A number of studies have suggested that cranberry juice contains active compounds which help prevent bacteria in urinary tract within 8 hours.
Scientists have affirmed the beneficial role of cranberry juice in preventing the bacterial growth in the urinary tract.
World Health Organization has reported that E. Coli, the major cause of UTIs, has been seen to become antibiotic resistant in the recent years.
A study was presented at the national meeting of American Chemical Society in Boston which provided evidence for the medicinal use of cranberry against E. Coli.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can affect anyway along the whole urinary tract including bladder, urethra, and ureter.
The research was carried out by researchers from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts.The E. Coli strains were collected from individuals twice, before and after they drank the cranberry juice. Strains obtained from a group of healthy people were then grown in a laboratory.
It was found that the cranberry metabolites in cocktail actually prevented the bacterial strains from sticking to each other. This caused the E. Coli not to multiply further, limiting their ability to grow.
According to Dr. Paul Tulikangas, a fellow at American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, cranberry juice does not cause any change in urine pH.
In addition, the bacteria are prevented from adhering to the wall of the bladder due to a compound called as proanthocyanidins (PACX). It was also found in the urine of women after drinking cranberry juice.
The bacteria multiply upon the availability of favorable conditions for multiplication. Upon connection of E. Coli with other bacteria, it gets an opportunity to form a thin biofilm resulting in rapid multiplication and spread of infection.
According to a research, women are more at risk of getting an infection than men. Around 50–60% of women develop UTIs in their lifetime.
“Clinical trials have suggested that cranberry juice works against bacterial infections, thus preventing the UTIs. These are controlled trials designed to conduct scientific studies on humans,” says Terri Anne Camesano, a Ph.D. researcher.
UTIs account for 8 million trips to medical practitioners every year and they cost more than 1.6 billion dollars for treatment.
Camesano added that individuals suspected of any infection symptom must see a doctor instead of treating it at home. Cranberry juice is an immediate way forward providing an easy and inexpensive remedy.
The severity of infection may pose potential threats if left untreated. Antibiotics are a common treatment which prevents advancement of infection from acute to chronic stage particularly in children and elderly.
Till 2012 cranberry juice was considered as an effective remedy but the Cochrane review doubted its significance. It featured 24 studies done on 4473 participants.
The cranberry products including juices and supplements were compared with the alternate control treatments but no significant results were found.
The capsules and tablets had effect when taken as an antibiotic but were ineffective in treating urinary tract infections possibly due to the lack of potency and active ingredients present in it.
Regardless of not being an effective product for treating UTIs, cranberry juice is good for health. It serves as a superfood due to low calories, high amount of antioxidants, and nutrients.
There is no negative impact of drinking cranberry juice regularly.
Cranberry juice also helps to boost immunity due to a huge amount of vitamin C found in it and also keeps consumers hydrated.
It is necessary to take precautionary measures if an individual is prone to recurrent UTIs. Taking an oral antibiotic is a better option in place of spermicides. Keep a balance between good and bad bacteria in the vagina by including probiotics in your diet.