Does Cranberry Juice Prevent Urinary Tract Infections ?

Does Cranberry Juice Prevent Urinary Tract Infections ?
does cranberry juice prevent Urinary Tract Infections

Does Cranberry Juice Prevent UTI urinary tract infection occur when the colonization of bacteria takes place in any part of the urinary tract? It is surely a very discomforting condition. It is believed that drinking cranberry juice can lower the risk of urinary tract infections. Wondering how does cranberry juice prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)? Scroll down to find an answer to this question.

Does cranberry juice prevent Urinary Tract Infections ( UTI )? To understand how cranberry juice helps in the prevention of a urinary tract infection, you must first understand what causes a urinary tract infection. A urinary tract infection is a medical condition that generally affects women. It is characterized by a frequent urge to urinate, pain and burning sensation during urination, foul urine odor, abdominal pain and at times, blood in the urine.

One is said to suffer from a urinary tract infection, when disease-causing agents such as bacteria, parasites or fungi, find a way through the urethra into the ureters, bladder or kidneys. It is a known fact that women are more prone to developing UTI than men. The shorter length of the urethra, which is the opening through which urine is flushed out of the body, and its proximity to the anus and vagina, makes the entry of disease-causing agents, from the urethra into the bladder easier in case of women.

In most cases, a bacteria called Escherichia coli emerges as the causal organism for urinary tract infections. This bacterium normally resides in the intestinal tract. Whenever it finds a way into the urinary tract, one suffers from a urinary tract infection.

Many a time, the susceptibility to UTI might increase due to the formation of kidney stones. Any obstruction in the urinary tract can block the flow of urine and cause incomplete emptying of the bladder. This can also provide the bacteria with the ideal condition to multiply.

A lack of personal hygiene, indulging in sexual intercourse with an infected person or the use of a contraceptive device called diaphragm can also increase the risk of UTI. While maintaining good personal hygiene can definitely help in lowering the risk of such an infection, studies have revealed that drinking cranberry juice can also help in preventing a UTI. Can cranberry juice cure a UTI? Scroll down, to find out more about how does cranberry juice prevent Urinary Tract Infections ( UTI ).

does cranberry juice prevent Urinary Tract Infections
does cranberry juice prevent Urinary Tract Infections

How Does Cranberry Juice Prevent Urinary Tract Infections ( UTI )

There is ample proof of a positive effect of cranberry juice in preventing the growth and colonization of bacteria in the various parts of the urinary tract. Let’s find out how drinking cranberry juice can help in the prevention of urinary tract infections.

Modification of the pH of the Urine

It is believed that drinking cranberry juice can change the pH of the urine. The active ingredients of cranberry juice include flavonoids, vitamin C, anthocyanins and organic acids such as benzoic acid, ascorbic acid, citric acid, quinic acid, malic acid, and ellagic acid.
It is the presence of these acids that lead to the modification of the pH of the urine. Drinking cranberry juice has been seen to raise the acidity of urine. Such an acidic environment doesn’t allow the growth of bacteria. Since the causal organisms are unable to survive in the urinary tract, the risk of urinary tract infections is considerably lowered.

Prevents Adherence of Bacteria to the Uterine Lining

Research has also proved that the mechanism of action of cranberry involves the effect of phytochemicals called proanthocyanidins and anthocyanins in preventing the Escherichia coli and other uropathogenic bacteria from binding to the lining of the urinary tract through their hairlike projections called fimbriae. Thus, while the acidic environment created by the organic acids doesn’t allow them to grow, the inability to bind to the lining of the urinary tract also helps in preventing colonization and therefore, the risk of a urinary tract infection is greatly reduced.

Prevention of Kidney Stones

Drinking cranberry juice may help in the prevention of kidney stones and bladder stones. The presence of such hardened stone-like deposits in urine can obstruct the flow of the urine and lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder, which in turn, can provide the pathogens an ideal environment to grow.

It is believed that the presence of organic acids in cranberry lowers the levels of ionized calcium and can, therefore, prevent the crystallization of minerals in the urine. Thus, by lowering the risk of kidney stones and bladder stones, cranberry juice may prove beneficial in the prevention of UTI as well.

I hope that after going through this brief overview of the connection between cranberry juice and UTI, you got a fair idea of how does cranberry juice prevents UTI. Not only does cranberry juice comprise various active ingredients that help in preventing UTI, but it may also help in preventing free radical damage due to the presence of antioxidants.

Though the benefits of drinking cranberry juice are numerous, there is a need to exercise caution when it comes to dosage. Cranberry juice is not very palatable, this is why it is often sweetened. However, those who are suffering from diabetes must refrain from consuming sweetened cranberry juice. These days, cranberry extract, as well as herbal supplements, are also readily available.

Before taking this fruit in the form of fruit juice or any other form, make sure that you consult a doctor first. Excess of anything is bad, and this holds true for cranberry juice as well. Excessive consumption of cranberry juice can lead to diarrhea or upset stomach. So, follow the advice of your health care provider regarding dosage. Also, remember, that cranberry juice must not be viewed as a substitute for antibiotics. Though cranberry juice does lower the risk of UTI, it cannot cure a UTI infection.

References

Leave a Reply