If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection (UTI), you know that most people will do almost anything to relieve the pain and get rid of the infection as soon as possible.
One of the first ports of call for many is a bottle of cranberry juice. The active ingredients in cranberries help fight the infection by preventing bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall, and with cranberry juice lining the shelves at most supermarkets it’s been a go-to option for years.
Now though, a study has found there is not enough cranberry concentrate in the juice to effectively fight off infection.
Doctors involved in the study are instead advising patients to use cranberry capsules as they have the equivalent of 225 grams of cranberry juice – meaning you would have to drink a lot of juice to get the same benefit!
Dr. Timothy Boone vice dean of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine says the idea that UTIs can be treated with cranberry juice is more of an old wives tale than scientific fact.
“Cranberry juice, especially the juice concentrates you find at the grocery store, will not treat a UTI or bladder infection,” he told Medical News Today.
“It can offer more hydration and possibly wash bacteria from your body more effectively, but the active ingredient in cranberry is long gone by the time it reaches your bladder.
“It takes an extremely large concentration of cranberry to prevent bacterial adhesion. This amount of concentration is not found in the juices we drink. There’s a possibility it was stronger back in our grandparents’ day, but definitely not in modern times.”
The researchers who conducted the study also advised doctors and patients to use probiotics to ward off and treat UTIs.
Probiotics, which can be bought in capsules from chemists, contain ‘good’ bacterias that help both prevent and fight off the ‘bad’ bacteria that causes UTIs.