If you have been plagued with UTIs for years on end, then you will know first-hand how frustrating they can be. Instead of pursuing antibiotics all the time, you may be on the lookout for ways to try and stop them from happening in the first place.
One possible solution that you may have heard of is taking vitamin C for UTI prevention. But does it really work? In this article, we take a closer look at the evidence to find out.
Table of Contents
- What Is a UTI?
- Is Vitamin C Good for a UTI?
- Does Vitamin C Help Treat a UTI?
- Does Taking Vitamin C Help to Prevent a UTI?
- Should You Take Vitamin C for a UTI?
- What Can You Do to Treat a UTI?
- What Can You Do to Prevent a UTI?
- How Can DrHouse Help You?
- Key Takeaways
What Is a UTI?
It is important to know that UTIs are very common, and they occur when bacteria, which often comes from the rectum or the skin, enters the urinary tract through the urethra. The infection can then go on to impact several parts of the urinary tract, but the most common type of infection would be cystitis or a bladder infection.
Kidney infections or pyelonephritis are also other types of UTIs. They are not as common when compared but they do have the potential to cause much more serious issues.
When it comes to UTIs there are many risk factors that you need to look out for. Some people are also at a higher risk of getting a UTI. Urinary tract infections tend to be much more common in women purely because their urethras are much shorter and biologically, are located closer to the rectum.
Some of the other factors that can affect your chances of developing a UTI include having one in the past, any kind of sexual activity or changes in the bacteria within the vaginal flora. This can include menopause or even the use of spermicides. Another risk factor would be if you are pregnant, or if you have a structural issue within the urinary tract.
Is Vitamin C Good for a UTI?
So, is Vitamin C good for a UTI? Vitamin C can in fact be very helpful in the general treatment of a UTI. The main reason for this is because they help to make your urine far more acidic.
It is possible for you to take a Vitamin C supplement between 500mg to 1000mg if you want to try and stop a UTI from coming back. Adding foods that are rich in Vitamin C to your diet will also help you out quite a lot here, so be mindful of that if you can.
Does Vitamin C Help Treat a UTI?
Research has shown that Vitamin C is absolutely essential when it comes to the repair of certain tissues within the body. It can help to repair teeth, bones, skin, and cartilage. Vitamin C also works as an antioxidant, which means that it effectively fights any free radicals within the body. This can prevent infections.
Even though Vitamin C might not stop you from catching the common cold, there have been studies done and they have found that very high doses of Vitamin C can decrease the amount of time that cold symptoms last for.
For this reason, there is plenty of research out there that shows that if you have a UTI, then Vitamin C could help you to treat the issue as well as giving your general health a boost.
Does Taking Vitamin C Help to Prevent a UTI?
If you want to try and prevent a UTI then you should know that Vitamin C is a very good way for you to do this. If you want to take your health to that next level then you should know that Vitamin D is also a very good way for you to prevent UTIs as well.
There have been studies done and they have found that pregnant women who are deficient in Vitamin D are far more prone to issues such as UTIs. Vitamin D has a huge role to play when it comes to your overall immune system, and it also has a role to play in how often UTIs resurface, especially in those who are of childbearing age.
For this reason, Vitamin D is one of the best vitamins for you to be taking if you want to prevent UTIs. If you want to get the best result, then make sure that you take it in conjunction with Vitamin C.
When you do, you will soon find that it is easier than ever for you to get the results you are looking for. If you want to get more Vitamin D in your diet then you should focus on getting more sunshine, as well as eating more egg yolks, oily fish, red meat, and liver. If you want more Vitamin C, then kiwi fruit, lemon, blackberries, strawberries, and oranges are all fantastic sources.
Should You Take Vitamin C for UTI?
Vitamin C is highly effective if you are struggling with a UTI, or if you feel as though you are at an increased risk of a UTI. The main reason for this is because Vitamin C stops the onset of bacterial growth. It helps to make your urine more acidic, and if you take a supplement alongside oranges, lemons, green vegetables, and grapefruit then this can help you out quite a lot.
What Can You Do to Treat a UTI?
If you want to do everything you can to treat your UTI, then you just need to take a look below.
If you do not drink enough water in the day, then this will cause you to be at a higher risk of UTIs. The main reason for this is because water helps your urinary tract to remove a lot of waste from your body, and it also helps it to retain electrolytes and nutrients. If you can stay hydrated then this will dilute your urine and it will speed up the journey that it makes throughout your system. This makes it much harder for infiltrating bacteria to infect the cells that are within your urinary organs. Ideally, you need to be consuming around 8-ounce glasses of water, six times a day.
