Cranberry: Effective for UTI Prevention?
As I sat at my Thanksgiving dinner enjoying some delicious cranberry sauce, it got me thinking about cranberry supplements. Do they truly work for preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs), also known as bladder infections?
According to current data, cranberry is possibly effective at preventing repeated UTIs in pregnant women, older women, and women that are at high risk for developing UTIs. The current theory is that antioxidants in cranberry prevent bacteria from sticking to the cells lining the urinary tract.
However, they do not get rid of bacteria that are already stuck, which is why they do not cure UTIs. There is no standard recommendation on how much cranberry juice to drink or how many cranberry pills to take. Cranberry can cause stomach upset, nausea, and diarrhea. Cranberry also interacts with warfarin, a common blood thinner.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women can drink cranberry juice, but they should avoid the supplements since it is not known if these products are safe for the baby. There is no evidence to support cranberry treating other health conditions. So, if you are at risk for repeated UTIs, like cranberry, and it does not upset your stomach, go ahead and give it try!
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