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Can Cranberries Help with your UTIs?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common type of infection which can affect your urethra, kidneys, or bladder (your urinary system). They can affect both men and women; some people may get them frequently throughout their lifetime.

A common belief is that cranberries, cranberry supplements or cranberry juice can help prevent and treat your UTIs. The question is whether this belief is just a myth and does it actually work?

Below we will discuss why people may think they do help, what the science says, and the preferable ways to prevent and treat UTIs.

Why may they help with prevention and treatment?

The reasons why people believe that they may help is because cranberries contain phenolic acids and flavonoids. These compounds can specifically help in several ways:

They can reduce inflammation and regulate bacteria in your gut,
Decrease the number of bacteria which is present in the bladder and gastrointestinal tracts, which can lead to UTIs, and
These compounds can stop the bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract.

Therefore, taking these factors into consideration, it is believed that cranberries would effectively treat and prevent UTIs. However, lets look at the facts in more detail.

What is the science on this?

One study conducted in 2013 with thirteen different trials using cranberry-containing products, such as cranberry juice and tablets, found that cranberry-containing products did reduce and protect against UTIs.

However, two other studies, one conducted in 2012 and another in 2016 , found that cranberry-containing products in 176 participants and 185 women in nursing homes, respectively, did not significantly effect or reduce UTIs on the participants.

Therefore, the evidence is mixed on how effective using cranberry-containing products is. However, there is no harm in using cranberry-containing products while using more reputable preventatives and treatments. Below we have listed some other ways to prevent and treat UTIs.

How to prevent and treat UTIs:

Drink plenty of fluids, especially water ๐Ÿšฐ
Wipe from front to back ๐Ÿงป
Pee before and after sex ๐Ÿšฝ
Avoid using irritating feminine products ๐Ÿงผ
Switch to a different birth control method ๐Ÿ’Š
If you think you have a UTI, sign up to Contro to speak to one of our qualified Partner Doctors, who will be able to provide you with the correct medication and advice ๐Ÿ’ป

Updated on: 12/05/2023

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