Say Good-Bye to Bladder Infections

Anyone who has experienced a bladder infection can attest to the unpleasant symptoms of lower abdomen pain, a burning feeling during urination, an urgency to urinate frequently, and possibly cloudy urine.  Both women and men can develop bladder infections.

A couple of good tips would be to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day, especially chlorine-free (non-tap) water, and to decrease the amount of refined white sugar in the diet. Regarding white sugar, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that when healthy volunteers consumed a large amount of refined sugar, their immune system*s white blood cells had an impaired ability to destroy bacteria for at least five hours.

Antibiotics are the standard medical treatment for bladder infections, and while they are sometimes necessary, those who do not want to regularly use antibiotics have the option of benefitting from a well-documented nutritional remedy.

Cranberry concentrate in capsule form, together with cranberry juice, can be helpful.  Cranberry makes the urine more acidic and creates an environment which is hard for bacteria to live in.  It has the unique ability to interfere with bacteria establishing a foothold on the bladder wall and when taken regularly, especially in capsule form, it can help to break the cycle of repeated bladder infections. 

One research study with women who had a history of recurring bladder infections, found that daily treatment with cranberry concentrate capsules (400 mg twice per day) for three months, significantly reduced the recurrence of urinary tract infections.  Drinking cranberry juice is also helpful, but remember to drink a natural cranberry juice that is unsweetened or sweetened from fruit sources, rather a cranberry juice cocktail thatís sweetened with white sugar.

REFERENCES:

1. Sanchez A, Reeser JL, Lau HS, et al. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. Am J Clin Nutr 1973;26:1180*4.

2. Sobota AE. Inhibition of bacterial adherence by cranberry juice: Potential use for the treatment of urinary tract infections. J Urol. 1984;131:1013*1016.

3. Schmidt DR, Sobota AE. An examination of the antiadherence activity of cranberry juice on urinary and nonurinary bacterial isolates. Microbios. 1988;55:173*181.

4. Zafriri D, Ofek I, Adar R, et al. Inhibitory activity of cranberry juice on adherence of type 1 and type P fimbriated Escherichia coli to eucaryotic cells. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1989;33:92*98.

5. Howell AB, Vorsa N, Marderosian AD, et al. Inhibition of the adherence of p-fimbriated Escherichia coli to uroepithelial-cell surfaces by proanthocyanidin extracts from cranberries [letter]. N Engl J Med. 1998;339:1085-1086.

6. Walker EB, Barney DP, Mickelsen JN, et al. Cranberry concentrate: UTI prophylaxis. J Family Pract 1997;45:167*8 [letter].

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  The nutrients and products discussed here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.