The cranberry cure

Somehow, every woman in America, seems to be in on the natural secret for curing urinary tract infections (UTIs). But men get these infections, too (as I wrote in the October 2011 issue of my newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives). And it’s high time everyone knew about the power of cranberries.

Particularly since there’s a new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine that shows just how much cranberry can help people plagued by UTIs.

Researchers gathered data from 10 studies involving 1,494 people. Those who used cranberry products were 38 percent less likely to get UTIs.

These infections are caused by bacteria that enter either the bladder or the kidneys via the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder).

Symptoms include:

  • Painful, frequent urination (with a “burning” sensation)
  • Urine that smells foul, and looks cloudy
  • Tenderness in the abdomen
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Fever, chills

While many people have relied on cranberry juice to treat these symptoms, cranberry extracts are much more effective at killing the bacteria causing the underlying infection. Plus, they don’t contain any added sugar (unlike most juices). Bacteria actually feed on sugar, so opting for cranberry juice could wind up making things worse.

So if you’re prone to UTIs, look for a quality cranberry extract supplement instead, and take 300 to 400 mg twice a day. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to save yourself a lot of suffering.

“Cranberry-Containing Products for Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections in Susceptible Populations: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials,” Archives of Internal Medicine 2012; 172(13):988-996