We’ve all heard this numerous times. Have a Urinary Tract Infection? Have some cranberry juice. It might not solve the issue, but it’ll help! …Or will it?
Recent reports suggest that we may have been fed with a company lie in order to sell more juice. Fem-STEM recently shared an article that considered that perhaps Britain could become a better source of wine than it is now, but even then, we made sure to tell you that this study was commissioned by a wine company based in the UK. Why? Because these sources and studies can often be biased, and it would appear that the juice company OceanSpray may be manipulating things behind the scenes to get you to buy cranberry juice to help or prevent UTIs.
As it would turn out, the study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition was co-funded by OceanSpray, and it was also co-written by OceanSpray scientists on their own staff. It’s important to remember that so-called scientific journals can and will publish just about anything in some cases. In 2015, John Bohannon created a hoax just to prove this point. He managed to fool millions by saying that eating a piece of chocolate every day could help you lose weight, and he was able to do this by publishing his hoax study in a scientific journal and then the faux report blew up on the internet.
RED FLAGS TO THE UTI STUDY
According to the study co-funded by OceanSpray, a glass of cranberry juice a day reduced UTIs by 40%. However, most drugs don’t have that large of an effect, and other studies suggest that cranberry juice doesn’t reduce the occurrence of UTIs. Rather, according to the aforementioned link, in order to maintain the levels of the bacteria-fighting compound that is found in cranberries needed to fight UTIs, you would have to drink the juice twice a day, for an infinite amount of time.
On top of this, the OceanSpray study purposely painted a broad brush as to what UTI meant.
Diagnosis for UTIs (or Urinary Tract Infections) requires the measurement of the bacteria in the actual urine. If the bacteria found in the urine is higher than normal, often it is diagnosed as a UTI. However, the OceanSpray study found that women who took the cranberry juice, and the women who had took the placebo juice, “had about the same number of infections by this measure.” The study used women who complained about symptoms of a UTI, but hadn’t actually been diagnosed.
For more on the red flags of the UTI study, you can check out the source material for this article.
SO …DO CRANBERRIES HELP AT ALL?
Perhaps. Cranberries do in fact have compounds to fight bacteria. Truthfully, I’ve been prescribed by my own doctor to drink cranberry juice when I’ve had issues. However, there isn’t enough evidence to prove that it solves, or really reduces any risk of developing a UTI. Other than maybe the amount of sugar in the juices, there really isn’t anything wrong with drinking cranberry juice, so you can continue to do so if you like it.
HOW CAN I PREVENT A UTI?
There are plenty of ways you can help yourself reduce the risk of UTIs that don’t include cranberry juice. How to do this? First of all, your hygiene proves an important role. A good rule of thumb is to wipe front to back after using the restroom. This can help prevent germs from the rectum getting into other areas. Showering rather than taking prolonged baths helps as well. And for women who can, or prefer, to use tampons, keep on doing so. Pads may help breed bacteria. Also, don’t hold your pee if you can avoid it.
You can also drink more water, and avoid tight clothing.