suspected of interfering with the metabolism of warfarin (Coumadin) causing increasing levels of warfarin in the blood. However this interaction has not been scientifically proven. No incidents of interaction with blood thinners have been reported involving ellura. If you are taking these types of medications, we recommend you talk to your physician before you start taking ellura.
Q: How much ellura should I take?
A: To maintain a clean urinary tract: Take 1 capsule daily with water.
At onset of known triggers: Kick-start ellura’s benefit by taking 2 capsules daily with water for 2 days. Continue to take 1 capsule daily for 26 days.
With sexual intercourse: Take 2 capsules with water 30 minutes before or after sexual intercourse. Then take 1 capsule daily for the following 3 days.
ellura may be taken with or without food at any time during the day, but preferably at approximately the same time each day.
As with all supplements and medications, we advise you to discuss the use of ellura (a cranberry juice extract supplement) with your health care provider. Discontinue use and consult your doctor if any adverse reactions occur.
Q: Does ellura acidify urine?
A: Only to a slight degree. The lower a pH level of a substance, the higher its acidity. ellura has pH of 4.44 which is similar to a cup of coffee or a cola. Water has a pH of 7. Cranberry juice is much more acidic with a pH of 2.7. If you can tolerate coffee or soda, you should be able to tolerate ellura.
Q: Do urinary infections affect only women?
A: No. While it is true that women of all ages are more prone to UTIs because of the short distance between the urethra and the colon, men also report to be affected by urinary tract infections. In most cases, men will face bacterial prostatitis caused by E. coli. A small percentage of children from birth to 5 years are systematically infected with E. coli for various reasons and show recurrent UTI.
Q: Can I take ellura with an antibiotic?
A: Yes. There is no restriction in taking ellura along with antibiotics. It is even recommended to do so during an active urinary tract infection. One study showed that the anti-adhesion action of ellura promotes the flushing of certain bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.
Q: Can ellura serve as a substitute for antibiotics?
A: No. Antibiotics are essential because they kill the bacteria. Unfortunately, we have seen the resistance of uropathogenic E. coli grow steadily over the past years, reaching levels of up to 25 to 30 percent for Ciprofloxacin ( a fluoroquinolon antibiotic). There will be no new families of efficacious antibiotics against UTIs available in the foreseeable future. The bioactive cranberry PACs contained in ellura interfere with the P-fimbriae (arms that attach to the bladder wall) of E. coli bacteria. This keeps the bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract, thus avoiding the first step in the development of an infection. As a dietary supplement, ellura promotes and helps to maintain a clean urinary tract.
Q: Will ellura cause or aggravate kidney stones?
A: No. Unlike cranberry juice, ellura is very low in oxalates.The majority of the naturally occurring oxalates are removed during the extraction process of the PACs. ellura has .104 mg oxalic acid per capsule—a negligible amount not capable of causing or aggravating kidney stones. Comparatively, an 8 ounce glass of cranberry juice cocktail contains 0.98 mg. Almost 10 times more oxalates!