Cranberry & Urinary Tract Infections

I subscribe to the American Herbalists’ Guild daily email of herbal abstracts from PubMed and one this morning caught my eye.

The abstract is from the journal “Drugs” and states at the end “However, in light of the heterogeneity of clinical study designs and the lack of consensus regarding the dosage regimen and formulation to use, cranberry products cannot be recommended for the prophylaxis of recurrent UTIs at this time.”

OK, they use scientific terminology rather than plain English. But what they’re trying to say is that, due to arguments between scientists, they can’t recommend cranberry products to prevent Urinary Tract Infections.

Perhaps …

However, anecdotal evidence (people telling me it works for them) suggests that cranberry can prevent UTIs in some people. The “dosage regimen and formulation to use” depends on the individual. Personally, I can’t tolerate straight cranberry juice – it’s just too tart. But taking two 1600mg capsules of concentrated cranberry fruit once a day has done the trick for me.

There are a lot of reasons for recurring UTI’s. Poor hygiene used to be the assumption but that’s not necessarily the case. There are many other physical conditions that allow the bacteria to proliferate regardless of your hygiene practices or how much water you drink to flush your system.

If you get a UTI, be sure to see your doctor to determine exactly what it is. Some serious bladder conditions can mimic an infection. If it’s simply a bacterial infection, you might try cranberry before resorting to antibiotics.