Urinary tract infections (UTI) are fairly common among women but can also happen in men. They develop when bacteria, most notably Escheria coli (E. coli), contaminates the bladder or any other component of the urinary tract.
UTIs may be caused by sexual intercourse, diabetes, incontinence, kidney stones, an enlarged prostate and pregnancy.
Many health care professionals recommend that women drink cranberry juice to help prevent UTIs. Does this really work? Researchers from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute believe that metabolites from cranberry juice help prevent E. coli from growing in the urinary tract. When placed in a petri dish, scientists found that cranberry metabolites prevented the growth of E. coli.
Urinary tract infections are responsible for millions of doctor’s visits each year and costs billions of dollars to treat. The fact that cranberry juice may help prevent UTIs can lead to preventative health care techniques that can save lives and save money, especially in places where pharmaceuticals are scarce or expensive.
It is important to note, however, that there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that cranberry juice or its metabolites can cure or treat a UTI. If you suspect that you are suffering from a UTI it is important that you contact your physician. Antibiotics, like penicillin or cephalosporin, are most often prescribed to treat urinary tract infections.