A Note About Cranberry Juice And Utis
Cranberry juice or cranberry extract in supplemental form has long been used as a home remedy for UTIs.
The thought is that the proanthocyanidins in cranberries may help prevent bladder infections by keeping the bacteria from clinging to the bladder wall, says Sonya Angelone, MS, RDN, a nutrition consultant based in San Francisco, and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Yet theres scientific controversy over how effective cranberry juice is at preventing UTIs due to conflicting conclusions in studies on the topic, according to an article published in May 2016 in Advances in Nutrition. Some studies have found it might work, while others have found no effect.
Bottom line, there is some evidence it may help, and it doesnt hurt to try it, says Angelone. Just be sure to chose unsweetened cranberry juice . Mix this with sparkling water or plain yogurt, she recommends.
Another low-calorie option choose a cranberry pill that contains d-mannose, she says.
Why Does Cranberry Juice Help
Sipping cranberry juice may help prevent nasty bacteria from setting up shop. An animal study, published in 2017 in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, suggests that cranberry juice may reduce E. coli bacteria from multiplying in the bladder.
There are two main compounds in cranberries and their juice that can be helpful: D-mannose, a type of sugar, and proanthocyanin, which is an antioxidant, explains Robin Foroutan, RDN, who specializes in integrative and functional nutrition in New York City and is a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. These compounds prevent bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urethra and mucosa in the urinary tract, which prevents bacteria from infecting the tissue.
Ultimately, that could put a stop to a UTI.
What Is A Uti
A urinary tract infection is an infection in your urinary system caused by unwanted bacteria.
Heres how it works: Bacteria, often from the rectal area, enters the urethra and triggers inflammation. The most common type of bacteria to cause a UTI is escherichia coli , which is already present in the digestive system and sometimes on the skin.
However, when E. coli gets where its not supposed to be , the area can quickly become irritated.
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Cranberry Juice And Utis: Myth Vs Science
UTIs are a common bacterial infection, especially among women.
In fact, 50% of women, compared with 12% of men, will develop a UTI in their lifetime. Whats more, up to 30% of young women have recurrent UTIs, which can significantly affect their quality of life (
In addition to medications like antibiotics, many people use natural remedies for UTI prevention and treatment.
Cranberry juice and cranberry juice supplements are perhaps the most popular natural treatments for UTIs.
Cranberries contain compounds such as phenolic acids and flavonoids, which may help treat and prevent UTIs.
These compounds may help (
- interfere with the ability of bacteria to stick to the lining of the urinary tract
- reduce inflammation
- modulate gut bacteria
Nevertheless, you may wonder whether cranberry juice is effective at preventing and treating UTIs.
Whats A Cpac And Why Is It Helpful
I know I mentioned this above, but in case youve scrolled down without reading, heres the info again:
PACs are a class of polyphenols .
The PACs found in cranberries help prevent the adhesion of certain harmful bacteria, including E. coli .
Supplements can deliver a higher dose of cPACs, compared to juice.
As soon as I suspected my UTI, I was taking 2 cranberry supplements a day throughout the infection and for two weeks post just for good measure.
This is the one I use :
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Other Ways To Treat A Uti
Doctors most commonly treat a UTI with a regimen of antibiotics. Sometimes mild UTIs will go away on their own, but theres a risk they could get worse, even leading to medical conditions like bladder infection or kidney infection if left untreated.
No home remedy has proved to be as effective as antibiotics for treating a UTI. So while cranberry juice can be a tool in your arsenal to help prevent UTIs, it shouldnt take the place of seeing a urology expert for treatment when you develop an infection. If youre not a fan of the way antibiotics affect your digestive system, use a regimen of probiotics to counter some of those effects.
How do you get rid of a symptomatic UTI fast? Its impossible to cure an infection instantly, as much as you might want to when youre dealing with that burning, stinging feeling. But with a prescription, most UTIs can be cleared up within a week or two, and youll go back to feeling normal ASAP.
Once your UTI is clear, you can focus on hygiene tips to prevent another UTI. Always urinate after sexual activity , wipe toilet paper from front to back, and change out of wet or sweaty clothes within a few hours. This will lower your risk of recurrent urinary tract infections.
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Searching For An Alternative Treatment
Urinary tract infections plague women of all ages, and as men age, they too become increasingly susceptible. UTIs, as they are commonly known, occur when bacteria infect the urinary tract. Symptoms include feeling the need to urinate despite having an empty bladder, pain or burning while peeing, frequent urination, low fever and cloudy or bloody urine.
