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Cranberries are used to treat a number of ailments since time immemorial. They are available in the form of pills, juice, dried and sweetened cranberries, etc. Cranberries are a rich source of antioxidants that fight against free radicals present in the body and keep numerous infections and disorders at bay. Cranberry in the form of pills is widely available in various health stores and is quite popular among masses. Cranberry pills are the concentrated form of cranberry juice and are used to treat a number of maladies. One of the ailments which can be effectively treated with the use of cranberry pills is urinary tract infection (UTI). Let us discuss the effectiveness of cranberry pills for UTI and the use of cranberry pills for UTI prevention.
How Do Cranberry Pills for UTI Work?
As mentioned earlier, one of the cranberry pills benefits is the effective treatment of urinary tract infection. Since these pills are the concentrated form of cranberry juice, they work similarly to that of cranberry juice and UTI.
- Cranberries are rich in proanthocyanidins, a compound that is similar to antibacterial drugs. This compound inhibits the development of E. coli, which is the bacteria responsible for urinary tract infection.
- Proanthocyanidins also have anti-adhesive properties, which means they prevent the bacteria from clinging to the inner wall of the urinary tract. The body of the bacteria also undergoes modification as a result of this chemical compound and lose their ability to create infections.
- Cranberry pills also have citric acid in them which increases the acidity in the urine. The raised level of hippuric acid in the urine makes it impossible for the bacteria to flourish.
- Research has also proved that cranberry also acts as a communication barrier among bacterial cells. The bacteria release a chemical called indole from their bodies which is used as a means of communication between cells. The compounds in the cranberries condense the bodies and inhibit the production of indole. A failure to communicate with other bacterial cells reduces the risk of contracting urinary tract infections. It also fights against other infections related to the bladder and the urinary tract.
Cranberry Pills Side Effects
Though there are many benefits of taking cranberry pills for UTI, there are also a few side effects, which can be seen as an allergic reaction and may arise due to improper dosage. Given below are a few cranberry pills side effects, which can be observed in some individuals.
- Individuals who are allergic to cranberry and its extracts may suffer from allergic reactions like hives, difficulty in breathing, etc. Skin rashes that may resemble small, red boils may also erupt and may be itchy in nature.
- Cranberry pills also may interact with certain drugs like anticoagulants or antacids and reduce their effects.
- People suffering from diabetes should avoid taking cranberries or any of its supplements since the sugar content in cranberry is quite high and may increase the levels of blood sugar in the body.
- Some individuals may also experience frequent urination, diarrhea accompanied by stomach cramping and a feeling of nausea. In some cases, individuals may also suffer from fatigue, headaches which may range from moderate to severe and dizziness.
- Since cranberries have a tendency to accumulate oxalates, this can lead to the formation of kidney stones. However, this side effect can be seen only in rare cases.
This was all about cranberry pills for UTI. Drinking plenty of water and fluids will help keep urinary tract infection at bay. However, it is always advisable to consult a physician before consuming any nutritional supplements and medications as a remedial measure for any infection or disease. Wish you a healthy and disease-free life!