Saturday, June 10, 2023
Home » If You Get UTIs Often, Opt For A Cranberry Supplement Rather Than The Juice

If You Get UTIs Often, Opt For A Cranberry Supplement Rather Than The Juice

by News Desk

Like eating chicken soup when you’re sick, drinking cranberry juice when you have a UTI (a.k.a. urinary tract infection) is just understood. You usually grab a glass without even thinking twice. But if you pause and really ask yourself, Does cranberry juice help UTI? you may realize you know very little about the actual science. And with swarms of medical advice circling social media (thanks, #healthtok!), finding out what’s true or purely speculative can be tricky.

First, let’s get some basic facts straight: A UTI occurs when there is bacterial overgrowth in the bladder, explains Alyssa Dweck, MD, a gynecologist in New York. It’s an incredibly common infection, especially in women. “The rectal area, which has a lot of bacteria naturally, is in much closer anatomic proximity to the bladder and urethra in women than it is in men,” says Dr. Dweck.

A quick refresh: the female anatomy has three openings—the urethra, the vagina, and the anus. With UTIs, “what happens is that bacteria naturally gets sort of dragged or transmitted from the anal-rectal area toward the vagina and urethra,” explains Dr. Dweck. The most common culprit is the bacteria E. coli, which binds and attaches onto the bladder.

How does cranberry juice even fit in this picture? Turns out cranberries contain a particular chemical compound called proanthocyanidin, or PAC. It makes the bladder walls more slippery to E. coli, preventing it from adhering to the bladder. Bacteria is therefore less likely to proliferate, significantly cutting down the chances that an overwhelming infection will occur, explains Dr. Dweck.

Since cranberries have a good amount of PAC, people started thinking of cranberry juice as a UTI cure. In reality, cranberry juice doesn’t have much of this beneficial substance. Here’s what experts really think about using this beverage to treat and stave off a UTI.

This content is imported from {embed-name}. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Does cranberry juice actually do anything for a UTI?

There’s an overwhelming amount of studies trying to figure out if cranberry juice actually does anything for a UTI, and the results are all over the place. One study found that cranberry juice could decrease E. coli adhesion up to eight hours after consumption. But a recent review concluded that cranberry juice does not improve UTI symptoms or reduce cranberry juice.

When you consider how much PAC is required for cranberry juice to work, it’s questionable how possible it is for you to get enough. “You need 36 milligrams of these PACs to prevent bacteria from sticking,” explains Anne L. Ackerman, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of urology and the director of research in pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at UCLA Center for Women’s Pelvic Health. “The challenge is that cranberry juice has variable amounts of that compound in it and depending on the style of the juice, that may be somewhere from 25 or 27 percent of actual cranberry juice.” Some cranberry juice cocktails have even less than that.

“A lot of my patients will tell me that they do use the unsweetened, pure cranberry, and that actually probably has the most of that compound in it, but it’s really hard to drink because it’s very tart,” says Dr. Ackerman. Many people don’t actually consume enough cranberry juice to get the amount of PACs you need for it to be effective for prevention purposes, she notes.

And the amount of PACs can degrade over time in juice depending on how long the cranberry juice has been sitting on the shelf. “You can’t really know 100 percent whether the juice that you’re getting when you buy it from the store actually has that accurate amount,” notes Dr. Ackerman.

Anecdotally, women do feel better when they drink concentrated cranberry juice, adds Dweck, “but the claim should be that it might be helpful to optimize health, not necessarily as treatment in and of itself.”

Can cranberry juice prevent a UTI then?

Cranberry supplements or concentrated cranberry likely has some beneficial effects in the overall treatment paradigm for UTIs, says Dr. Dweck. In her practice, Dr. Ackerman recommends a cranberry extract, tablet, or capsule because she knows that there are certain brands that do a good amount of quality control to ensure that there is a high enough dose of those PACs that will help them actually prevent infection.

Cranberry concentrated tablets are part of the preventive regimen and help optimize urinary health, especially for people who are prone to UTIs, but still “it’s too much of a stretch to say that it treats a UTI or that it absolutely in and of itself prevents one,” Dr. Dweck adds.

Again, the data is inconsistent at best. There is some evidence that cranberry products may lower the risk of an infection. However, “there are many discrepancies in the published data that make comparisons difficult, including the type of cranberry product used, the amount of cranberry ingested, the type of subjects and comorbidities,” note the authors of a review looking at all available evidence on this topic. They also concluded that “the use of cranberries cannot be scientifically promoted for UTI prevention.”

So, how do you get rid of a UTI fast?

If you think you have a UTI, the standard of care is antibiotics. Schedule an appointment with your doctor, who can run lab tests to confirm that there’s an infection and figure out the best antibiotics to prescribe, says Dr. Dweck.

Other remedies—”and they are remedies, not formalized treatment for UTIs,” emphasizes Dweck—in keep UTIs at bay or help an existing one heal include:

  • Hydrate! “Drinking a lot of water will frequently help to flush out your system,” notes Jordan Gitlin, MD, the chief of pediatric urology at NYU Langone Hospital on Long Island.
  • Practice proper hygiene when going the bathroom (i.e., don’t wipe bacteria towards your urethra).
  • For people prone to UTIs, urinate after sex.
  • Start using a daily probiotic to help with constipation and gut health. A probiotic helps change the bacterial environment of your gut, says Gitlin. Having a healthy, consistent flow can help prevent a buildup of bacteria.

      This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at

You may also like

Leave a Comment


Latest Women Business, Fashion, Style, Entertainment, and influencer news and updates exclusively on Women Trends, Follow us for the Latest News and Stories About Women around the world.

© 2022 Women Trends – All Right Reserved.