Cranberry Juice For Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are the second most common type of infection in U.S. adults, accounting for about 8.1 million visits to health care providers each year. Its a long-standing adage that drinking cranberry juice can help, but what does the evidence say?
A systematic review published in the Cochrane Library last year found that cranberry-containing products dont prevent urinary tract infections.
The review included 24 trials with a total of more than 4,400 participants comparing cranberry products with no treatment or alternative treatments. There was a small trend towards fewer UTIs in women with recurrent infections who drank cranberry juice over the course of a year, but the finding was not statistically significant.
A second review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this year found similar results. It included 13 studies with a total of more than 1,600 participants. Like the Cochrane review, it found that cranberry products may protect against UTIs for some people, but the conclusion should be interpreted with great caution because the data are not clear.
In the end, more evidence is needed on this topic. Since there are few, if any, side effects to drinking cranberry juice, it cant hurt for people who suffer from urinary tract infections. But the data certainly dont demonstrate that this practice is consistently helpful.
Cranberries Help Urinary Tract Infections But Not As Juice
Dashing out for a bottle of cranberry juice when a urinary tract infection hits may not be so helpful after all. Research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology suggests it could just be an old wives tale.
A urinary tract infection can affect any part of the urinary system, kidneys, bladder or urethra.
More than 3 million Americans, mostly women, experience a UTI every year.
Symptoms include frequent, painful urination, pelvic pain and traces blood in the urine. The infection does not normally last long, and most patients self-diagnose.
For many, the first port of call is a box of cranberry juice. However, new research suggests that while cranberry capsules can help, cranberry juice may be little more than a panacea.
Dr. Timothy Boone, PhD, vice dean of the Texas A& M Health Science Center College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues wanted to know if cranberries can really help.
Things You Can Do Yourself
To help ease symptoms of a urinary tract infection :
- takeparacetamolup to 4 times a day to reduce pain and a high temperature for people with a UTI, paracetamol is usually recommended over NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin
- you can give childrenliquid paracetamol
- rest and drink enough fluids so you pass pale urine regularly during the day
- avoid having sex
Some people take cystitis sachets or cranberry drinks and products every day to prevent UTIs from happening, which may help. However, there’s no evidence they help ease symptoms or treat a UTI if the infection has already started.
Does Cranberry Juice Help Treat Utis Myth Vs Science
If you get frequent urinary tract infections , youve probably been told to drink cranberry juice and that its effective at preventing and treating these uncomfortable infections.
But is cranberry juice truly helpful for people with UTIs? And does adding cranberry juice to your diet help reduce the risk of a UTI?
This article explains everything you need to know about cranberry juice and UTIs to help you separate the myths from the science.
When Should I Talk To A Doctor About Uti Symptoms
If youre experiencing pelvic symptoms or feel achy, tired and feverish, its a good idea to talk to a doctor right away.
Did you know that you can get treatment for a urinary tract infection online 24/7 through Virtuwell? Our certified nurse practitioners will review your symptoms and send you a personalized treatment. Since most UTIs are treated with antibiotics, well send a prescription to the pharmacy of your choice, and youll be feeling better in no time.
Recommended Reading: Probiotics For Urinary Tract Infection
Uti Home Remedies: How Cranberry Juice Can Help You Fight Uti
According to a study published in BMJ Journals, cranberry or cranberry based products can help in fighting urinary tract infection. The research suggests that the beneficial substances in cranberry juice could reach the urinary tract and prevent bacterial adhesion within eight hours.
Dr. Bharati Kamoji, Senior Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynecology explains, Cranberries have long been the focus of interest for their beneficial effects in preventing urinary tract infections . They are packed with antioxidants that protect your body from damage caused by free radicals and provide many health benefits. They contain compounds called proanthocyanidins, which prevent E. coli bacteria from attaching to the lining of your urethra and bladder.
Read Also: Does Bladder Infection Cause Incontinence
Cranberry Juice For Urinary Tract Infections It Really Can Help
Cranberry Antioxidant Punch Maggie Starbard/NPRhide caption
Native Americans and Pilgrims were onto something when they turned to cranberries as an infection fighter. American settlers believed the bitter food could stave off scurvy. But theres more than just Vitamin C in this indigenous berry.
A new meta-analysis finds drinking cranberry juice on a regular basis may help prevent urinary tract infections in women. The study, published in The Archives of Internal Medicine, concluded that regular cranberry-juice drinkers were 38 percent less likely than non-cranberry-juice-drinkers to develop UTIs.
The authors conclude that women with recurrent infections and those consuming cranberry products more than twice a day tended to get the most protection. The amounts of cranberry given in the trials varied, and more research is needed to figure out exactly how much cranberry youd need to consume, the paper says. .
Also, the cranberry supplements were not as good as the real thing. We are surprised, author Chien-Chang Lee of the National Taiwan University Hospital tells The Salt that cranberry-containing capsules or supplements were less effective than cranberry juice in reducing the risk.
