Magazine 13 May 2024

Bilberry juice for cystitis: is it really the best remedy?

My dear friend,

if you have already suffered from cystitis, you may have wondered whether natural methods such as blueberry juice would really help.

Well, the time has come to dispel this myth!

In today’s article I will explain why this drink is good when accompanied by a snack, but it will not help to cure your infection.

Happy reading. 🌸

Blueberry juice: truth or urban legend? Here is what some studies claim

Does cranberry juice really get rid of cystitis? Spoiler: no!

Many blindly believe in the healing powers of blueberry juice and claim that it not only helps treat painful bladder infections, such as cystitis, but also prevents future episodes.

Considering that cystitis is one of the most common bacterial infections, some women always keep a package of blueberry juice in the refrigerator, just in case.

Men, in this respect, are more fortunate. They too can suffer from urinary tract infections, but the cases are 50 times less frequent than in women, probably because the male urethra is longer.

But then, what is the truth about blueberry juice?

The reason cranberries are thought to be special is that they contain substances called proanthocyanidins (PACs), which are believed to prevent bacteria from clinging to the bladder walls.

Apple and grape juices, as well as dark chocolate, also contain PAC, but not the right kind.

Read also: Cold cystitis: causes, symptoms and how to treat it for good

Fruit juice appears to be as beneficial as the placebo effect

A systematic review of studies published in 2012 found that cranberry-containing products reduce the risk of infection, particularly in individuals with repeated infections and in patients who drink juice at least twice a day.

In this respect, the juice seems to be more effective than cranberry-containing tablets, probably because the active ingredients are more easily absorbed.

In addition, the authors of the analysis noted that the juice made a greater difference in some experiments than in others.

So far so good: we have a biological explanation for why cranberry juice can prevent infections and several small studies showing that it might work.

But three months later…

The nongovernmental organization Cochrane Collaboration published another analysis after reviewing 24 studies on the prevention of urinary tract infections, and the conclusions were different.

All the research involved groups of people who took some form of cranberry product, so juice, capsules, or extract, for at least one month.

Reviewing the evidence, it is unclear whether drinking blueberry juice is more effective than drinking more water.

What do you mean?

Analyzing the results, cranberries proved no more effective than water, a placebo, or doing nothing.

In the Cochrane Collaboration analysis, the authors agree with some smaller studies that have shown certain effects of cranberry, as the earlier analysis had also found, but when they added up the results of the larger, more recent study, the conclusion was different.

The study in question divided 319 women who had recently suffered from urinary tract infections into two groups: half drank cranberry juice Twice a day for six months; the other half received a placebo juice designed to have the same taste and appearance as cranberry juice; the cartons in which the juices of the two groups were contained were identical.

The result?

There was no difference.

The previous analysis had excluded this test, but the authors of the subsequent analysis felt that the outcome was important enough to take it into account.

So what conclusions can we draw?

Antibiotics (not) the only treatment proven effective against cystitis

It is possible that blueberry juice prevents infections, but if it does, it seems that the effect is at best mild and requires a lot of effort.

To somewhat reduce the risk of future infection, it should be taken twice a day indefinitely.

It is very difficult for a number of people to put these tips into practice; the Cochrane analysis notes a high dropout rate, but it is estimated that a woman who is unfortunate enough to have two infections a year might reduce them to once a year.

The alternative is tablets, but evidence of their effectiveness is scarce because few studies have been conducted.

But what about empirical experience? Why, then, are some women convinced that it works and witness its effects?

The problem is that, without a controlled study, it cannot be determined whether the disappearance of symptoms is partially attributable to cranberry intake or whether cystitis is only temporarily defeated.

The only guaranteed treatment for urinary tract infections is antibiotics.

But given the risk of growing resistance to the latter, an alternative treatment for these everyday infections would be most welcome.

And if at the moment you cannot say that blueberry juice is the solution, we have another one.

Have you ever heard of D-mannose?

It is a simple sugar of plant origin that, when taken in the correct way, prevents bacteria from sticking to the bladder and helps expel them during urination, all-naturally!

Dimann-branded products, available individually or in convenient kits, help in the treatment and prevention of cystitis by deterring the appearance of a new infection!

If you would like to learn more, find out which solution is right for you with the ‘Find Your Path‘ quiz, or tell me your story, I would be happy to help.

Remember this: you are not alone. ❤️

I hug you from here,

Lorenza

Read also: How to cure cystitis without antibiotic: nature offers us the solution!

In this article we talked about…

  • Blueberry juice has been shown in some research to help prevent cystitis, but when the results were compared with those of larger studies the drink proved no more effective than a trivial placebo.
  • If you do not want to undertake antibiotic treatment and prefer a more natural route, D-mannose might be the ideal solution.

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