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No, cranberry juice does not cure a urinary tract infection

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Staff writer | Saturday February 27, 2016 7:40AM ET
Cranberry juice
Juice for health   More than 3 million Americans have a urinary tract problems

Contrary to popular belief, cranberry juice does not cure a urinary tract infection, a doctor says.


Many people drink cranberry juice in an attempt to ease their symptoms, but it will do nothing to help them, said Dr. Timothy Boone, vice dean of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, Houston campus.

"Cranberry juice, especially the juice concentrates you find at the grocery store, will not treat a urinary tract infection or bladder infection. It can offer more hydration and possibly wash bacteria from your body more effectively, but the active ingredient in cranberry is long gone by the time it reaches your bladder," Boone said.

Each year, more than 3 million Americans have a urinary tract infection - an infection in any part of the urinary system, kidney, bladder or urethra, according to the news release.

The active ingredient in cranberries - A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs) - is effective against UTI-causing bacteria, but is found only in cranberry capsules, not in cranberry juice, Boone said.

"It takes an extremely large concentration of cranberry to prevent bacterial adhesion. This amount of concentration is not found in the juices we drink. There's a possibility it was stronger back in our grandparents' day, but definitely not in modern times."

 

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