By Samantha Bove
Chances are if you are a college-age female, you have already experienced the dreaded burning sensation that accompanies a urinary tract infection, better known as a UTI.
Whether the root cause was sexual or you were just too lazy to go to the bathroom, your first instinct has most likely been to start chugging cranberry juice. However, an article in Medical News Today suggests that what we’ve been told for years may have little scientific truth behind it. The juice you find in the grocery store simply does not have a high enough concentration for the body to reap any of the benefits.
“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,” says Dr. Boone, vice dean of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in Houston, in the article.
Instead, when the burning sensation and urge to pee every five seconds begins, cranberry capsules are proven to be the best option. The capsules have a higher concentration of the active component called A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs), which works as a bacterial anti-adhesion. This means that if it is caught early enough, the PACs may prevent the UTI from reaching the bladder wall and may also reduce the annoying side effects. If the infection is caught too late or lasts for more than a couple days, it is wise to seek medical help to ensure a kidney infection does not develop.
If you are one of the more than 3 million Americans per year who has experienced the utter pain and irritation of a UTI, saving the extra calories by opting for the pills really doesn’t seem like the worst idea. And if you’re worried about your liters of Welch’s going to waste, you can use them to make some vodka cranberries instead.