Does cranberry juice help treat urinary tract infections?Myth and Science – mahrgan

Urinary tract infection is a common bacterial infection, especially in women.

In fact, compared with 12% of men, 50% of women will develop urinary tract infections in their lifetime. More importantly, as many as 30% of young women suffer from recurrent urinary tract infections, which can significantly affect their quality of life (1, 2).

In addition to antibiotics and other drugs, many people also use natural remedies to prevent and treat UTI.

Cranberry juice and cranberry juice supplements may be the most popular natural remedies for UTI.

Cranberries contain compounds such as phenolic acids and flavonoids, which may help treat and prevent urinary tract infections.

These compounds may help (2):

  • Interference with the ability of bacteria to adhere to the inner wall of the urinary tract
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Regulate intestinal bacteria
  • Reduce the number of bacteria in the bladder and gastrointestinal “reservoir” that may cause urinary tract infections

However, you may be wondering whether cranberry juice can effectively prevent and treat UTI.

May help prevent UTI in some people

Some studies have shown that cranberry juice and cranberry supplements may reduce the risk of urinary tract infections in some people.

A review of 7 high-quality studies including 1,498 healthy women found that taking cranberry juice and cranberry supplements can reduce the risk of UTI recurrence by 26% (3).

Another review concluded that cranberry products seem to prevent urinary tract infections in women, but for people who are at increased risk of urinary tract infections, they are not helpful for this purpose.4).

The results of other studies also indicate that cranberry products including cranberry juice may help prevent UTI recurrence in a number of different populations, including (5, 6, 7, 8, 9):

  • Women with a history of urinary tract infection
  • Elderly in nursing home
  • Otherwise healthy children

Some research results also indicate that cranberry juice capsules may help reduce urinary tract infections in women who have undergone gynecological surgery, during which a catheter is inserted into the urethra to empty the bladder.10).

It is important to note that cranberry extract, which is different from cranberry juice, has more evidence to support its ability to help prevent UTI recurrence in certain populations.

This is because cranberry supplements are a more concentrated source of active compounds that are thought to help treat UTI.

A recent study conducted in 145 healthy women with a history of urinary tract infections or recurrent urinary tract infections examined the effects of daily cranberry proanthocyanidins. People taking high doses took 18.5 mg of cranberry proanthocyanidin extract twice a day for 24 weeks (11).

Proanthocyanidin is a polyphenol compound that is naturally concentrated in cranberry.

The study found that compared with women who took a control dose of 1 mg twice a day, women who had less than 5 UTIs a year had a 43% reduction in UTI when taking high doses.11).

However, the study found that for the entire adult female population with recurrent urinary tract infections, taking this high dose did not significantly reduce UTI. This effect is only significant in people with fewer urinary tract infections (11).

Although some studies have shown that juice and extracts of cranberry products may help reduce UTI recurrence in some people, researchers are still not sure which components of cranberry may have a protective effect on UTI.2).

In addition, it is believed that differences in genetics, immune health, metabolism, and gut bacteria may affect the effectiveness of cranberry products for UTI. In other words, they may be more effective for some people than others (2).

In addition, not all studies have found that cranberry treatment helps prevent UTI. Researchers admit that larger, high-quality studies are needed to better understand how cranberry products affect urinary tract health.

May not be a good way to treat active urinary tract infections

Although cranberry products can help prevent UTI recurrence in some people, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of cranberry juice and cranberry juice products to improve symptoms in patients with active UTI.

A review of three high-quality studies concluded that, overall, there is not enough evidence that cranberry extract helps treat active urinary tract infections.12).

Another study involving 46 women found that taking cranberry capsules alone and in combination with antibiotics may help reduce the use of antibiotics and improve certain UTI-related symptoms in women with active UTI.13).

It is worth noting that this is a feasibility study with 46 participants, which aims to assess whether a larger study is feasible. Therefore, the results may not be as robust as the results of large, high-quality studies.

Some women in the study pointed out that taking cranberry supplements helped reduce the use of antibiotics and helped “clear the infection” faster than antibiotics alone, while others reported that there was no Any improvement.

It is important to note that most of the available research has focused on the use of cranberry products to prevent UTI, rather than treating active infections.

Currently, there is insufficient evidence that cranberry products can effectively reduce UTI symptoms or accelerate the recovery of active UTI.

More high-quality research is needed to determine whether cranberry products such as cranberry juice and cranberry capsules can help treat active urinary tract infections.

Generalize

There is evidence that cranberry products such as cranberry juice and cranberry extract may help prevent some people from developing urinary tract infections. However, there is insufficient evidence that they are helpful for active UTI.

According to research results, if you use cranberry juice to help prevent UTI recurrence, a dose of 8-10 ounces (240-300 ml) per day may be the most effective (14).

A 2016 high-quality study investigated the effects of daily cranberry juice consumption in 373 women with a recent history of UTI. The study found that people who drank 8 ounces (240 ml) of cranberry juice a day for 24 weeks had fewer urinary tract infections than those in the placebo group (5).

Women in the cranberry group experienced a total of 39 confirmed urinary tract infections, while women in the placebo group experienced a total of 67 confirmed urinary tract infections.5).

The dosage of cranberry supplements varies from ingredient to ingredient. Studies have shown that the dose range of cranberry extract is 200-500 mg per day, which may reduce the recurrence of urinary tract infections in some people (14).

There are many types of cranberry supplements on the market, so it is important to read the description of a specific product for dosage recommendations.

If you have frequent UTIs and are interested in using cranberry juice or cranberry supplements to help prevent them, it is best to consult a healthcare professional first.

Although some evidence suggests that cranberries may help prevent some people from re-infecting UTI, other treatments may be more effective and appropriate.

Generalize

Dosage recommendations vary depending on the type of cranberry product. Some studies have shown that taking 8-10 ounces (240-300 ml) of cranberry juice daily may reduce UTI recurrence in some people.

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