UTI is one of the conditions where a bunch of home remedies seems to work. A popular one is eating foods containing Vitamin C (like lemons, oranges, broccoli, etc.), or taking Vitamin C supplements.
After all, it has numerous benefits, including raising antioxidant levels, protecting the cells, maintaining healthy skin and bones, and helping in healing wounds. (1)
But it is fair to wonder “how does Vitamin C help with UTI symptoms?” And it is natural to question, “How much Vitamin C should I take to prevent UTI?”
Let us find out answers to such questions.
1. What is UTI?
UTIs are infections of the urinary system affect that the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.
Depending on their location inside the urinary tract, urinary tract infections are commonly referred to as infections of the lower urinary tract or infections of the upper urinary tract.
Women get most UTIs due to various reasons like improper genital hygiene, usage of contraceptives, and menopause.
In many men over 50, the prostate gland may grow and restrict the passage of urine from the bladder and cause benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH.
This disorder prevents the bladder from emptying, increasing the risk of infection. (2)
2. Causes of UTIs
UTIs are caused mostly due to a bacteria called E. Coli. It enters the body usually througth the urethra. Let us take a look at what situations and factors let that happen:
Female urinary tract anatomy : As the female urethra is shorter than a man's, bacteria easily travel to reach the bladder and infect it.
Unsafe Sex : Women who are sexually more active typically experience more UTIs than non-sexually active women. Primarily, having a new sexual partner raises your risk.
Certain forms of contraception : In cases of women who use diaphragms as a mode of contraception the risk is high as compared to those who use sperm killing agents or drugs.
- Menopause : A decrease in circulating estrogen induces alterations in the urinary system that increases susceptibility to infection after menopause. (3)
Symptoms may vary and be unique in different parts of the urinary tract.
More common sign and symptom includes (3):
- High fever
- Urine with blood
- Painful urination
- Burning with urination
4. Vitamin C and UTI - What is the connection?
Vitamin C is rich in antioxidants, which are good for the prevention of UTIs. It is frequently utilized as a vital antibacterial supplement for the treatment of urinary tract infections.
It contains non-enzymatic antioxidants that inhibit the generation and oxidation of free radicals, thereby enhancing our immune system. Vitamin C deficiency raises the risk of infection.
5. How does Vitamin C help with UTI symptoms?
Vitamin C is formed of Ascorbic Acid, so it pH level is low. Now, this is how it helps.
The food gets digested in the body and produces nitrate which get eliminated through urine. The UTI bacteria turns the nitrates into nitrites. And here is where the role of Vitamin C comes in.
The Vitamin C creates a low pH level acidic environment in the urinary tract that in turn converts the nitrites into Nitrogen Oxide. This creates a toxic environment for the UTI bacteria, but is safe for us, humans. (4)
6. How much Vitamin C to take for UTI?
As Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, it can be taken daily. No harmful effects have been documented with doses up to 1000 mg per day.
In fact, it has also been demonstrated that taking vitamin C doses of 100–200 mg per day results in plasma and tissue saturation.
Thus the excess amount of vitamins has no value to our body. It will get eliminated through urine.
Some studies indicate that even higher dosages of ascorbic acid (up to 1.8 g daily) do not reliably acidify the urine.
Image Credits: Unsplash
7. Other Diet-related precautions to preventing UTI
Drinking fluids: Drink 8-10 glasses of water throughout the day, even if you are not thirsty. This results in flushing out bacteria from the urinary tract. If you are infected, avoid consuming caffeine or alcohol as they stimulate the bladder. (7)
Spicy food: Avoid taking spicy food as it may irritate the bladder. (7)
Probiotics: Certain foods like yogurt, fermented sauerkraut and pickles contain good bacteria.
These foods are good for health. They prevent bacterial infection in the urinary tract and also help to promote the growth of good bacteria. (7)
Image Credits: Unsplash
Urinary tract infection is a very common disease. Some natural remedies can help to get rid of this disease.
Some healthy habits that work are healthy bathroom habits, wiping the genital from the front to the back after using the toilet, urinating after sex and avoiding holding pee.
Eating habits and awareness can save us from this disease that makes our lives miserable. Having Vitamin C frequently and knowing how much Vitamin C to take for uti can be valuable.