The body can sometimes flush out an infection on its own, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but an infection may cause discomfort and could spread to the kidneys, becoming serious.
Among nursing home residents, UTIs are the most commonly diagnosed infection. Still, its a difficult diagnosis to make since bacteria in the urine can come without symptoms. Research has showed that up to half of all women living in nursing homes test positive for bacteriuria, or bacteria in the urine, even if they dont experience symptoms of an infection. Pyuria is present in 90% of residents with bacteriuria.
To treat infections, doctors usually prescribe antibiotics. Yet the germs causing these infections are becoming less susceptible to these drugs, and infections do not always go away easily.
One of the first studies that showed that cranberry juice was effective in older women living in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities was published in 1994, Juthani-Mehta said.
What Did The Research Involve
Researchers set out to test whether cranberry juice and other products were more effective than either placebo or no treatment, or any other treatment in the prevention of UTIs in susceptible populations. They also wished to test whether different cranberry products differed in how well they prevented UTIs.
They searched a number of electronic databases for all randomised controlled trial and quasi-RCTs on the effectiveness of cranberry products in the prevention of UTIs.
They also contacted companies involved in the promotion and distribution of cranberry products for information on both published and unpublished studies, and searched reference lists of review articles and relevant studies.
They also searched by hand a number of specialist journals and the proceedings of major relevant conferences. Non-English language studies were included.
The studies included were of the following groups:
- those with a history of recurrent UTI
- people with abnormalities of the urinary tract
- children with a UTI
They excluded any studies in which cranberry products were tested as a treatment for UTI, and studies of any urinary tract condition not caused by a bacterial infection.
Two of the authors independently assessed the quality of all the studies eligible, using a validated tool to assess the risk of bias, and extracted the relevant data on study methods, participants, interventions and outcomes.
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How Long Does It Take For Cranberry Juice To Cure Uti
Studies suggest that almost 50 percent of the UTIs may be managed by increasing the fluid intake alone that helps flush the bacteria out of your urinary tract. The fluids generally recommended are plain water, cranberry juice and lemon water. Your symptoms may improve within one to two days of starting the treatment.
What Can I Take Over
The drug oxybutynin may be used to treat OAB. It is available over-the-counter in patch form, which delivers 3.9 mg of oxybutynin daily through your skin. However, the over-the-counter patch is only available to women. Men may take oxybutynin in patch or oral form, but they need a prescription for it.
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Data Collection And Analysis
Two authors independently assessed and extracted data. Information was collected on methods, participants, interventions and outcomes . Risk ratios were calculated where appropriate, otherwise a narrative synthesis was undertaken. Quality was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias assessment tool.
Can Drinking Cranberry Juice Cure A Urinary Tract Infection
Drinking cranberry juice is good for your body. Cranberry juice is a great beverage, with important antioxidants that help reduce your risk of heart disease. Antioxidants also strengthen your immune system, allowing your body to fight off infections. However, according to the Urology Clinic at UAMS, cranberry juice cannot cure a urinary tract infection on its own.
The myth about cranberry juice may have started because the juice helps alleviate some of the discomfort and pain of a urinary tract infection. In addition, studies have shown drinking cranberry juice can help reduce your risk of getting a UTI. However, if you have an infection, your doctor will need to prescribe antibiotics to clear up the condition. Drinking cranberry juice, as well as other liquids, while you have an infection will help flush the bacteria from your system and speed healing.
To learn more about the personalized care provided by our doctors using state-of-the art diagnostic and treatment techniques, please visit our Medical Services section.
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How To Take Cranberry Juice For Uti:
If you wish to use cranberry juice to treat UTI then you must take it 114 to 296ml or in doses of 4 to 10 oz. of pure juice, a day. Since cranberry juice is very sour the cranberry juice which is available commercially contains added sweeteners. You should therefore purchase that brand which has the lowest amount of added sugar.
Can Cranberry Juice Really Help Treat A Uti
Now for the million-dollar question: Is cranberry juice really the magic elixir people claim it to be for UTI relief?
Why does cranberry juice supposedly help UTIs? Cranberries are chock full of antioxidants and vitamin C. Also, some evidence suggests that compounds in cranberries called proanthocyanidins may help stop E. coli and other bad bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract.
