A urinary tract infection, also known as cystitis, is a painful bacterial condition that can begin anywhere in the urinary system. Women are far more likely to develop a urinary tract infection than men. (The chances of a urinary tract infection in women is even higher from consuming antibiotic-fed chicken). Between 50% and 80% of women will experience recurrent urinary tract infections in their life. leading to an estimated 2.5 billion dollars being spent on the problem in 2000. Infections, caused by a lack of vaginal lactobacilli (good bacteria), often reoccur and must be treated repeatedly. But replacing diminished lactobacilli may help keep urinary tract infections at bay.
Researchers published findings from a double-blind placebo-controlled trail to test whether or not the replacement of good bacteria would help keep urinary tract infections from occurring.
Those participants in the study were young women who had a history of recurrent urinary tract infections. All 100 participants were given antibiotics for the infections. Fifty women were given a suppository probiotic and 50 women received a placebo for five days, and then once a week after this for ten weeks.
Results of the study indicate that the probiotic may help reduce the rate of recurring urinary tract infections in women prone to such infections. Seven of the women who received the probiotic had a recurring urinary tract infection, while 13 women had recurring cystitis in the placebo.
What are probiotics? Probiotics are living bacteria that are found in fermented foods or in supplement form. Consuming probiotics helps to bring balance to the body, improve overall health, and strengthen the immune system. In addition to helping with urinary tract infections, probiotics have been found useful in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disorder and Chron’s disease.
Another UTI Solution
Although the probiotics seemed to help in the research, the positive impact was small in that particular study. Additionally, antibiotics are not required to treat the problem. An alternative and promising solution for the treatment of UTIs is cranberry juice. Some studies have shown that the cranberry juice did in fact clear up the infection, and at times even prevented future infections from occurring.
Researcher from the University of British Columbia took a small group of 40 children who had experienced 2 or more urinary tract infections in the past year, and gave them each some cranberry juice. Each child was randomly chosen to drink either pure cranberry juice, the kind known to help prevent urinary tract infections, or another, ’artificial’ cranberry juice. Children drinking the pure cranberry juice had an almost 66% less infection recurrence rate than the children that were assigned the other juice to drink.