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Can cranberry juice be a foolproof solution for UTI? It’s time to find out

Updated on:13 October 2021, 10:38am IST
For years, people have used cranberry juice to prevent and help cure urinary tract infections (UTIs). But does it really work? Let's find out right here.
Aayushi Gupta
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Cranberry for UTI
Take charge of your health and be a step ahead, when it comes to detecting and treating UTI. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Urinary tract infections (UTI) are common among women, so anyone can get UTI. When bacteria comes into contact with the urethra and enters the bladder, it leads to infection. Besides, a UTI can also be due to inflammation of the urinary tract. 

Painful urination, which may be accompanied by blood and increased urge to urinate is a major symptom of UTI. Other symptoms include: 

  • Fever and fatigue
  • Cramping or vaginal irritation
  • Foul-smelling urine or frequent urination
  • Painful intercourse
  • Pain in lower abdomen or pelvis
cranberry juice for UTI
There are several causes of UTI, so pay proper attention. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Now the thing is that women are more prone to UTI, due to a short urethra. Hence, females must stay aware of the signs of UTI and how it can affect the body. We’ve often heard of the wonders of cranberry juice to treat UTI, but is it really helpful or is it just a myth? 

Here’s the answer:

Cranberries have long been the focus of interest for their beneficial effects in preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs). Some even consider it as a “home remedy”. There’s some indication that cranberry products, in either juice, cranberry extract, or tablet form, may have infection-fighting properties, but the benefit is small. It’s also important to take antibiotics to prevent another UTI.

But, according to a review published in PubMed Central, cranberry juice contains compounds that may prevent E. coli (the most common type of bacteria that causes UTI) cells from attaching to cells in the urinary tract. It also contains antioxidants, including polyphenols, which have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Also, read: Wonder what makes urination painful? Here are 4 reasons why it might be happening

Using cranberry products to prevent UTIs may be expensive, and some women complain of the taste. No single concentration of cranberry juice, extract, or supplement has been studied well, so it’s hard to know which product to choose. If you do want to try cranberry juice to prevent UTIs, it’s better to drink pure, unsweetened cranberry juice (rather than a cranberry juice cocktail). Drinking a cranberry juice cocktail doesn’t seem to prevent UTIs better than drinking any other fruit juice.

cranberry juice for UTI
Dealing with UTI is not as difficult as you think. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

All in all, there is no solid study or proof that can justify the effectiveness of cranberries to cure a UTI and it is not well tested as a UTI treatment.

How to prevent UTIs:
  • Drink plenty of liquid, especially water. It dilutes the urine; 
  • Never hold the urine if you have the urge to pass urine;
  • Always clean your private areas and wipe from front to the back to avoid any kind of contamination from the anal to your vaginal area; 
  • One must always urinate before and after sexual activity; 
  • Keep the area clean throughout the day.

If you decide to have cranberry juice to treat UTI, it’s best to talk to your doctor first.

Aayushi Gupta Aayushi Gupta

Candid, outspoken, but prudent--Aayushi is exploring her place in media world.