Women experience a 50% risk of urinary tract infection over their lifetime and 20-30% of women will experience recurrent UTIs. While the risk of UTIs is lower in men, 20% of males will experience at least one. For both men and women, the rate of infections increases with aging. Antibiotics are the standard treatment for UTIs, but they come with their own potential complications.
Here are natural molecules researchers have reported in study results that support reduced risk of recurrent UTIs.
Cranberry concentrate extract was found to reduce the risk of recurrent UTIs by 26% in healthy women.
D-mannose is a sugar that is found in various fruits and vegetables and has been shown to help maintain a healthy microbial environment in the urinary tract. Studies show that E. Coli, the most common bacteria responsible for bladder infections, attaches to D-mannose in the urine and is excreted. Researchers reported that symptoms of bladder infection decreased after supplementation and recurrence was reduced by 4 times that of antibiotic treatment. Although it is a sugar, D-mannose is not absorbed by the body and therefore does not affect blood sugar or weight.
Lactobacillus Reuteri RC-14, a probiotic, was found to inhibit the adhesion of pathogenic bacteria to the bladder wall. Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GR-1 is a highly researched probiotic that is reported to reduce the recurrence of UTIs. These two strains of probiotic work together to inhibit and alleviate UTIs by producing bacteriocins, lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide which can be detrimental to pathogenic bacteria. This combination of probiotics was given to women with a history of recurrent UTIs and after 12 months, the risk of infection was reduced by 50%, the same rate as that of a long-term antibiotic group, but after one month the antibiotic group had developed 90% antibiotic resistance.
The Journal of Nutrition, 2017. Biomedical Reports, 2022. Journal of Clinical Urology, 2014. Trends in Microbiology, 2021. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2012.