Do cranberries help prevent a UTI? Yes but not the juice.
By Taylor Loftus
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common problems treated in the urgent care. UTI signs and symptoms occur more frequently in women than men at a ratio of about 8:1. More then half of women have had a UTI at least once in their life. As a woman, I know that a common UTI is one of the most inconvenient, uncomfortable, and painful things that we must go through once or twice a year. We hate them and usually know exactly what is going on when the signs and symptoms begin to appear. Most of us will go to the nearest drug store and buy the infamous “AZO” for that quick pain relief we need, then grab some cranberry juice to prevent another one from happening and call it a day. But does that really get rid of that pesky UTI?
You have been told your whole life that cranberry juice or cranberry capsules is a natural and safe way to prevent future UTIs, but is that really true? Dr. Timothy Boone and his associates performed a study that involved women who going to have an elective gynecological-surgery. For women undergoing this type of surgery, there is up to a 64% chance of getting a UTI. With that in mind Dr. Boone tested to see if cranberries really do work. He gave one group of these women two cranberry capsules twice a day for six weeks after the surgery. The two capsules are equivalent to two 8-ounce servings of cranberry juice. The other half got a placebo. In the cranberry tablet group they had a one half the risk developing a UTI. What this means is that there was double the risk of developing a UTI in the non-treated group (Brazier, 2016). It possible that the cranberries are preventing the bacteria from adhering to the lining of the bladder wall.
So now you’re thinking yes cranberries do work for preventing future UTIs. That may be true but cranberry juice does not. Dr. Boone and his researchers have hypothesized that cranberry juice may not be effective because it is filled with additives such as sugar which bacteria love. The larger amount of pure cranberry may also be necessary. Cranberry juice from concentrates will likely not help a UTI as there is very little pure cranberry. The pure hydration effect is helpful because the fluid can help flush the bacteria out of the urinary tract system.
A urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection that should be treated by a doctor and you should be given antibiotic medication. That is the only way to get rid of the infection you have. The famous “AZO” or generic pain relief capsule at the local drug store will help with the pain but it will not get rid of the infection. The cranberry capsules will help with prevention to an extent but cranberry juice will not. UTIs are something that many of us ladies must go through at least once in their life and the best way to treat them is with antibiotic medications. Get treatment before that pesky little UTI infections that can fixed so easily with one trip to Surfside Urgent Care of Laguna Beach turns into a life-threatening situation. Many of the common UTI medications are available onsite so you do not even need to go to the pharmacy. We can culture the urine to see exactly which bacteria is causing the illness and which antibiotics will work to kill it. We also offer injection of antibiotics which can help fight hard to treat UTIs.