Does Cranberry Juice Really Help Utis
You think you might have a urinary tract infection. Should you call a friend, call a doctor, or make an immediate trip to urgent care?
First of all, dont panic. Although UTIs are uncomfortable, theyre common and easy to treat. Around half of women will experience at least one UTI in their lifetime, and the vast majority of those infections will clear up within a week or two.
Do a little internet sleuthing, and youll quickly find that cranberry juice is a popular DIY remedy. Some people swear by drinking this sour beverage to prevent UTIs or treat existing ones.
But does cranberry juice actually help, or is it just a placebo? And if it does help, which type of cranberry juice is best for UTI relief? Before you run to your local grocery store, lets talk about the science behind this surprising and controversial alternative treatment.
Good Quality Probiotics And Fermented Foods
What happens in the gut doesnt stay in the gut, Nielsen says. Taking oral probiotics actually changes the flora of the vagina, and by default, the urinary tract.
Taking a probiotic during a UTI will help restore microbial balance. I like Bio-K+ fermented probiotic as a clinical strength option, and recommend also eating good quality fermented foods like homemade sauerkraut and kombucha, daily.
Dynamic Health Cranberry Juice Concentrate
If you want nothing short of the best cranberry juice for UTI treatment, then the Dynamic Health Cranberry Juice Concentrate should be your first choice. This juice concentrate doesnt contain any artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or added sugar which helps heighten the benefits of the juice.
The juice is also known for its lower caloric value. For individuals with dietary restrictions or for those who simply dont want to consume more calories than necessary, this proves to be a light alternative that wont mess up your diet.
Finally, with this juice concentrate, a little goes a long way. A 1/3 cup of the concentrate is more than enough to make up to two glasses of juice, which makes it an economical choice. Plus the fact that the concentrate comes in a small bottle, you wont have to worry about jugs of juice taking up too much space in your fridge.
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Best Remedies For Bladder Infections
About bladder infections
Bladder infections are the most common type of urinary tract infection . They can develop when bacteria enter the urethra and travel into the bladder.
The urethra is the tube that takes urine out of the body. Once bacteria go into the urethra, they can attach to the walls of the bladder and multiply quickly.
The resulting infection can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as the sudden urge to urinate. It may also cause pain while urinating and abdominal cramping.
A combination of medical and home treatments may ease these symptoms. If left untreated, bladder infections can become life-threatening. This is because the infection can spread to the kidneys or blood.
Here are seven effective bladder infection remedies.
Cranberry Pills Vs Drinking Cranberry Juice Which Is The Better Option
Unsweetened cranberry is very astringent and some people cannot tolerate it as it can upset the stomach. For these people, pills and capsules will be the go-to.
Now the question arises: are pills and capsules superior to the juice in preventing urinary tract infections? Turns out, no!
When compared to cranberry juice, pills are less efficient, according to this study involving 1616 subjects. Some studies even show no effect at all. This might be because cranberry pills are dietary supplements, and therefore dont need the approval of the FDA in order to reach the store-counters. This means that there is no standard dosage for these pills and capsules. This could possibly be one of the many reasons why some pills work and some dont. A quick search online shows a range of anywhere between 400-800mg per dose, and there is currently no recommended RDA dosage for cranberry.
Theres no harm in trying out unsweetened cranberry juice. Its a good source of antioxidants and will provide some great health benefits to you and is quite safe to use.
If you are going to use cranberry, trying it as a juice rather than pills or capsules would be superior. Ultimately, you want to go with your own experience. If it works for you, continue using it, and if not, then you can just enjoy the benefits of antioxidants.
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Juicing For Uti Essentials: Garlic
Allicin is what gives garlic its unique smell and taste. Remarkably, allicin has been found to have a range of antimicrobial activities, including against multi-drug-resistant strains of Escherichia coli as well as antifungal and antiparasitic activity.
Garlic juice is not the yummiest of juices, but a little big of raw garlic goes a long way toward treating a UTI.
Read Also: Urinary Tract Infection Treatment Without Antibiotics
Other Drinks To Avoid With Overactive Bladder
Cranberry juice can make the symptoms of overactive bladder worse. Unfortunately, it is not the only beverage that has this irritating effect. Some of the worst things to drink with an overactive bladder include:
Caffeine can irritate the lining of the bladder and has a diuretic effect. Coffee is often thought to be one of the worst drinks for overactive bladder, but caffeine is also found in tea, cola, energy drinks, and chocolate.
