Vitamin C As An Essential Nutrient For Chronic Infection Support
Whether vitamin C can directly help treat or prevent UTI has little impact on its role as a crucial vitamin for bodily functions.
There is an established link between vitamin C and immune system function. While a healthy vitamin C intake is essential for fighting infection, we also know that for many with inflammation in the bladder, certain types of vitamin C supplements can trigger bladder symptoms.
In speaking with recurrent UTI specialists, the primary recommendation around supplemental vitamin C is that it should be taken in a buffered form, to minimize possible irritation.
Its important to ensure any vitamin C is in a buffered form. One product I like for this purpose is Ultimate Protector. In addition to its potent antioxidant properties, Ultimate Protector activates Nrf2. Several studies have demonstrated that Nrf2 contributes to the anti-inflammatory process as well as increased cysteine production . This is especially important for those who genetically tend to make more ammonia and less cysteine. Ruth Kriz, APRN, Chronic UTI and Interstitial Cystitis Expert
Data Sources And Search Strategy
Human studies reported the serum vitamin D levels in children with urinary tract infection and healthy controls were searched databases of PubMed, Scopus, Embase, and Cochrane. The terms of vitamin D,25-Hydroxyvitamin D,vitamin deficiency,urinary tract infection,child,children,pediatric in subject, abstract and keywords were searched in these databases. Studies published from the inception of the databases to 31th December 2020 have been included in the review. The search for literature was limited to articles in English. The articles were screened by checking the title and the abstract and those which were related to our study were selected for further assessments. Then, the full text articles were reviewed for eligibility. The articles which were not available online in full text were requested from the corresponding author through email.
Urinary Symptoms In Men Linked To Low Vitamin D
Low vitamin D levels are common among adult men in the United States and are associated with an increased likelihood of lower urinary tract symptoms and moderate to severe urinary incontinence , national data show.
Of 2,387 men who participated in a cross-sectional survey, 89% had insufficient vitamin D levels and 55% had deficient vitamin D levels .
After adjusting for numerous potential confounders, vitamin D deficiency was associated with a 40% increased likelihood of LUTS and an 80% increased likelihood of moderate to severe UI, investigators reported online in Urology.
Among the 1,388 men with available data on LUTS and vitamin D measurements, 666 had at least one LUTS.
In addition, older age, lower education and income, and poor or fair self-reported health status were associated with an increased prevalence of LUTS. Non-Hispanic black men were significantly more likely to be vitamin D deficient than other ethnic groups, whereas non-Hispanic white men and men who identified as other had the lowest prevalence of LUTS among the ethnic groups.
The authors, led by Alayne D. Markland, DO, MSc, of the VA Medical Center in Birmingham, Ala., analyzed data from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey .
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Inclusion And Exclusion Criteria
Inclusion criteria were permanent residency in nursing homes for the elderly, regardless of gender and duration of residency, nursing home resident during the study, approved participation, absence of indwelling urinary catheter, ability to leave a voided urine sample and in case of dementia inclusion only if cooperative when collecting urine and blood samples.
Exclusion criteria were urostomy, terminal illness, intermittent catheterisation, ongoing antibiotic treatment and discontinued study participation.
Vitamin D May Boost Urinary Tract Health: Study
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Vitamin D supplementation was found to promote production of an anti-microbial peptide called cathelicidin in the urinary tract, thereby offering local and site-specific protection, according to findings published in Public Library of Science One .
This could make an effective and safe way of activating the endogenous antimicrobial response locally at the site of infection, wrote researchers from the Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm. Determining the vitamin D status of individuals with a history of UTI may be of importance to evaluate their ability to fend off intruding bacteria.
Supplementation to restore proper vitamin D levels may therefore help preparing the bladder epithelium to mount a stronger and faster immune response once bacteria enter the bladder.
Vitamin D refers to two biologically inactive precursors – D3, also known as cholecalciferol, and D2, also known as ergocalciferol. The former, produced in the skin on exposure to UVB radiation , is said to be more bioactive.
Both D3 and D2 precursors are hydroxylated in the liver and kidneys to form 25- hydroxyvitamin D D), the non-active ‘storage’ form, and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D 2D), the biologically active form that is tightly controlled by the body.
The new study indicates that the benefits of the sunshine vitamin may also extend to urinary tract health a health category traditionally dominated by cranberry juice and extracts.