Drink Cranberry Juice
You may have heard in the past, but cranberry juice can help you if you are struggling with a UTI. It helps to speed up recovery and it also helps to clear your body from other infections too. Research has shown time and time again that cranberry juice is ideal for preventing Escherichia coli bacteria and it also stops it from binding to the cells within the urinary tract. Right now, there isn’t much guidance as to how much cranberry juice you should be drinking, but ideally, it should be around 400ml, and it should be 25% cranberry.
Urinate When You Need To
If you urinate quite a lot, then this will help to flush out any bacteria from your urinary tract. It will also reduce the amount of time that bacteria in the urine is exposed to cells as well. Urinating as soon as you need to can help you to prevent infections and this can work wonders if you are struggling overall with recurrent UTI infections.
Antibiotics are the most common form of treatment for UTIs. Your doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics that you will need to take for 7-10 days. It is important to finish the entire course of antibiotics, even if your symptoms go away, to make sure the infection is completely gone. People with recurrent UTIs may need to take antibiotics long-term to prevent another infection from occurring.
What Can You Do to Prevent a UTI?
So, what can you do to stop a UTI from occurring in the first place? Ideally, you need to drink a lot of water every day and you also need to drink cranberry juice. Cranberry juice contains a lot of Vitamin C, and this helps to stop the growth of bacteria by making your urine more acidic. Taking showers instead of tub baths will help. If you are a woman, then wiping front to back will stop bacteria from the anus from entering the urethra.
Things you can do to prevent UTIs:
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, every day
- Wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom
- Pee before and after sex
- Choose unscented pads and tampons
- Empty your bladder completely when urinating
- Avoid using feminine hygiene sprays or perfumed products in the genital area
- Choose cotton underwear and avoid tight-fitting clothing
How Can DrHouse Help You?
If you are struggling to cope with your recurrent UTIs or if you feel as though you are always getting new infections, then you should try and book an appointment with DrHouse. When you do, you can skip out on the waiting room times, and you can see a board-certified online doctor right away.
- Vitamin C is excellent if you want to stop UTIs in their tracks
- Vitamin D and C work well together for preventing UTIs
- Urinating as soon as you need to is essential
- Drinking lots of water can stop UTIs from happening
So, if you want to stop UTIs from happening or if you at least want to lower your chances of getting a UTI, then there are a few things that you can do. When you follow the above tips, you will soon find that it is easier than ever for you to feel healthier and happier.
Prevention is always better than cure, so do your bit to take a Vitamin C supplement, and make sure that you are actively trying to stop the bacteria in the first place. The tips above are also the first line of defense when you are trying to stop a UTI from turning into something more serious, so try and be mindful of this if you can.
- Thomas M Hooton, Recurrent urinary tract infection in women, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, Volume 17, Issue 4, 2001, Pages 259-268, ISSN 0924-8579. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0924-8579(00)00350-2.
- Ahmed M. El-Sharkawy, Opinder Sahota, Dileep N. Lobo, Acute and chronic effects of hydration status on health, Nutrition Reviews, Volume 73, Issue suppl_2, 1 September 2015, Pages 97–109, https://doi.org/10.1093/nutrit/nuv038
- B Foxman and R R Frerichs, 1985: Epidemiology of urinary tract infection: II. Diet, clothing, and urination habits.American Journal of Public Health 75, 1314_1317, https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.75.11.1314
- Lelie-van der Zande, R, Koster, ES, Teichert, M, Bouvy, ML. Womens’ self-management skills for prevention and treatment of recurring urinary tract infection. Int J Clin Pract. 2021; 75:e14289. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijcp.14289
- Ann Prentice, Vitamin D deficiency: a global perspective, Nutrition Reviews, Volume 66, Issue suppl_2, 1 October 2008, Pages S153–S164, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2008.00100.x
- Qi-Fei Deng, Han Chu, Zhu Wen, and Yong-Sheng Cao, Vitamin D and Urinary Tract Infection: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Ann Clin Lab Sci January-February 2019 49:134-142. Available from: http://www.annclinlabsci.org/content/49/1/134.short
DrHouse articles are written by MDs, NPs, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. The contents of the DrHouse site are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.