Like caffeine, alcohol has an irritant effect on the bladder and acts as a diuretic. Keeping your alcohol intake to a minimum is one of the best ways to keep your overactive bladder under control.
The carbon dioxide that makes soda fizzy can make your urine more acidic and irritate your bladder. Many brands of soda also contain caffeine and artificial sweeteners, both of which can aggravate an overactive bladder.
Orange juice is very acidic, as are other citrus juices such as grapefruit juice. Try drinking less acidic alternatives such as apple juice instead.
Not Drinking Enough
Thats right, not drinking enough can be just as bad for an overactive bladder as drinking too much. When you are dehydrated, your urine becomes more concentrated and can irritate your bladder easily. Aim to drink 1.5 liters to 2 liters of water daily to keep your kidneys and bladder functioning well.
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When My Cystitis Returned
After a few months I got quite a severe case of cystitis. I was in a lot of pain and all I could think was: Where can I get some Ocean Spray cranberry juice?
I was trying to flush out the bacteria as usual, by drinking loads of tea and water. Cranberry juice wasnt a very common drink in Germany back then and I thought the lack of it was why I didnt get better.
So I started a big online search and found some cranberry juice at local health stores, but different brands. They didnt help at all. Then finally I found a supermarket in a town nearby where I could get hold of the Ocean Spray brand and I was fine again.
At this point I should add that Ive always been in tune with my body and never thought much of conventional drugs and antibiotic prescriptions. I generally adapted well to self-healing methods and was quite good at talking myself out of an illness.
The fact that only one kind of cranberry juice helped might very well have been an ongoing placebo based on personal expectations. Looking back, I think it worked because I thought it would work. The mind is a powerful tool!
Best Cranberry Juices 2022
Drinking cranberry juice on a regular basis is one of the best ways of getting many antioxidants into your system. The fruit itself also contains vitamins, bio-flavonoids and minerals that can do wonders for your health. Choosing to incorporate cranberry juice into your diet is the easy decision. Finding the right one for you is a little more difficult.
To help you sort through all of the options without having to buy and try all of the different kinds of juice for yourself, we have developed this comprehensive guide. Explore our tips, information about the most popular juices and expert reviews.
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Pure Cranberry Juice Concentrate By Vitacost Brand
This cranberry juice concentrate comes in a 32 fl oz bottle. Cranberry juice concentrate is a convenient and a delicious way to obtain the natural health benefits of cranberries. Each one of these 32-ounce bottle provides 24 servings of 100% pure cranberry juice. You can mix one-part juice concentrate with five parts water for a refreshing beverage.
Its rich in antioxidants. The cranberries contain antioxidant phytochemicals, including the anthocyanins and proanthocyanins among other things. The antioxidants protect your healthy cells from free radical damage. It is an excellent source of vitamin C.
It contains no added sugar, no artificial colors and no artificial flavors. Per bottle can serves 24 one-cup . It has only 110 calories per serving. It also provides the cranberry health benefits without having to consume whole fruit. Its a BPA-free bottle. This product matches the requirement of the FDA.
Cranberry Juice For Urinary Tract Infection
Specialist says grocery-store varieties aren’t strong enough for the job
THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2016 — Contrary to popular belief, cranberry juice does not cure a urinary tract infection, a doctor says.
Many people drink cranberry juice in an attempt to ease their symptoms, but it will do nothing to help them, said Dr. Timothy Boone, vice dean of the Texas A& M Health Science Center College of Medicine, Houston campus.
“Cranberry juice, especially the juice concentrates you find at the grocery store, will not treat a UTI or bladder infection,” he said in a center news release.
“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,” Boone said.
Each year, more than 3 million Americans have a urinary tract infection — an infection in any part of the urinary system, kidney, bladder or urethra, according to the news release.
The active ingredient in cranberries — A-type proanthocyanidins — is effective against UTI-causing bacteria, but is found only in cranberry capsules, not in cranberry juice, Boone said.
“It takes an extremely large concentration of cranberry to prevent bacterial adhesion,” Boone said. “This amount of concentration is not found in the juices we drink. There’s a possibility it was stronger back in our grandparents’ day, but definitely not in modern times.”
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Alternative Ways To Manage Utis
There are many ways to both prevent and manage UTIs. While cranberries are trendy, there are some tried and true ways to manage UTIs.
What If It Works
OK, so the science is limited in showing the connection between cranberry juice healing UTI symptoms. But what if it has worked for you or for a friend?
