If you’ve ever suffered from a urinary tract infection (UTI), you know that it is no fun at all. It’s painful, and the frequent urination can be very disruptive to your day and to your sleep. It’s important to see your doctor as soon as you suspect a UTI, because if left untreated it can turn into a kidney infection.
Are you prone to UTIs? I bet that in addition to other tips from friends and doctors, you’ve had at least one person recommend cranberry juice or supplements to help prevent them. It’s not news that cranberries contain compounds that can help prevent UTIs, but conventional wisdom has been that concentrated cranberry supplements pack more protective punch than a glass of cranberry juice. A new study in The Archives of Internal Medicine suggest that the juice may actually be better.
The study was a meta analysis, meaning that researchers looked at several studies on cranberry and UTIs. The studies used different amounts of cranberry juice or used cranberry supplements taken once or twice a day. You’d probably expect that taking a concentrated cranberry pill twice a day would be most effective in preventing UTIs, but it turns out that regular cranberry juice drinkers had less frequent UTIs than folks taking supplements.
The only trouble with these results is that in the cranberry juice trials, they aren’t sure how much cranberry folks were consuming. There’s a big difference between cranberry juice cocktails – sweetened with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or juice – and straight 100 percent cranberry juice.
Thanks to some medical problems I had as a child, I have struggled with UTIs for almost three decades. On the next page, I’ll share some of the techniques that have helped me reduce my UTI frequency over the years.