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What does cranberry do for a bladder infection?

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Quick Answer

Some researchers believe that cranberries contain anti-infection substances that prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract walls, explains WebMD. In some studies, the antioxidants in cranberries changed the bacteria so that it couldn't stick and build up.

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What does cranberry do for a bladder infection?
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Full Answer

An alternate theory that researchers have is that the cranberries create a smooth coating on the urinary tract walls that keeps bacteria from getting a good grip, according to WebMD. However, studies that have analyzed the effects of cranberry products on urinary tract infections have reported mixed results.

In one study, women drank 1.7 ounces of cranberry-lingonberry juice concentrate every day for six months. This resulted in decreasing their risk for contracting a UTI by 20 percent versus women who didn't use any intervention method, notes WebMD. Another study reported that cranberry tablets and juice were connected to fewer patients who experienced at least one UTI. A third study claimed that adults who took cranberry products were half as likely to have bacteria and white blood cells in the urine, which are indicators of a potential UTI.

However, it should be noted that cranberry products do not work for everyone, explains WebMD. Also, they don't prevent bacteria from growing, only from allowing it to take hold.

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