Urinary tract infections are nasty. They make life uncomfortable. And when not treated, can even cause permanent damage. What is even more infuriating is the fact that they can sometimes keep on coming back. The good news is that it is possible to prevent urinary tract infections. You can do this by adjusting your lifestyle. You can also prevent UTIs by taking foods and products that help to discourage these infections from developing.
Cranberry is effective when it comes to preventing urinary tract infections. The fact that it is natural is a bonus that makes taking cranberry-based products a no-brainer. And what is even better is the fact that studies have shown cranberry to be as effective at antibacterial medications.
Why is cranberry effective at preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs)?
It all has to do with the compounds that exist in cranberry. More specifically, proanthocyanidins. These substances help to prevent urinary tract infections by making the walls of the urinary and digestive tract slippery to UTI-causing bacteria. As a result, harmful bacteria such as E. coli cannot stick on these walls. This then goes a long way as far as preventing the risks of digestive and urinary infections.
This effect, in addition to the fact that you can get all the benefits of an infection-free urinary tract without the negative side effects that most antibiotics have, has made cranberry extracts a favorite among medical practitioners. In fact, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada recommends cranberry products when it comes to preventing UTIs.
Preventing UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) Using Cranberry — What the Studies Show
As effective as antimicrobial medications
Trimethoprim is an effective urinary tract infection medication. However, like any other antibiotics, it can create antimicrobial resistance. This is so especially in cases where one has recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs).
A large study was conducted with the aim of determining the effectiveness cranberry extracts. To this end, the participants were given 500 milligrams of cranberry extract for six months. At the end of this study, the researchers came to the conclusion that the extract reduced the rate of UTI to the same extent as the trimethoprim. And it did this without the risks of any side effects. It proved to be an effective and natural way of preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Significant reduction in rate of recurrent UTI
In order to further test the effectiveness of cranberry in women with recurrent UTIs, medical researchers carried out an extensive meta-analysis. They did this by studying women who took cranberry for extended periods. These researchers came to the conclusion that when taken for a period of 12 months, cranberry reduced the rate of infections. This reduction rate was as high as 35%. This is impressive for a natural and side-effect free method of preventing urinary tract infections.
Cranberry alleviates Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) symptoms
Studies also show that cranberry extracts are great at reducing the symptoms of urinary tract infections (UTIs). This is because cranberry extracts naturally contain salicylic acid and anthocyanins. These compounds have an anti-inflammatory effect. They also exert an analgesic effect. Therefore, they tend to be effective at alleviating the Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) symptoms.
Cranberry juice Vs. Cranberry extract tablets
However, it is important to note that not all cranberry is created equal. Studies have shown that when compared to cranberry juice, cranberry extract tablets are twice as effective. You will therefore have an edge when you use cranberry tablet extracts when it comes to preventing a UTI.
It is important to note that by no means does this mean that cranberry juice doesn’t help. All it means is that while cranberry juice will help reduce the risks of a urinary tract infection, a cranberry extract tablet will do the job way better.
Top 3 Chewable Cranberry Tablets / Gummies
1. Nature’s Plus Ultra Chewable Cranberry
Top Reviews on Amazon
My daughter gets UTIs more frequently than I’d like. I hate to pump her full of antibiotics so this was a good alternative. She and my son (ages 4 and 2) take them daily and her symptoms have subsided. They LOVE the taste and cute heart-shape as well! Rhea M., Verified Purchase
We have UTI issues in our house. Even though we don’t mind drinking cranberry juice, these are more convenient, and are really good tasting. We will continue to buy these because they work.” Jenny Matthewson, April 23, 2017 — Verified Purchase
I love these, but more importantly, my kids love them. I was having a struggle getting them to take a different brand. We have had no more UTIs since starting on this brand…and we were having them constantly before. I am a very, very happy mom! Karobear, January 22, 2016 | Verified Purchase
It taste like a very tart cranberry version if the willy wonka candy. It’s very tarte. I got over it the first week. It’s chewable but not like a gummy. It’s like powdered candy. The reason I give this 4 stars is because of the flavor. It can be intense at first. I got this to help with my UTIs. I am almost less than halfway done with this bottle and felt I could do a proper review. It did help keep my uti under control but I did get a uti here and there though. But it’s a good way to get your dose if cranberries especially when you don’t buy cranberry juice often or like taking big cranberry pills. Kathy, August 17, 2014 | Verified Purchase
2. Spring Valley Cranberry Soft Chews
3. CranRx Gummies by Nature’s Way
Top 3 Cranberry Softgels
1. Nature’s Bounty Triple Strength Cranberry with Vitamin C, 60 Softgels (Pack of 2)
2. AZO Cranberry Urinary Tract Health Dietary Supplement –Plus Vitamin C
3. Pure Healthland Cranberry Concentrate Pills
Top 3 of the Best Cranberry Juice Concentrate
1. Cystex Urinary Health Maintenance Cranberry 7.6 oz
2. Gaia Herbs Cranberry Concentrate Liquid Phyto-Capsules, 60 Count
Top 3 Best Dried Cranberry
1. Wilderness Poets Oregon Cranberries (Sweetened with Apples) – Bulk Dried Cranberries, 2 lb (32 oz)
2. Unsweetened 1 lb. Low Moisture Dried Cranberries by Cherry Bay Orchards
3. Ocean Spray Reduced Sugar Craisins Dried Cranberries, 43 oz.
Probiotics with cranberry extracts