The myth that cranberry juice alleviates UTI symptoms may come from the fact that adequate fluids. And hydration can help flush bacteria out of the urinary tract.
One important consideration about science is that it can always change. Scientists are working hard at research and learning new information, so the science with the UTI cranberry juice connection can always change.
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Uti Prevention Tips You Might Try Instead
In summary, if you currently have a UTI, skip the cranberry altogether and schedule an appointment with your doctor instead. A mild UTI may resolve on its own, but antibiotics are sometimes needed to treat them.
And as mentioned, if you get UTIs frequently and are looking for ways to prevent your next one, unsweetened cranberry juice may help. But it might also not.
Here are five other ways to help reduce your risk of getting a UTI:
Bacterial Strain And Preparation Of Inoculum For Infection Studies
E. coli C175-94, a clinical UTI isolate, was used for the infection studies. It belongs to serotype O8:K48:H9 and express type 1 fimbriae but not P fimbriae . For infection studies, the bacteria were grown overnight at 37°C in static Luria broth , centrifuged at 6,500 g for 10 min and the pellet resuspended in PBS to a concentration of ~1010 CFU/ml.
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Know What Youre Getting
Theres no harm in drinking cranberry juice regularly to ward off UTIs theres just no guarantee itll work. However, do make sure youre drinking 100% cranberry juice and not a cocktail, which is mostly grape juice, apple juice, and sugar.
Cranberry juice does pad your diet with extra calories. Even unsweetened, 100% cranberry juice contains 116 calories per cup. That might not seem like a lot, but if you add it without trimming an equal number of calories elsewhere, it could lead you to gain about a pound every month.
If you opt for cranberry supplements, know that the US Food and Drug Administration doesnt regulate them. That means you cant be sure how much active ingredient each dose contains.
Juicing For Uti Essentials: Blueberries
Yet another delicious juicing ingredients to sweeten your juice recipes and give yourself a dose of vitamin C as well as inflammation-fighting antioxidants. Blueberries are also rich in the proanthocyanidins that stop bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder like cranberries. But sweeter.
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Are All Cranberry Juices Effective Against Utis
Pure cranberry juice is most likely the version Native Americans were using, so thats your best bet. Even if you are deciding to use this juice for its other health benefits, going with the tart unsweetened pure version is the best option. Do not go for the cranberry cocktails as commercially produced versions are full of added sugars or artificial sweeteners.
In fact, sweetened cranberry juice may further worsen your UTI. Sweeteners like sodium saccharin, acesulfame K, and aspartame, are known to cause irritation to the bladder and worsen the symptoms of UTI.
How Much Cranberry Juice Do You Need To Help Prevent Or Treat A Uti
Since the jury is out on the efficacy of cranberry for this purpose, there is no set recommendation for how much cranberry juice to drink to prevent UTIs.
One study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking eight ounces of cranberry beverage each day helped lower the recurrence of UTIs in women. But that study was sponsored by a cranberry juice company.
So, as you can imagine, thats a potential conflict of interest. Take expert recommendations with a grain of salt here since we dont have clear data to support a consensus on how much cranberry juice to drink to prevent or treat UTIs.
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How To Choose A Cranberry Supplement For Uti Prevention
Thinking of trying cranberry supplements for a UTI? Check in with your doctor first. While cranberry tablets probably won’t hurt you, it’s always a good idea to talk with a medical professional before trying any new supplement.
If you’re taking the blood thinner warfarin, for instance, you may want to avoid cranberry products, per the Cleveland Clinic. While NCCIH notes the evidence is conflicting, the concern is that cranberry may boost warfarin’s anti-coagulation effects, leading more bruising or bleeding.
You can find a number of cranberry products at the drugstore, but not all supplements are created equal. Dietary supplements have far less regulation than, say, pharmaceutical medications, and what’s stated on their packaging may not be what’s actually inside the pills. In fact, a 2018 study in JAMA Network Open revealed that a whopping 776 dietary supplements contained unapproved ingredients, so you’ll want to do your homework to make sure you’re getting a decent cranberry tablet for UTIs .
“People should look for a high-quality supplement that has some sort of certification, like the USP Verified Mark or NSF certification,”Bruce Sloane, MD, urologist at Philadelphia Urology Associates, tells Health. “That means it’s been sent to an independent lab that has verified that what the companies have said is in the supplement is actually in the supplement.” Note: If a supplement has been verified by a third-party lab, it will usually promote it on its label.
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.
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