Can you treat a UTI with cranberry juice?

Can you treat a UTI with cranberry juice?

Caity Reverand
4 minute read

Why is cranberry juice used as a spell to prevent UTIs? Is it an effective treatment, how can I use it to my benefit, and what other natural remedies are there for treating UTIs? Let’s find out.

Does cranberry juice help UTIs?

Cranberry juice provides many general health benefits improving heart health, digestive health, post-menopausal health, and, of course, urinary tract health. Studies on the effect of cranberry juice on UTIs show that metabolites in cranberry juice prevent E. coli from sticking to other bacteria. This limits the ability of the bacteria in the urinary tract to grow and spread. Additionally, there is a special ingredient in cranberries called A-type proanthocyanidins that prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall.

Now let’s talk cranberry pills. Cranberry pills are capsules made of dried cranberries and aim to provide the same health benefits as drinking cranberry juice. While this varies from brand to brand, one serving of cranberry supplements is typically equal to about 8 oz of pure cranberry juice. Cranberry pills can be bought over the counter or online and also prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary walls. 

Both cranberry juice and cranberry supplements can be used to prevent UTIs. Research has shown that 240-300 ml of cranberry juice daily can prevent 50% of UTI recurrences and reduce the number of bacteria in your urinary tract. Additionally, taking cranberry supplements with 36 mg of proanthocyanidins every day for two months significantly reduces the frequency of UTIs. 

To prevent UTIs, it’s best to drink pure, unsweetened cranberry juice, rather than drinking a cranberry juice cocktail. The concentration of the good ingredients in the cranberries in cranberry juice cocktails doesn’t provide significant benefits to your urinary health. In terms of cranberry supplements, you can’t really go wrong but we like PureCo, Azo, and Sunergetic

Urinary tract infection remedies

While cranberry juice is helpful in healing and preventing UTIs, there are many other effective self-treatments. The most important thing when you feel a UTI coming on is to stay hydrated. Water and liquids dilute the urine moving through your urinary tract and make it harder for unwanted bacteria to reach the cells that line urinary organs.

Another way to prevent UTIs from developing is peeing when you have to. Holding in urine often causes bacteria to build up and increases the risk of infection. It’s best to listen to your body when it tells you your bladder is full to help avoid and treat UTIs.

Probiotics are also a natural remedy that helps with urinary tract health. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods and dairy products like yogurt, sauerkraut, and some cheeses. Probiotics work by producing hydrogen peroxide, a strong antibacterial, in the urine. You can also take probiotics as a supplement every day for the many health benefits such as better digestive health, a stronger immune system, and more friendly bacteria in your urinary tract.

Whether you have a UTI or not, practicing good sexual hygiene is key to urinary tract health. This means peeing before and right after sex, wiping from front to back, and using clean condoms. During sex, bacteria from either partner can pass from the genitals to the urethra creating a urinary infection. By peeing before and after sex, your body clears some of the bacteria in your urethra out and makes it less likely to spread and cause a UTI. 

What cures a UTI?

A UTI is cured when the bad bacteria in your urinary tract is flushed through the urethra and out of the body. The way you treat a UTI depends on the severity of the infection. Some can be mitigated with natural remedies, and some require antibiotics. If your doctor recommends antibiotics, your UTI symptoms should be relieved in a day or two and the infection should be completely resolved after three to seven days of medication.

50-60% of you will experience a urinary tract infection in your lifetime. UTIs aren’t fun but, luckily, there are plenty of remedies and resources we can turn to to get in the know and get on top of our urinary health. Here at Stix, we hope we can be that resource. Check out the Stix Library for more information like this or email your health questions to hello@getstix.com.  

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