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Is It True that Cranberries Can Prevent or Treat UTI?

29 February 2016

Urinary Tract Infection Prevention

Many women around the world are affected by Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). In fact, 60 percent of women will experience painful and frequent urination or traces of blood in urine over their lifetimes when affected by this condition. The infection doesn’t usually last long.

There are numerous myths claiming different ways on how to prevent and treat UTI and cranberries is just one of them. How true is it that cranberries can help prevent or treat UTI?

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According to a urologist Courtenay Moore, MD:

“There is an active ingredient in cranberries that can prevent adherence of bacteria to the bladder wall, particularly E. coli. But most of the studies have shown that juice and supplements don’t have enough of this active ingredient, A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs), to prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract.”

A study was made on 160 patients aged 23-88 who were undergoing elective gynecological surgery. Usually, 10-64% of women who are undergoing this type of surgery will develop Urinary Tract Infection right after the catheter is removed.

80 of the patients had two cranberry juice capsules twice daily for 6 weeks after the surgery. The cranberry capsules given is equivalent to two 8-ounce servings of cranberry juice while the other half of the group took a placebo.

Cranberry capsules definitely lowered the risk of UTI’s in women by 50%. The group who consumed cranberry capsules, 19% of patients developed a UTI while 38% of women from the placebo group developed infection.

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How Does Cranberry Work?

Cranberries contain A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs) that interfere with the bacteria’s ability to invade the lining of the bladder wall and reduces the risk of infection.

Experts say that in order to prevent and treat UTI, first we must understand that treating and preventing are two very different thing. Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and contain hippuric acid and have long been considered a good remedy for many health issues. Hippuric acid are compounds that prevent bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall making a person’s risk of getting UTI lower in some cases.

It is also said that cranberries can effectively prevent UTI only when it is 100% pure and concentrated. It mustn’t have any added sugar or sweeteners because these types of cranberry drinks don’t contain hippuric acid. However, one must keep in mind that once a person acquires UTI, cranberries in any form can do little help to prevent or treat it.

Dr. Boone a researcher 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. There’s 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.”

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How to Effectively Prevent UTI

Cranberries can help but these steps also helps lower your risk from developing Urinary Tract Infection:

  1. If you have overactive bladder and show symptoms of UTI, automatically seek for medical advice to prevent UTI’s from becoming kidney infections.
  2. Being sexually active can put you at risk of developing UTI, practice safe sex in order to prevent UTI.
  3. Develop good bowel habits; too often bacteria coming from the rectum can come in contact with the vagina and increase the chance of a woman to develop UTI.

I hope you enjoyed today's blog and it added some kind of value to your life. If you found it useful, we'd appreciate it that you could please share it with those you know. Knowledge is power and we all have the ability to effect change.

Together we can get Australians healthier. 😊

Tam x

Disclaimer: the information in this article is intended purely as information and not health advice. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure and one should always seek expert advice from their trusted health practitioner.


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