There are a lot of different ways to use food as medicine to improve our health and fight infections. You have probably heard that you should eat bananas to prevent muscle cramps or eat fish to keep your brain sharp. Some of this advice is rooted in science and some of it isn’t.
So where does drinking cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) fit in? Is there any science to back it up? This article will explain what causes UTIs and whether cranberry juice can actually prevent them in the future.
1. What Causes a UTI?
According to Medicinenet.com, painful UTIs are a result of bacteria entering the bladder. The bacteria, most often E.coli can migrate from the anus (as it is usually found in the colon or around the anus region) to the urethra. This migration usually occurs after sex or poor bathroom hygiene (wiping forwards from the anus).
The infection can occur in the urethra, bladder, or kidneys. From the urethra, the bacteria can spread to the bladder. Sometimes, urinating can eliminate the bacteria from the bladder. However, if the bacteria has already grown and spread, urinating might not be enough to flush the bacteria out. If the bacterium spreads even further to the kidneys, the infection becomes even more serious and needs to be treated quickly. Young infants and children, individuals with medical conditions or compromised immune systems, sexually active women, and men with an enlarged prostate are most at risk.