We all love a good urban legend or an old wives' tale. One in particular that all women have probably heard at some point is to drink cranberry juice when you have a UTI. While cranberries are a perfect balance of sweet and sour and pair perfectly with turkey, do cranberries actually cure a UTI? Well, we are here to tell you once and for all that it is... both a fact and myth; here's why.
What We Know About Cranberries
Cranberries are full of antioxidants and are a great source of vitamins, including Vitamin C, Vitamin Bs, and Vitamin E. These tiny berries pack a punch of health benefits from reducing heart disease, slowing the prevention of cancer, and lowering cholesterol. While all of these are impressive, there is NO scientific evidence that cranberries can help cure a UTI once it's already developed.
But wait! Here is where the myth becomes a fact. There is evidence that cranberries can help prevent UTIs from happening in the first place. There are two logical theories of how this happens.
- The first theory is that cranberries contain a substance called proanthocyanidins (PACS). This chemical compound is what gives fruit or flowers their vibrant colors. PACS were first studied for cancer prevention. Ultimately, researchers found that they create a slippery coating on the urinary tract walls preventing bacteria from sticking to it. This makes it easier to flush away bacteria after urinating. If no bacteria, no UTI.
- The second theory is that because cranberries are relatively acidic (same pH as lemons), they make urine more acidic, slowing or preventing bacteria like Escherichia coli (E. coli) from growing.
With that said, maybe it is a bit of both. However, there is another myth here. Cranberry juice will not help. The amount of cranberries needed to prevent bacterial growth is an extremely large concentration. That is where cranberry supplements come in. Whether in tablet or powder form, cranberry supplements contain an effective dose of the good stuff (proanthocyanidins) to prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract. In a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, cranberry capsules lowered the risk of UTIs by 50%.
With a tart taste and acidic pH, cranberries can be hard for some people to eat. But we have the perfect solution. Checkable Wellness Urinary Tract Balance is a supplement designed as a cleanser to help balance the urinary tract while giving you the nutrients needed to promote a healthy bladder. These supplements contain a combination of the most effective ingredients available, including Cranberry Juice Powder, D-Mannose, Hibiscus, and natural Dandelion herb. Overall, cranberries have numerous health benefits that can help strengthen your urinary tract. So, add them to your smoothies, or swallow a pill for added nutrition and UTI prevention.