Urinary tract infections (UTIs) ARE BAD. The myth that cranberry juice helps prevent and get rid of UTIs goes back hundreds of years. Although it can’t hurt to drink cranberry juice, studies are showing that it’s definitely not something to rely on. I recently celebrated a study out of Yale University that showed no reduction in UTIs in women who took the equivalent of 20 ounces of cranberry juice daily, for a year (1).
In another 2016 study using cranberry capsules containing 72 mg of proanthocyanidin (PAC), a cranberry ingredient that is believed to inhibit bacteria in the urinary tract. In the study, 185 women living in nursing homes received either cranberry capsules or placebo for one year.
The researchers found that the cranberry capsules did not prevent bacteria in urine or have an effect on other health outcomes, such as hospitalizations and mortality.
The bottom line, says Dr. Manisha Juthani-Mehta, a geriatrics infectious disease expert: "While consuming cranberry products may have no harm on women with frequent UTIs, they don’t appear to have a proven benefit."
It’s nice to see others taking note and spreading the word. On top of that, the Globe and Mail published an article in October calling attention to the lack of evidence for cranberries – reinforcing what past studies have already shown (2).
Even back in 2012 there was a trail that concluded, “ cranberry juice cannot currently be recommended for the prevention of UTIs (2).” And yet the myth persists — I guess it’s hard to dispel something that’s so tempting to believe, and deeply entrenched in our folklore.
Cranberry juice isn't all bad though and I’m all for the vodka-cran classic. Even the study’s lead author told Reuters Health that there probably isn’t much downside to eating or drinking cranberries, but to combat UTIs? Probably not worth the cost (which can cost up to $200 for a 30-day supply.)
So now that I've robbed you from your beloved cranberry juice, I'm here with your new favourite superhero: D-Mannose — a natural alternative to antibiotics that actually works for UTI prevention. Read all about this UTI superhero's superpowers HERE.
Questions? Comments? Collaboration ideas? Let's chat!
(1) Hoffman, Jan . "The Cure for UTIs? It’s Not Cranberries - NYTimes.com." The New York Times . N.p., 27 Oct. 2016.
(2) Seaman, Andrew M. "Study finds no evidence cranberries prevent UTIs." The Globe and Mail. Reuters, 31 Oct. 2016.
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