Cranberry capsules help urinary tract infections more than juice
More than 3 million Americans, mostly women, experience a UTI every year.
Symptoms include frequent, painful urination, pelvic pain and traces blood in the urine. The infection does not normally last long, and most patients self-diagnose and reach for cranberry juice to treat.
In a study, researchers wanted to find out if cranberry juice or capsules really did help.
For a UTI to occur, bacteria must adhere to and invade the lining of the bladder. Cranberries contain A-type proanthocyanidins, which interfere with the bacteria's ability to attach to the bladder wall, reducing the likelihood of infection.
In the results of the study, cranberry capsules lowered the risk of UTIs by 50 percent. In the cranberry treatment group, 19 percent of patients developed a UTI, compared with 38 percent of the placebo group.
However, the researchers point out that since a cranberry capsule provides the equivalent of 8 ounces of cranberry juice, a patient would need a lot of pure cranberry to prevent an infection.
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