And how does it work? Previous studies have found that cranberries contain compounds that seem to inhibit bacteria from setting-up-shop and infecting the lining of the urinary tract.
You May Like: Urinary Tract Infection Toddler Girl
The Recommended Food And Fluid
Either you are suffering from chronic kidney diseases or not, you need to be cautious about your diet. Here we are giving some of the names of recommended foods and drinks:
- Water: Water helps to drain out all the toxins that could be harmful to our body as well as kidney. So, take 1.5-2 litre water. And if you work hard, you need to uptake more.
- Cranberrie and Cranberry Juice: Choose 100% organic and sugar-free cranberry juice to flush out your kidneys. Fresh cranberries help to develop acidity in the urine to protect from bacteria.
- Apple: Apple are actually a good choice. This fruit reduces cholesterol, prevent constipation and high in fibre.
- Mushrooms:Vitamin-D riches in mushrooms and it regulates the kidney functions properly.
- Kale: High in vitamin -A and c, iron. And it protects the kidney from inflammation.
- Cauliflower: It contains vitamin C, folate and fibre.
So, eat a lot of veggie, iron-rich foods and keep yourself away from excessive salt and potassium.
Benefits Of Antibiotics For Utis
Antibiotics are the standard treatment for UTIs because they kill the bacteria responsible for the infections. Most UTIs develop when bacteria enter the urinary tract from outside the body. The species most likely to cause UTIs include:
- E. coli, which cause of up to
- abnormal liver function, as indicated with testing
More severe risks of using antibiotics include:
Also Check: How Do I Know If I Have Urinary Tract Infection
Clinical Relevance Prostatic Carcinoma
Prostatic carcinoma represents the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, especially in countries with high sociodemographic index. The malignant cells commonly originate from the peripheral zone, although carcinomas may arise from the central and transition zones too. It is still debatable that the latter tumors may present with lower malignant potential.
However the proximity of the peripheral zone to the neurovascular bundle that surrounds the prostate may facilitate spread along perineural and lymphatic pathways, thus increasing the metastatic potential of these tumors. Malignant cells may invade adjacent structures and/ or lymphatic and blood vessel routes to give distant metastases. Prostate carcinoma also commonly spreads via the Batson venous plexus to the vertebral bodies and cause skeletal metastases.
A DRE may reveal a hard, irregular prostate gland. In most cases the serum PSA values will be increased. However, due to the peripherally-advancing tumor, symptoms may be minimal, as obstruction occurs usually at late stages. One should also keep in mind that the high incidence of prostate carcinoma is found in elderly men, who may already have symptoms due to BPH.
Fig 4 Prostate cancer has the potential to invade nearby structures.
For prostate problems, limit water intake before going to bed at night. This will keep you from waking up at night to urinate repeatedly.
How Might It Work
But now, researchers have a different theory: that cranberries make it harder for infection-causing bacteria to stick to the urinary tract walls.
It could be that nutrients in cranberries change the bacteria so that they can’t stick to the urinary tract. Or it may be that cranberries create a slippery coating on the urinary tract walls that makes it hard for E. coli to get a good grip.
Don’t Miss: What To Do To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
So How Do You Get Rid Of A Uti Fast
If you think you have a UTI, the standard of care is antibiotics. Schedule an appointment with your doctor, who can run lab tests to confirm that there’s an infection and figure out the best antibiotics to prescribe, says Dr. Dweck.
Other remedies”and they are remedies, not formalized treatment for UTIs,” emphasizes Dweckin keep UTIs at bay or help an existing one heal include:
- Hydrate! “Drinking a lot of water will frequently help to flush out your system,” notes Jordan Gitlin, MD, the chief of pediatric urology at NYU Langone Hospital on Long Island.
- Practice proper hygiene when going the bathroom .
- For people prone to UTIs, urinate after sex.
- Start using a daily probiotic to help with constipation and gut health. A probiotic helps change the bacterial environment of your gut, says Gitlin. Having a healthy, consistent flow can help prevent a buildup of bacteria.
Cranberry Juice Will Not Do The Trick
However, the researchers point out that since a cranberry capsule provides the equivalent of 8 ounces of cranberry juice, a patient would need a lot of pure cranberry to prevent an infection.
Dr. Boone explains: It takes an extremely large concentration of cranberry to prevent bacterial adhesion. This amount of concentration is not found in the juices we drink. Theres a possibility it was stronger back in our grandparents day, but definitely not in modern times.
Cranberry juice, especially the juice concentrates you find at the grocery store, will not treat a UTI or bladder infection. It can offer more hydration and possibly wash bacteria from your body more effectively, but the active ingredient in cranberry is long gone by the time it reaches your bladder.