The American Urological Association even says that clinicians can offer cranberry juice as an option for patients to prevent recurring UTIsbut it shouldnt take the place of other, more well-established treatments doctors have been using for years.
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Cranberry For Preventing Utis
If you’ve stockpiled an arsenal of cranberry juice to battle UTIs, there’s bad news: The tart elixir probably isn’t helping as much as you’d hope.
A review of 24 studies, updated in 2012 and published by the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, looked at whether cranberries could prevent UTIs. Cranberry juice didn’t seem to make a statistically significant impact on reducing cases of UTIs.
With that said, there may be some truth to the idea that cranberries can prevent UTIs. It has to do with a substance inside the fruit called proanthocyanidin .
“PAC prevents bacteria from sticking to the lining of the bladder,” Courtenay Moore, MD, a urologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells Health. “It creates a slippery coating in the urothelium , so you just pee out the bacteria.”
The theory, according to a study in the journal Phytochemistry, is that PAC makes it more difficult for the bacteria to stick around long enough for form a full-blown infection in your bladder or other spots in your urinary tract. That may explain why three small studies in the Cochrane review found that cranberry products were about as effective at reducing these infections as the low-dose antibiotics doctors prescribe some UTI-prone women for prevention.
“You’d have to drink 2 liters of cranberry juice a day to have enough of the active ingredient to be beneficial,” she says.
Cranberry Juice Might Not Be So Good For Bladder Infections
Cranberry juice might not be so good for bladder infections When you get down to the scientific evidence, many natural health products turn out to be a bit disappointing. Vitamin C when youve got a cold? Doesnt work. Glucosamine for joint pain? Not enough research to be sure.
One natural treatment that does have some scientific evidence behind it is cranberry juice for women who get bladder infections. Two studies found that cranberry juice or capsules helped cut the proportion of women who got repeated infections from 37 percent to 21 percent.
Now, though, a new study has raised doubts about whether cranberry juice really does work. The study looked at 319 women, who were all college students. Theyd all recently had a bladder infection. Half were given 8 ounces of cranberry juice to drink every day. The other half were given a drink that looked and tasted similar, but didnt contain any cranberry juice.
Why should the previous studies have had positive results, but not the new one? One possible explanation is the dose of juice. In one of the positive studies, women drank 8 ounces of cranberry juice three times a day, and some also took cranberry capsules. That compares with just the one 8-ounce serving in the new study.
Given the conflicting studies, its still possible that cranberry juice could prevent bladder infections, especially if you drink lots of it. In any case, its easily available and there shouldnt be any side effects, so you might think its worth a try.
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Where Can I Find These Home Remedies
These home remedies are readily available at any grocery store or pharmacy. You should make sure that youre buying quality homeopathic treatments that contain only active ingredients and no additives or sugars.
Tea tree oil is widely available at many different stores and online. Again, make sure youre purchasing a high-quality product that contains only the essential oil.
The other ingredients are readily available and affordable so you shouldnt have any problems getting hold of them.
Cranberry Juice Fights Urinary Tract Infections Quickly
Study Shows Cranberry Juice Works Against Bacteria Within 8 Hours
Previous studies have suggested that the active compounds in cranberry juice are not destroyed by the digestive system after people drink them, but instead work to fight against bacteria, including E. coli. This latest study, presented at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston, affirms that and provides evidence of the medicinal value of cranberries.
The new research suggests that the beneficial substances in cranberry juice could reach the urinary tract and prevent bacterial adhesion within eight hours.
Researchers from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts grew strains of E. coli in urine collected from healthy people before and after they drank cranberry juice cocktail.
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Does Cranberry Juice Work For Uti:
Traditionally, cranberry juice has been used for the treatment and also for the prevention of urinary tract infections . Research has suggested that it can be used to prevent these infections. The studies have also acknowledged the fact that regular drinking of cranberry juice may have a protective effect against UTI in pregnancy.
Quality Of The Evidence
Study design in most studies was relatively robust and free from significant bias. The biggest weakness of the evidence was in attrition bias due to the large number of participants who were randomised but not included in the outcome analysis . Not using an intentiontotreat analysis undermines the randomisation process and such an analysis was only undertaken in six studies. A further limitation to the findings is the small size of most studies most studies lacked power to detect a realistic significant difference between treatment groups and even combining the few studies with similar populations and treatment, did not greatly improve this issue.
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