Urinary tract infection (UTI) or more commonly called bladder infections can have uncomfortable symptoms and lead to kidney infections, thus they must be treated.
Recurrent UTI’s are common- Persons’ with a history of bladder infections are at greater risk for developing another infection. There are two main considerations when looking at bladder infections: treatment and prevention.
Prevention is key- UTI treatment with antibiotics is effective but prevention is key when dealing with bladder infections. A popular preventative treatment that may reduce the recurrence of bladder infections is the use of cranberry tablets. (1)
How cranberry works- Tablets, juice or cranberries work by preventing the bacteria escherichia coli from adhering to the wall of the urethra or bladder. (2)
A variety of studies have been conducted to assess the use of cranberry tablets or juice in prevention of bladder infections. Although there are some mixed results, many people report the beneficial impact of cranberry in preventing bladder infections.
In a double-blind randomized trial conducted for one year in a long term care community; participants were given either a cranberry capsule or a placebo twice per day. The incidence of clinically defined urinary tract infections was lower with those who were at increased risk due to a previous history of UTI. (3)
Cranberry juice has also shown to be beneficial in reducing the amount of bacteria in the urine. In a study conducted with elderly women who drank 10 ounces of cranberry juice every day. (4) Thus, may reduce the likeliness of a urinary tract infection.
- Bailey DT, Dalton C, Joseph Daugherty FJ, Tempesta MS. Can a concentrated cranberry extract prevent recurrent urinary tract infections in women? A pilot study. Phytomedicine 2007;14:237-41.
- Guay, D.R. Cranberry and Urinary Tract Infections. Drugs (2009) 69: 775. doi:10.2165/00003495-200969070-00002
- Caljouw, M. A. A., van den Hout, W. B., Putter, H., Achterberg, W. P., Cools, H. J. M., & Gussekloo, J. (2014). Effectiveness of Cranberry Capsules to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections in Vulnerable Older Persons: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial in Long-Term Care Facilities. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 62(1), 103–110. http://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.12593
- Avorn J, Monane M, Gurwitz JH, et al. Reduction of bacteriuria and pyuria after ingestion of cranberry juice. JAMA 1994;271:751-4.