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What Vitamins To Take When You Have A Uti
Urinary tract infections, such as cystitis and urethritis, cause symptoms such as a burning sensation when you wee and cloudy or bloody urine. They can be incredibly uncomfortable and youll probably want to speed up your recovery. If youd like to manage a UTI naturally, we have a blogpost with some fantastic tips. Additionally, some vitamins that may help are:
- Vitamin C in this case, large amounts of Vitamin C reduce the growth of bacteria by acidifying the urine. You can find it naturally in fruit, such as cranberry juice9 and oranges
- Probiotics. Present in fermented foods, like Greek yoghurt and kefir or as a supplement, probiotics contain good bacteria that prevents bacteria from growing
- D-Mannose this is a sugar that prevents bacteria from sticking to the lining of your urinary tract. It is found in cranberries, apples and peaches, although you could take a supplement10
We hope this article has given you some ideas on vitamins to introduce to your diet to help urinary tract symptoms. If you want to make changes to your diet or supplement regime, iD recommends speaking to a healthcare professional first
1 Supplements, Interstitial Cystitis Association, 2 May 2016, Source: https://www.ichelp.org/living-with-ic/interstitial-cystitis-and-diet/supplements/
2 Absorption, metabolism and functions of -cryptoxanthin, Betty J. Burri, Michael R. La Frano and Chenghao Zhu, 11 January 2016, Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4892306/
Analysing Vitamin D Levels Of Uti Patients
Between July 2019 and March 2020, researchers undertook a cross-sectional study of 172 children at the Liaquat University Hospitals Pediatric Department. Aged between 2 and 60 months , all children had a positive urine C/S report for UTI.
Any children already identified as having vitamin D deficiency were excluded from the study. As well as noting symptoms of children with UTI, participants blood samples were evaluated for vitamin D levels using high performance liquid chromatography. Vitamin D is already linked to various issues such as fatigue, muscle weakness and even poor mental health.
The advent of portable HPLC tools to allow for analysis of samples at source is discussed in the article Experience and Applications of a New Portable HPLC Machine.
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Serum Vitamin D Levels In Children With And Without Uti
Four of the six included studies showed that serum levels of vitamin D were significantly lower in children with urinary tract infection than that in controls . One study by Noorbakhsh et al. showed no significant differences between the patient and control groups. Interestingly, one study found that children with urinary tract infections had higher serum levels of vitamin D than healthy children . Interestingly, data from Figure 2 show that the values obtained for vitamin D in the two Mahyar et al. and Noorbakhsh et al. studies have a protective role against UTI. However, other data show that the values of vitamin D in other studies act as a risk factor for UTI , in other words, low levels of vitamin D are known as a risk factor for UTI. Sum up, analysis of the all groups showed that serum levels of vitamin D can be a risk factor for UTI .
Figure 2. Forest plots showing the association between vitamin D level with the risk of urinary tract infection in children.
Risk Factors For Urinary Tract Infections
And now a brief note about reproductive parts: Although people with penises do get UTIs, people with vaginas are more at risk. It all boils down to the anatomy, Minkin says.
Bacteria that cause UTIs often make their way from the back door to the front and then up the urethra to wreak havoc on the urinary system.
Because the male reproductive system has a longer urethra than the female reproductive system, the bacteria have farther to travel, which makes it more difficult for a UTI to develop.
But regardless of anatomy, once youve had one UTI, youre more likely to get another, especially if you have a vagina. Hickling DR, et al. . Management of recurrent urinary tract infections in healthy adult women.
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How Much Is Too Much
The problem with vitamin D is knowing how much is enough. The toxicity threshold is considered to be 10,000 to 40,000 IU per day . Tolerable upper intake levels are considered to be 3,000 IU in children ages 4 to 8, and 4,000 IU for adults and in children age 9 and older.
So if you’re taking vitamin D supplements above those levels, you might be in for adverse health effects like excessive urination and hypercalcemia. The best way to stop hypercalcemia before it gets serious, or to prevent it, is to reduce your daily dose of vitamin D.
Using Vitamin C For Utis
According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended daily amount for vitamin C is 90 milligrams for adult men and 75 milligrams for adult women 2. Certain people need more vitamin C than average. For instance, smokers need an additional 35 milligrams per day pregnant women need 85 milligrams per day lactating women need 120 milligrams per day.
According to geriatric specialist Dr. Suzanne Salamon, an instructor at Harvard Medical School, you should take 500 to 1,000 milligrams per day of vitamin C if youre using this nutrient to prevent bladder infections 48.
This is in addition to the recommended daily amount you should be getting, which means youd have to consume about six to 13 times the amount youd typically get on a daily basis. You can obtain this amount of vitamin C from supplements or naturally, through your diet.
- According to the National Institutes of Health.
- This is in addition to the recommended daily amount you should be getting, which means youd have to consume about six to 13 times the amount youd typically get on a daily basis.
Supplements That Prevent Utis
If you’re prone to urinary tract infections, you’d probably do just about anything to prevent the next one. Could a dietary supplement be the key to keeping you infection-free? Maybe, says Charles M. Kodner, MD, associate professor of family and geriatric medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
“Most people who get a UTI just have one very occasionally, so it isn’t worth taking supplements every day to try and prevent another infection,” says Kodner. But if your problem is chronicmeaning it never seems to go away, or you’re getting a UTI at least three times a yearthen using supplements may be a smart proactive measure.