He also cautions that a UTI and an overactive bladder may show similar symptoms, and people should seek medical advice if any adverse symptoms appear, to prevent UTIs from developing into kidney infections.
Treatment of UTIs can be complicated. Approximately 20-30% of women have recurring UTIs, and concerns about antibiotic resistance mean that both doctors and patients may be unwilling to use such medication.
Dr. Boone points out that there are many benefits of probiotics, although more research is still needed.
Our Knowledge Center article features more information about the health benefits of cranberries.
Recommended Reading: Are Probiotics Good For Urinary Tract
Can It Help Prevent Or Treat Utis
The first line of treatment for a urinary tract infection is antibiotics. However, some people may take cranberry supplements or drink cranberry juice to reduce their risk of developing one. Research is conflicted about whether cranberry juice is an effective method of treatment or prevention.
According to a 2017 article, 1 in 3 females will experience a UTI by the time they are 24 years old.
Most UTIs resolve within 12 days of taking antibiotics. However, a UTI could cause serious health issues without treatment, including kidney infection and sepsis. Sepsis is a very serious condition that can lead to organ failure and death.
This article takes a look at how drinking cranberry juice may play a part in preventing UTIs and highlights some other evidence-based home remedies and treatment methods.
Many people drink cranberry juice in the hopes of preventing a UTI from developing. However, the Office on Womens Health states that the efficacy of cranberry juice for preventing UTIs has had conflicting results.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, raw cranberries contain antioxidant proanthocyanidins, or PACs, that can prevent bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urinary tract.
Cranberry Juice Vs Cranberry Pills For Utis
As with any other fluid, cranberry juice can help to hydrate you and potentially flush out bacteria in urine, but modern cranberry juices lack the concentration of compounds in pure cranberries that prevent the adhesion of bacteria to your urethra. Youre better suited with cranberry extracts in either liquid or capsule form.
Read Also: Extra Long Bladder Control Pads
Also Check: Urinary Tract Infection Treatment Guidelines
Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are usually caused by bacteria from poo entering the urinary tract.
The bacteria enter through the tube that carries pee out of the body .
Women have a shorter urethra than men. This means bacteria are more likely to reach the bladder or kidneys and cause an infection.
Things that increase the risk of bacteria getting into the bladder include:
- having sex
do not use scented soap
do not hold your pee in if you feel the urge to go
do not rush when going for a pee try to fully empty your bladder
do not wear tight, synthetic underwear, such as nylon
do not drink lots of alcoholic drinks, as they may irritate your bladder
do not have lots of sugary food or drinks, as they may encourage bacteria to grow
Cranberries Potential Benefits In Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease
b Graduate Program in Nutrition Sciences, Fluminense Federal University , Niterói, RJ, Brazil
c Graduate Program in Cardiovascular Sciences, Fluminense Federal University , Niterói, RJ, Brazil
d Medicine Faculty, Fluminense Federal University , Niterói, RJ, Brazil
e Division of Renal Medicine and Baxter Novum, Department of Clinical Science, Technology and Intervention, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Recommended Reading: Urinary Incontinence Devices For The Elderly
Cranberry Juice And Urinary Tract Infections
Maybe because its so tart and ruby red, cranberry juice certainly seems like it should have medicinal properties. People, especially women, have drunk gallons in the belief that it combats urinary tract infections . In test-tube experiments, the particular combination of fructose and proanthocyanidins in cranberry juice seems to reduce the adhesive powers of E. coli and other bacteria. If bacteria cant grab onto tissue, they cant infect it.
Its doubtful, though, that cranberry juice could stop an infection once its started. And theres no good evidence from studies that it works as a treatment.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
- Research health conditions
- Prepare for a doctor’s visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
May Help Prevent Utis In Some People
Some research suggests that cranberry juice and cranberry supplements may reduce the risk of UTIs in certain populations.
One review of 7 high quality studies that included 1,498 healthy women found that taking cranberry juice and cranberry supplements reduced the risk of UTI recurrence by 26% .
Another review concluded that cranberry products seem to prevent UTIs in women, but that they arent helpful for this purpose among people who are at an increased risk of contracting UTIs .
Findings from other studies have also suggested that cranberry products, including cranberry juice, may help prevent UTIs from coming back in a few different populations, including (
- women with a history of UTIs
- older adults in nursing homes
- otherwise healthy children
Some findings also suggest cranberry juice capsules may help reduce UTIs in women whove undergone gynecological surgeries during which a catheter was placed in their urethra to empty their bladder .
Its important to note that cranberry extract, which is different from cranberry juice, has more evidence supporting its ability to help prevent UTIs from recurring in certain populations.
This is because cranberry supplements are a more concentrated source of the active compounds thought to be helpful in UTI treatment.
Proanthocyanidins are a type of polyphenol compound that is naturally concentrated in cranberries.
Recommended Reading: What Foods Cause Urinary Tract Infections