Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common among women: More than
half of all women experience at least one UTI in their lifetime.
And while there is no truly definitive reason why some women get
UTIs and why the recurrence of the infection accumulates in the
same women, researchers sought out to determine tools in which UTIs
could be prevented.
Typically bacteria in the stool trigger UTIs. Fortunately simple
dietary changes have the ability to have profound influences on
the bacterial flora in your intestine and thus radically influence
your risk of future UTIs.
Determining Preventative Dietary Factors
In order to conclude whether or not dietary factors play a protective
role against UTIs, researchers conducted a study in women to evaluate
certain dietary factors. The study focused particularly on the intake
of fruit and berries and milk products, factors influencing energy
consumption and previously established UTI risk factors.
In the study, nearly 140 women with a diagnosis of an acute UTI
were compared with 185 age-matched women who did not experience
any UTI occurrences within the past five years. Participants were
asked to complete a questionnaire based on dietary and other lifestyle
habits during the past month, such as estimating:
- The amounts of milk products consumed (milk, yogurt, cheese,
- The amounts of fruits and berries consumed (both fresh and prepared)
- The frequency of consumption for both milk and fruit and berry
The data from the study revealed that eating more fresh fruit and
drinking more berry juice was linked to a lower risk of UTI recurrence.
This is because most berries are rich in flavonols (a potent inhibitor
of the adhesion of E. coli type bacteria to human cells). In general
the flavonol content in berries is high, which may explain why they
help reduce recurrence of infections.
The researchers also learned that the consumption of fermented
milk products containing probiotics was linked with a low incidence
of UTI recurrence. The protective effect of milk products is most
likely related more to the probiotics in the products, rather than
the milk itself.
Journal of Clinical Nutrition
March, 2003;77(3):600-604 Free Full-Text Article