1. Shady Science
The Short of It:
It's poetry in motion. Every year, hundreds of companies and industry groups come out with "independent studies" that they fund to support marketing claims about their products ability to perform magic on a person's health and fight disease. There's a thing about food research funded by food companies though, and it's pretty rotten. A recent analysis of a nutrition study by Vox revealed that cranberry juice doesn't prevent UTIs. Oh yeah, and that we've been duped by Ocean Spray to think that it does.
The Longer Version of It:
A recent analysis of a study on cranberry juice and it's transformative effects on UTIs by Vox reveals that Ocean Spray (your go-to UTI reliever) funded and co-authoried a study that revealed a seemingly legitimate assumption: "Consumption of a cranberry juice beverage lowered the number of clinical urinary tract infection episodes in women with a recent history of urinary tract infection." The company then went on to peddle their own funded results as evidence to support the myth that cranberry juice could keep you UTI free.
With the health food profiting billions of dollars each year, companies need a way to keep up with the trends and confirm that their products are the most exemplary whiter than white, ethical, guiltless, honest and healthiest of foods and brands. They sell better that way.
Yesterday it was walnuts and diabetes today it's cranberry's and your uterus.
We've all been there, rushing through grocery isles like Will Smith in Hitch searching in a panic for a box of Monistat, cranberry supplements, cranberry juice cranberry anything to prevent the raging potential of a UTI. Only to head home and guzzle glass after glass of cranberry juice to "flush out" UTI causing bacterias. The advice you get from your well-intentioned friend who's been there before, is based in the science that cranberries contain an active ingredient that can prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall. So juice-makers have, for years, touted the idea that the more cranberry juice you buy the more ingredients that rush to those bacterias and prevent you from any UTI woes.
Truth is, there's quite a bit of holes in Ocean Spray's current study which claims that their juice can help you out when you're in a UTI fix. Setting aside the study blatant biases, you can start with the fact that the study broadens the definition of UTI to "symptomatic UTIs". Meaning they took results from women who complained of having UTI-like symptoms and whose urine samples didn't necessarily have positive UTI results. There's also the fact that the study's prevention results were pretty sour. According to Vox, the study quietly reveals that drinking cranberry juice every day for over three years could stop one "systematic UTI". And as we just learned, a systematic UTI does not a UTI make.
Know that the active ingredients believed to stop UTI bacteria is actually only found in cranberry capsules. The only relief you'll find in the highly diluted juice Ocean Spray supplies is a thirst quench.