For years, cranberries have been touted as a superfruit that can prevent and treat urinary tract infections (UTI).
- Although cranberries contain powerful antioxidants, many people are asking if these berries are really that beneficial for urinary health.
- In this blog, the team at Affiliated Urologists discusses whether or not cranberries, specifically cranberry juice, can prevent UTIs.
Cranberry juice and cranberry supplements have been believed by many to have properties that prevent and treat urinary tract infections. Although there is some merit to this claim, cranberry juices, and supplements on the market today may have little impact on the prevention or treatment of a UTI. This cranberry juice assertion originally stemmed from a study that found A-type proanthocyanidin (PAC), an active ingredient in cranberries, helped prevent bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall.
Although this finding remains true today, most cranberry juices, extracts, and supplements do not contain enough of this active ingredient to prevent or treat a UTI. In fact, the Cochrane Library, an organization that collects high-quality, independent health-related research, analyzed 24 studies that compared different cranberry products for urinary health. The review of these studies found cranberry products did not significantly reduce the occurrence of UTIs.
Moreover, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate cranberry supplements, there may not be enough of the active ingredient in these products to prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent a UTI. Patients (women especially) should take precautions before, during and after sex to prevent a UTI. Those who partake in sexual intercourse frequently, have multiple partners or have a history of sexually transmitted diseases should use spermicides or a barrier contraceptive to reduce their risk of developing a UTI.
Staying regular with your bowel movements will also help reduce the chance of a UTI. These infections can develop when bacteria from the rectum permeates the vagina, so it's important to avoid foods or situations that lead to constipation or diarrhea. If you suffer from recurrent UTIs, it’s important you call our office and schedule an appointment for treatment. Simple infections may be treated with oral antibiotics, but for those with severe of recurring infections; intravenous administration of antibiotics may be required.
Call one of our locations today to meet with an Affiliated Urologists physician! We will evaluate your patient history and symptoms before determining a treatment regimen. Call today!
Affiliated Urologists is an award-winning practice recognized both locally and nationally that has provided service to patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and surrounding communities in the Valley, for over 40 years. The physicians emphasize top-of-the-line comprehensive urological care and strive to deliver the highest outcomes for patient satisfaction. To make an appointment, call 602-264-0608 or visit http://affiliatedurologists.com/contact/ for instructions on scheduling an appointment.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.