You might be in this unlucky group if you use a catheter, are pregnant, have kidney stones or an enlarged prostate, or use a diaphragm or if you have a condition that affects the nerves that control your bladder, like Parkinson’s, diabetes, or multiple sclerosis.
Even if you fall into one of these categories, Kodner says to remember that supplements are just one part of a complete prevention toolkit. Some people whose UTIs are relentless may need to be on antibiotics for 6 months to a year, whether or not they opt to add a supplement to the mix.
Once you get the green light from your doctor, here are three you might seek out in the supplement aisle.
A typical daily dose of D-mannose is 2 grams dissolved in 200 mL of water, but check with your doctor to see how much is right for you. Some people experience diarrhea as a side effect.
Don’t Be Surprised If Your Doctor Doesn’t Rush You Into Treatment
Urinary tract infections can be tricky in older age. They’re not always as easy to spot or treat as in youth. And the decades-long approach to treatment is changing. “We’ve been hasty in using antibiotics, and we’re learning there are significant consequences that can range from side effects of medication to infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” says Dr. Helen Chen, a geriatrician at Harvard-affiliated Hebrew Rehabilitation Center.
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Nutrients Linked To Helping With Bladder Health
While the recently published research shows a clear connection between vitamin D and bladder health, urologist and female pelvic medicine specialist Michael Ingber, MD, says the reasoning for it still isn’t fully understood. But he says one way it is beneficial is because it helps other nutrients linked to bladder health be better absorbed in the body.
“Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which plays a role in intestinal absorption of several different nutrients in the body. Calcium, magnesium, phosphate, are all absorbed as a result of vitamin D, and these things also play a role in kidney and bladder health,” he explains. “Recently, there have been studies evaluating vitamin D deficiency, and the effect on urinary incontinence. It does appear that a vitamin D deficiency makes a person more prone to having urinary incontinence.”
The reason why calcium is important for bladder health is because it helps with muscle contraction, including the detrusor muscle. This muscle is found in the bladder walls and it remains relaxed to allow the bladder to store urine, contracting when you pee to release it. Magnesium and phosphate similarly play a role in muscle and nerve function. Calcium is also linked to helping prevent kidney stones. As Dr. Ingber explains, vitamin D helps with the absorption of these nutrients, which could be a key reason why it’s so important for bladder health.
Specimen Collection And Bacterial Identification
Laboratory diagnosis for urinary tract infections are include taking clean catch mid-stream urine from each patient collected into a 20 mL calibrated sterile crew-capped universal container which were distributed to the patients. The specimens were labeled, transported to the laboratory for both general urine examination and culturing. The pathogens were identified and isolated by conventional techniques . A urine culture is positive when 105 CFU/mL of a single pathogen is found in mid-stream urine. Standard loop semi-quantitative technique of inoculation had been used to determine the pathogenic microorganism in significant numbers and un-centrifuged urine in known volume by spread plate method was used. Blood agar and McConkey agar plate were used for isolation of causative organism and incubated for 2448 h at 37 °C . All media were examined aftertimes of incubation, if no growth occurs they were incubated for another 24 h before regarded as negative whereas few samples were identified with VITEK 2 compact system protocols by using these kits: VITEK®2 GN Reference 21341, VITEK®2 GP Reference 21342, VITEK®2 AST-GN69 Reference 413400, VITEK®2 AST-P580 Reference 22233, and VITEK®2 AST-ST01 Reference 410028 .
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The Science Behind Vitamin C For Uti
Before we take a closer look at the research, lets talk about vitamin Cs role in the body in general.
Vitamin C is an important part of a healthy diet as it plays a vital role in many areas of human physiology. It is essential for tissue health and wound healing, as its necessary to make collagen, an important support protein.
Vitamin C is considered safe, even in the large doses often found in dietary supplements. This is because of its water solubility, which means it is readily eliminated from the body in the urine.
Because vitamin C makes it all the way to the urine, its believed to have the ability to act directly on the pathogens that cause UTI. This is a key part of the theory.
Can I Have Vitamin C When Pregnant
You can easily get the vitamin C you need from fruits and vegetables, and your prenatal vitamins also contain vitamin C. Its not a good idea to take large doses of vitamin C when youre pregnant. The maximum daily amount thats considered safe is 1800 mg for women 18 and younger and 2000 mg for women 19 and over.
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Key Points About Urinary Tract Infections
- Urinary tract infections are a common health problem that affects millions of people each year. These infections can affect any part of the urinary tract.
- Most UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria, which normally live in the colon.
- The most common symptoms of UTIs include changes in urination such as frequency, pain, or burning urine looks dark, cloudy, or red and smells bad back or side pain nausea/vomiting and fever.
- Antibiotics are used to treat UTIs. Other treatments may include pain relievers, and drinking plenty of water to help wash bacteria out of the urinary tract.
- Other things that can be done may help reduce the likelihood of developing UTIs.