Many people, mostly women, suffer from urinary tract infection or UTI.

The disease affects any part of the urethra, bladder, kidneys, and/or urinary system. If you’re not sure it’s UTI, here are some of the symptoms:

  • Painful urination
  • Frequent peeing
  • Pelvic pain
  • Blood in the urine

Most sufferers though are able to cure themselves without going to the hospital. One of the most popular treatments that can easily be done at home is through drinking cranberry juice. Many people can attest to the efficacy of the juice, but doctors and researchers are now saying it is not the solution. If you want to get rid of your UTI, here’s an even better way: take cranberry capsules.

Cranberry Capsules for Your UTI

Dr. Timothy Boone of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine (Houston, Texas), along with his colleagues, investigated just how effective cranberry juice is to treating UTI. There were 160 patients whom they studied aged 23 to 88.

These patients went through elective gynecological surgery, which is a procedure that is said to increase the risk of UTI in women by at least 10% after catheter removal. As part of the study, the patients were divided into two groups: the first half received two capsules of cranberry capsules daily – an amount that is equivalent to two eight-ounce glasses of cranberry juice – while the other half received a placebo.

The result showed that those who took cranberry capsules had lower instance of developing UTI by up to 50%. Only 19% of the participants developed UTI, while 38% of the placebo group developed the infection.

Don't drink cranberry juice for the wrong reason.
Don’t drink cranberry juice for the wrong reason.

Why are Cranberry Capsules Effective?

UTIs happen when bacteria stick to the lining of the bladder and invade it. Cranberries can provide the body with A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs), which have the ability to stop the bacteria’s ability to adhere to the bladder wall. As a result, this reduces the possibility to developing infection.

But Why is Cranberry Juice Not Effective?

The researchers say that a cranberry capsule is equivalent to eight ounces of the juice. However, in order for the juice to be really effective against UTI, the patient should consume a lot of pure cranberry juice to stop the infection. Dr. Boone explains that we need an extremely large amount of cranberry to stop bacterial adhesion. This concentration, however, is not something you can get from cranberry juice.

If you can’t find cranberry capsules or you simply don’t want to take them, you can consume probiotics instead. The researchers propose probiotics, which are the good bacteria in your digestive tract. Probiotics can be found in fermented vegetables as well as live-cultured yogurt.