Cranberries Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infection

Did you know that drinking cranberry juice regularly can help prevent urinary tract infection (UTI)? A review of past studies confirms this. In addition, cranberry products seem to be especially beneficial for women with recurrent UTIs.

Researchers, however, are not sure how cranberry juice and capsules work or whether they would work. Evidence only suggests that the compounds in cranberries prevent bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract, thus thwarting any infection.

Led by Dr. Chih-Hung Wang of National Taiwan University Hospital, the researchers randomly assigned around 1,500 people, mostly women, into groups; each group to take cranberry products, placebo products or nothing.

Participants assigned to the group taking cranberry products had 38 percent less incidence of UTIs. Women with a medical history of multiple infections had reduced their UTI risk by 47 percent while they were on cranberry products.

Cranberry juices, capsules and other related products are a good alternative for fighting UTIs. Unlike antibiotics, bacteria have a lesser likelihood of building resistance against cranberries. Nevertheless, the option to choose juice over capsules is a matter of choice for those who intend to take them.

The researchers also added that high doses of cranberries may cause stomachaches and other problems for some people; the sugar in cranberry juice may cause problems in people with diabetes.

Dr. Wang’s team, however, warned that the findings “should be interpreted with great caution.”

Bill Gurley, a pharmaceutical researcher from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, has no problems with cranberry products as a medical alternative.

“For individuals that do have problems with recurrent UTIs, incorporating a little cranberry juice in your diet certainly can’t hurt,” Mr. Gurley said. Nevertheless, he added, “We still don’t know exactly what the correct dose should be or what the correct form should be.”

You Might Also Enjoy...

Complications of Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are common — and painful. Learn to recognize the telltale symptoms of kidney stones here, and find out how having a kidney stone (and the possible complications) could affect your health long-term.

What is Testosterone, and How Does It Affect Your Health?

Testosterone is a male hormone that plays an important role in your overall well-being. Low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and more could indicate a testosterone imbalance — but you don’t have to live with it. Learn all about testosterone here.

How Your Vagina Changes Over the Years

Vaginal changes might be embarrassing to think about, but you shoudn’t ignore symptoms like dryness, discomfort, and pain during sex. Find out more about how your sexual health changes with age and how vaginal revitalization could help.

Spotting and Preventing UTI Complications

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common and can be very painful. But did you know that ignoring your symptoms could increase your risk of complications, like kidney infection? Learn the signs of UTI and find your treatment options here.

Am I a Good Candidate for a Penile Implant?

Penile implants give you the option to achieve an erection whenever you want — and if you have a severe urologic condition that’s affecting your sex life, one could be a good treatment option for you. Learn what penile implants can do here.