A social media post claims that blueberries might treat urinary tract infection (UTI). We analyzed the assertion, and it turned out that it were Mostly False.
A social media article with the subject line “Blueberries: An Effective Remedy to Treat UTI” could deceive readers into thinking that blueberries have a significant impact on both preventing and treating urinary tract infections.
What exactly is UTI?
UTI is an infection of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra. The lower urinary tract, which includes the bladder and urethra, is where the majority of infections occur. Women are more prone to develop a UTI than males. Please note that even a bladder-specific infection can be uncomfortable and painful. However, if a UTI spreads to your kidneys, it might have terrible repercussions.
Besides this, urine is often sterile. It typically doesn’t have any bacteria, viruses, or fungi, but it does have liquids, salts, and contaminants. Therefore, in UTIs the entrance of the urethra becomes infected with the microscopic organisms. E. coli, a type of bacteria that typically lives in our gut, is the cause of the majority of these UTIs. The majority of UTIs linked to catheters are caused by this bacterium.
The main symptoms of UTIs primarily include pain or discomfort, burning sensation when urinating, frequent urge to urinate but little output, decreased abdominal pressure, blood in the urine, foul-smelling, murky urine, and even a high body temperature. The patient may also suffer from exhaustion, tremble, weakness, or even disorientation.
Is it possible to treat UTIs by consuming blueberries?
No, not right away. Blueberries are a popular, nutritious food consumed all over the world. This is because the bioactive compounds in blueberries, which are primarily anthocyanins, phenolic acids, ascorbic acid, flavonoids, and tannins, have anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer characteristics.
Anthocyanins demonstrate the greatest antioxidant impact and are recognized for their ability to prevent UTIs. However, there is currently no conclusive scientific data to support the use of blueberries as the only treatment for UTIs. Although blueberries are high in anthocyanins, it is still uncertain if they are as effective as cranberries as an adjuvant in preventing or treating UTIs.
We asked Dr Anita Gupta, Gynaecologist and Associate Director at Fortis La Femme, GK, New Delhi, about the possibility of using blueberries to treat urinary tract infections. She replied, “Berries with high antioxidant content, such as cranberries, could be used as an adjuvant in the treatment of UTIs. However, the antioxidative properties of blueberries may merely aid in boosting immunity and have little bearing on the course of treatment for UTIs.”
On asking Dr. Kashyap Dakshini, General Physician about the same, he replied that there isn’t much evidence to back up the idea that blueberries and cranberries could prevent UTIs. Cranberries might have a substance that prevents bacteria from sticking to the bladder walls. It will, however, need further investigation to prove this in the case of blueberries.
According to Nutritionist Anurupa Bose, “UTIs are more common in women and it’s crucial to treat the infection from its root by increasing fluid intake, taking prescribed medicines if necessary, and consuming foods high in antioxidants. While berries are a good source of antioxidants that can help prevent infections, it’s important to note that blueberries alone cannot completely treat or cure UTIs. Nevertheless, they can help to reduce bacterial adhesion to the bladder wall, which can reduce the risk of infections.”
However, blueberries are anticipated to be helpful in the development of therapeutic agents. Please note that these agents could play a complimentary role in the management of illnesses like cancer, and diabetes.
Are only antibiotics used to treat urinary tract infections?
Not exactly. UTI should have a distinctive treatment for each patient. This is typically based on the patient’s underlying medical conditions, the pathogen producing the infection, and the pathogen’s susceptibility to therapies. When people are extremely ill with a urinary tract infection, they might need injectable antibiotics as well as hospitalization to prevent the infection from spreading to their bloodstream.
The treatment of antibiotics primarily includes antibiotics because bacteria are frequently the cause of these infections. Antibacterial medications are thus the core of UTI treatment. Nevertheless, we also know that the harmful side effects of antibiotics and their drug resistance necessitate the need for an adjuvant therapy. The most commonly used adjuvants include cranberry, mannose, and probiotics. Drinking plenty of water can flush the harmful microbes out.
Conclusively, bacteria are usually the main cause of urinary tract infections. As a result, the condition should be recognized and treated under a doctor’s supervision. Although blueberries have a high antioxidant content, there is no concrete evidence that they can effectively treat urinary tract infections. Therefore, the assertion is mostly false.
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