Should You Take Bromelain for a UTI?
I know that when you have a UTI, you are willing to try just about anything to make the pain and discomfort go away. And if you have recurrent UTIs – well, that desperation gets even more extreme.
Many people turn to all-natural treatment and prevention options, and I think that is a great idea. There are some natural supplements that have been shown time and time again to improve bladder health and kick UTIs to the curb.
But you should only be taking those that are truly effective. Perhaps you have read on different health and wellness websites that pineapples can be a cure for UTIs. Maybe you’re counting on that fresh glass of pineapple juice to make all your troubles go away.
The idea behind this pineapple frenzy is something called bromelain.
Let’s dive into that idea and find out whether or not a pineapple’s bromelain is actually going to make your UTI go away.
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What Is Bromelain?
Chances are you’ve consumed bromelain before without ever realizing it. That’s because bromelain is actually an enzyme from pineapples. Most of it resides in the core, but you can consume it when you eat chunks or even drink juice.
This enzyme is extracted and used for various medical purposes including:
- Reducing inflammation
- Improving hay fever
- Treating ulcerative colitis
- Helping burns
- Losing fat
- Relaxing muscles
- Aiding arthritis
- Preventing cancer
- And more
There’s no doubt about it – it’s good for you.
How Does It Affect a UTI? #1: Antibiotic Effectiveness
So now we get to the big question: we know bromelain is great, but does bromelain help a UTI?
Studies have shown that bromelain may be helpful to a UTI in conjunction with antibiotics. That’s because this enzyme can actually enhance the effectiveness and absorption of antibiotics.
One study looked at people with UTIs. Everyone received antibiotics. Then they were split in two groups: one group took bromelain along with their antibiotics. The other group took a placebo with their antibiotics.
100% of those in the bromelain group had full infection healing. The placebo group only 46% rate of healing.
This is good news for those who sometimes have a hard time getting antibiotics to kill the UTI on the first round. But it doesn’t mean that bromelain is a cure for UTIs. It just means that if you choose to use antibiotics, it may make them more effective.
How Does It Affect a UTI? #2: Anti-inflammatory
Bromelain is anti-inflammatory in nature. So some people believe that this aspect helps in the healing of a UTI as well.
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There is no firm research showing that is necessarily true.
Lots of different fruits, veggies, supplements are anti-inflammatory as well – like tomatoes and leafy greens. While it’s definitely a great idea to add more to your diet to fight off infections, relying on bromelain to do that may not actually solve all your UTI problems.
How To Take Bromelain
Just drinking a glass of pineapple juice isn’t going to cut it. The study participants who had such success with the bromelain and antibiotic combo were taking 400 mg of bromelain per day for two days.
Fresh pineapple juice or even a some pineapple slices do not give you anywhere near that dosage. Plus, drinking and eating citrus while you are currently inflamed can sometimes make it feel even worse.
If you choose to take bromelain, just go with the supplement tablets. Try to find a brand that has enteric-coating so the stomach acid doesn’t ruin the pill before it absorbs.
Then just take some extra vitamin C supplements to benefit from that aspect of the pineapple.
Better All-Natural Options for UTI Relief
If you are looking for all-natural ways to help cure your UTI or recurrent UTIs, you have a few other options that are more sure-fire than bromelain. Here are some of the top choices:
D-mannose is a sugar that helps fight against the E coli that’s attacking your bladder and leaving you in pain. This is one of the most interesting all-natural treatments. You see, the UTI problem arises when the E. coli “sticks” to the walls of your bladder. At this point, your natural flushing system – urine – won’t be able to wash it all away.
The D-mannose saves the day by being “stickier” than the E coli. It attaches to the bacteria. Then your urine flushes both away.
This means D-mannose is not only a great treatment for UTIs, but also a good preventer of UTIs for those who deal with chronic bladder infections.
2. Hibiscus Extract
Hibiscus extract is the same hibiscus flowers you love to see or hibiscus tea you love to drink – just in concentrated form. This flower has powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic properties.
And studies are showing it is strong enough to attack the E. coli.
Remember that all bacteria are not bad bacteria. We actually need all the good bacteria to have optimal health. When you take antibiotics, they kill off both types of bacteria. So we need to replace what was lost.
Probiotics are pills filled with the good bacteria to keep us healthy.
“I Have a UTI. Should I Eat Pineapple?”
We’ve seen that bromelain may be helpful, but definitely don’t count on a slice of pineapple or a pineapple juice smoothie to make your UTI vanish. In fact, the citrus may make you feel a bit worse.
The answer of whether or not to take a bromelain supplement is up to your question is up to you and your doctor.
Since the bromelain affects the way the antibiotics are absorbed, it’s really important to make sure you talk to your medical professional before you begin. He or she can prescribe you the right type of antibiotic and talk to you about bromelain dosing.
Make sure you are taking probiotics as well to combat the fact that you are killing not only the bad bacteria causing the UTI, but also the good bacteria that keeps you healthy. Then pick up some D-mannose and hibiscus extract so you can make UTIs a thing of the past.