Nobody likes the feeling of a urinary tract infection.
First, there's the foreboding sense that something isn't quite right in your body. That's followed by increasingly frequent pee sessions and a burning that's basically the fires of Mordor blazing in your urinary tract.
For many ladies, UTIs are just a regular part of life. You still have to go about your day, so it's easiest to just pop a couple of cranberry capsules and move the hell on with it.
However, a new study indicates that cranberry probably isn't doing a thing to help your poor urinary tract.
A study published in JAMA spent a year observing 185 women in nursing homes across Connecticut. Half took cranberry capsules (the equivalent of drinking 20 ounces of juice) every single day, while the others ingested a placebo treatment.
The team tested participants' urine and blood every two months, but didn't find a significant difference in UTI-causing bacteria between the two groups.
The takeaway? Just because the cranberry seems to be making you feel better, don't give it too much credit. It may just be your brain giving the supplement more credit than it deserves for a natural healing process.
Drinking glass after glass of water will do you more good.
Time notes this is the latest in a series of studies over the years trying to determine whether or not cranberries really work to counter UTIs.
While a few (including one sponsored by cranberry producer Ocean Spray) have found it effective, just as many claim it isn't. This particular study was one research team's attempt to understand what's actually happening.
After all, your health is at stake. A “maybe” isn't good enough.
On the upside, though, researchers remind us that cranberry supplements definitely can't hurt you.
Lead researcher Dr. Manisha Juthani-Mehta, of the Yale School of Medicine, essentially shrugged her shoulders while commenting on the results.
My findings point in the direction that cranberry products, when studied scientifically, are not able to show a real benefit for UTIs... I don't see much down side, even if I don't think the scientific evidence is convincing.
When it's 2 am and you can't sleep because of your burning urinary tract, don't feel too guilty reaching for the cranberry juice. If nothing else, cranberries are a source of disease-fighting polyphenols. They're also found in tea, olive oil and wine.
Here's to a healthier pee tomorrow, my friends.