Cran-Max® is a high-potency, whole fruit cranberry extract clinically proven to fight urinary tract infections.
- Patented. Cran-Max is made through a patented process that retains whole cranberry’s bioactive compounds.
- Clinically Researched. Numerous human studies support the extract’s ability to ward off urinary tract infections.
- Potent. The extract’s proprietary coating protects the active ingredients from stomach acid, ensuring high potency.
- Established. Cape Cod Biolabs has spent decades researching and perfecting their cranberry extract.
Cran-Max is a whole fruit cranberry extract manufactured by Cape Cod Biolab Corporation in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It is used to support urinary tract health because cranberries have a long history of use for warding off urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Similar to raw cranberries, Cran-Max contains active ingredients called proanthocyanidins and anthocyanins. These natural compounds prevent bacteria such as E.coli from being able to attach themselves to cells in the urinary tract and bladder, thereby protecting from UTIs.
What makes Cran-Max superior to standard cranberry preparations is a patented delivery method called Bio-Shield. This natural coating technology protects the active ingredients in Cran-Max from degradation in the digestive system, delivering them intact to the lower gastrointestinal tract where they can be effectively absorbed.
In addition, whereas most cranberry preparations only use concentrated cranberry juice, Cran-Max also includes the pomace (other parts of the fruit) which contains more of the bioactive ingredients. Cran-Max is supported by clinical research that highlights its safety and efficacy.
Cran-Max is protected by a patent (US 6231866) that includes a preparation process where:
- Cranberry juice is concentrated
- The juice concentrate is mixed with pomace (the remaining non-juice portion of cranberry fruit)
- The resulting mixture is dried to create a powder that can be used in capsules, tablets, shakes, drinks, and other forms
Bio-Shield is a patented, natural coating technology designed to protect proanthocyanidins and anthocyanins – the active cranberry ingredients present in Cran-Max – from stomach acid. This allows these compounds to reach the intestines intact, where they can be absorbed with high bioavailability and deliver their beneficial effects (US patent 20020168429).
How Nutritional Supplement Uses
Cran-Max is used in supplements meant to reduce the occurrence of urinary tract infections (UTIs). These supplements can either be taken when healthy to prevent infections or at the first sign of a new urinary infection.
Cran-Max is arguably the best cranberry extract on the market because it has several advantages over standard cranberry ingredients:
- Whole fruit formula: Cran-Max is made through a patented process which stands out for using all parts of the cranberry fruit, whereas most basic cranberry preparations use the juice only, and as such miss out on many of the active ingredients.
- Clinically Researched: The urinary tract health benefits of Cran-Max are backed by multiple clinical studies.
- Higher efficacy: The Bio-Shield coating matrix ensures that the active components of Cran-Max remain intact until they reach their site of action, allowing for greater potency. By contrast, standard cranberry ingredients dissolve in the stomach before they can be absorbed and as such have poor bioavailability.
- Established: Cape Cod Biolabs has spent decades researching and perfecting Cran-Max and its Bio-Shield delivery method.
Clinical trials of Cran-Max provide evidence that it reduces the likelihood of having a urinary tract infection (UTI), especially in recurrent cases. Although most studies report that antibiotics are slightly more effective than Cran-Max, they also carry numerous side effects such as digestive issues, the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and the possibility of catching a superinfection.
In this randomized, placebo-controlled study, 151 women were given placebo juice and tablets, placebo juice and cranberry (Cran-Max) tablets, or cranberry juice and placebo tablets daily for 1 year. Although both the cranberry juice and Cran-max tablet groups had decreased number of UTIs, Cran-Max was more effective, and was more than two times cheaper than the juice.
- The researchers concluded that “Cranberry tablets provided the most cost-effective prevention for UTI.” 1
This randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study examined the use of Cran-Max tablets for preventing UTI in people with spinal cord injuries. A total of 47 participants with neurogenic bladder were given placebo or Cran-Max tablets (500 mg) daily for 6 months, and later switched groups for another 6 months so that everyone tried both treatments. Taking Cran-Max reduced the likelihood of UTI, with 6 people developing 7 UTIs compared to 16 people developing 21 UTIs when placebo was taken.
- The researchers concluded that “Cranberry extract tablets should be considered for the prevention of UTI in SCI patients with neurogenic bladder.” 2
This double-blind, randomized trial compared the effects of Cran-Max with antibiotics – the first-line treatment for UTIs. A total of 221 premenopausal women with recurrent UTI were given 480 mg of antibiotics (TMP-SMX) or 1000 mg of cranberry extract (Cran-Max) daily. Both groups saw a decrease in UTI, and although the antibiotic group had slightly better results, bacteria in this group became resistant to antibiotics.
- The researchers concluded that “TMP-SMX, 480mg once daily, is more effective than cranberry capsules, 500 mg twice daily, to prevent recurrent UTIs, at the expense of emerging antibiotic resistance.” 3
This randomized, double-blind study compared the efficacy of Cran-Max with anitibiotics for preventing recurrent UTIs. A total of 137 older women were given Cran-Max (500 mg) or the antibiotic trimethoprim (100 mg) daily for 6 months. Although more women developed a UTI in the cranberry group (25 versus 14 for antibiotic) and had 7 fewer UTI-free days, overall the two treatments were similarly effective. In addition, the researchers noted that the antibiotic treatment had notable side effects.
- The researchers concluded that “Trimethoprim had a very limited advantage over cranberry extract in the prevention of recurrent UTIs in older women and had more adverse effects.” 4
In this small study, 25 patients with recurring UTIs were given 7500 mg of Cran-Max for 6 months, and compared to 24 other patients who received standard antibiotic treatment. The Cran-Max patients had an average of 0.33 UTIs compared to 2.3 in the antibiotic group, and also had lower markers of UTI infection such as the amount of bacteria in urine.
- The researchers concluded that “…prophylactic administration of the preparation CRANMAX™ 7500mg resulted in the significant reduction of the number of clinical manifestations of urinary tract infections...” 5
- Cran-Max supplements typically come in 500 mg capsule doses
- Multi-ingredient formulas usually include 250 mg of Cran-Max
- Research suggests that 500 mg daily doses are sufficient to deal with urinary tract infections
Supplements in Review Recommendation
- Cran-Max®, 500 mg.
Cran-Max is the best cranberry product for supporting urinary tract health. Cran-Max has a superior, whole fruit formula, a natural coating technology that ensures high potency, and is backed by clinical research.
Research suggests that 500 mg is the best dose. Most human trials of Cran-Max successfully employed 500 mg doses to ward off urinary tract infections.
- Stothers L. A randomized trial to evaluate effectiveness and cost effectiveness of naturopathic cranberry products as prophylaxis against urinary tract infection in women. Can J Urol. 2002 Jun;9(3):1558-62. ↩
- Hess MJ et al. Evaluation of cranberry tablets for the prevention of urinary tract infections in spinal cord injured patients with neurogenic bladder. Spinal Cord. 2008 Sep;46(9):622-6. ↩
- Mariëlle A. J. Beerepoot et al. Cranberries vs Antibiotics to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections: A Randomized Double-blind Noninferiority Trial in Premenopausal Women. Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(14):1270-1278. ↩
- McMurdo ME et al. Cranberry or trimethoprim for the prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections? A randomized controlled trial in older women. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2009 Feb;63(2):389-95. ↩
- L.Hejzlar. The Effect of prophylactic administration ofcranberry extract (Swiss CranMax™7500mg)on the occurrence of recurring infectionsof the urinary tract. Urology Clinic of UNV in Prague ↩