Food for Thought: Can cranberries help prevent UTIs?

Health

(WWLP) – Up to 40 percent of women in the US have had a urinary tract infection. These infections are among the leading causes of physician visits in the U.S. and usually result in the prescription of antibiotics.

Women are more susceptible to urinary tract infections than men because the female urethra is much shorter than a man’s, allowing bacteria easier access to the bladder. You may have heard that cranberries can help prevent UTI’s, but do they?

While many women drink cranberry juice or take cranberry supplements to prevent UTIs, the research is conflicting. Some researchers think it is possible that compounds in cranberries may prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to the wall of the bladder.

However, studies funded by the cranberry industry are more likely to show positive results than studies done without industry funding.

The most recent review of 24 studies on cranberries and UTIs concluded that the evidence does not support the use of cranberry for UTI.

Until science sorts this out, one thing is clear: drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water a day reduces the recurrence of bladder infections and if you have found cranberry helps you, it’s worth continuing.

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