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That Old Saying, Cranberries Keep a UTI At Bay?

March 1, 2016
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Why Cranberry’s?

 

It has long been said that Cranberry’s are the answer to preventing UTI’s (Urinary Tract Infections) but just how accurate is that saying…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a time when medical experts used to advise that cranberries protected against UTIs, this was owed to them increasing the acidity of urine and thus making it impossible for bacteria such as, E. coli to thrive. E.coli, used to be thought of as the main culprit for UTI’s but science has now gone down another pathway. Scientists have now suggested that it’s the prevention of bacteria from sticking to the Urine tract walls by the substances found in Cranberries.

 

 

 

Scientific Evidence

 

 

  • Two studies published in the Canadian Journal of Microbiology and Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces reported that the bacteria, Proteus mirabilis (the bug commonly found in complicated UTIs) could be prevented from growing with the ingestion of cranberry powder.

 

  • Other research has suggested that the antioxidants in cranberries change the bacteria and stop it from sticking to the urine tract!

 

  • Another study shows that cranberries create a Teflon-like slippery coating on the urinary tract walls that prevents coli from getting a good grip.

 

  • Consuming cranberry juice has been shown to lower symptomatic UTIs according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology but they also say the evidence is not strong enough to suggest that you can use cranberry juice to fully prevent UTIs.

 

Negatives

 

 

  • They don’t prevent bacteria from growing in the urinary tract in fact, they actually work by making it more difficult for bacteria to take hold, so there is still a chance it will do so.

 

  • Cranberry juice also doesn’t treat urinary tract infections once they’ve started so you do need to include it in your routinely day-to-day life to reap any of the possible benefits.

 

  • Because of their acidity, cranberries can be hard for some people to digest well. Up to half of people in studies dropped out because of the side effects they experienced from drinking Cranberry Juice, commonly gastroesophageal reflux disease

 

 

My Opinion

 

 

Whilst there is good reason to invest in Cranberry’s, drinking juice may not be the best foot forward; the added sugar often hidden in the juice will encourage bacteria growth and do nothing for your overall health. If you can eat the Cranberry’s or supplement you are in a better position at reducing your risk.

 

 

Be aware that the use of Cranberry’s for UTI’s isn’t for everyone but if you can’t get enough of the taste then why not include it in your diet, particularly if you are more prone and susceptible to UTI’s. I would advise looking into the use of D-Mannose if you regularly get UTI infections.

 

 

Alternatively, take a look at this supplement that I like: Cranberry 5000mg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rhiannon Lambert

Nutritional Therapist – Fortis Health Advisor

BSc MSc ANutr Specialising in Weight Management • Eating Disorders • Fitness

 

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