UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) more commonly known as bladder infections are a fairly common occurrence, particularly in women. So common in fact that there’s a tendency to think of them more of a nuisance than anything serious that needs immediate attention.
However, left untreated, a UTI can cause kidney serious kidney damage, sepsis and in extreme cases, septic shock and death.
Bladder Infections and Cranberries – What’s the Relationship?
Cranberries contain polyphenols. Polyphenols are beneficial plant compounds which have antioxidant properties and are generally understood to help prevent against certain diseases.
In Cranberries, these polyphenols contain proanthocyanidins (PACs). These PACs have been shown to limit the ability of E. coli bacteria to adhere to the walls of the bladder and urinary tract.
On the other hand, when that E. coli bacteria overstays its visit at the bladder and urinary tract, the opportunity to contract a UTI is far greater.
Does Cranberry Juice Get Rid of UTI’s?
Unfortunately, it would appear that once the infection has taken hold, the ship has already sailed and the infection is in place. Not surprisingly there is no good evidence that cranberry juice or pills can treat the bladder infection. There is limited evidence that it can reduce some symptoms.
Does Cranberry Juice Prevent UTI’s?
With analyses of over 50 randomized clinical trials, where 45 had compared cranberries to the use of a placebo, it was the concluded that cranberry juice, cranberries and cranberry capsules showed themselves to be effective in the reduction of UTIs in women with recurrent UTIs, in children with UTIs and in people susceptible to UTIs following radiation treatment to the bladder.
The impact was far lower for institutionalized adults where complete emptying of the bladder is commonly a challenge, as was the case for pregnant women.
So to summarize:
Cranberry juice for prevention and reduction of UTIs? YES.
Cranberry juice for cure? NO.
OK. Which brand of cranberry juice is best?
ConsumerLab.com did an analyses of 5 of the top Cranberry juice brands and found a huge variation in the concentration of PACS found in the product. (Remember…. It’s the PACS that limit the adherence of E. Coli to the bladder and urinary tract.).
You’ll be happy to know that the winner is actually one the most popular brands out there, with 105.6 mg of PACS in 8 oz. of juice.