George Krucik, MD, MBA
Overactive bladder, also known as OAB occurs when your bladder is unable to function normally. An overactive bladder causes a sudden urge to urinate and may result in an involuntary loss of urine. A variety of factors such as stretched or weak pelvic muscles, chronic urinary tract infections, bladder diseases, an enlarged prostate, diabetes or obesity can trigger an overactive bladder. Vitamins may improve bladder function.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that improves immune system function which may lower your risk of bladder infections, interstitial cystitis and bladder cancer, according to Christopher Hobbs, author of the book “Vitamins for Dummies.” Hobbs reports that vitamin A also aids in the healing process, repairs bladder damage, supports bladder health, alleviates urine leakage, strengthens weak pelvic muscles and decreases bladder inflammation. The recommended daily dosage for vitamin A is 900 mcg for men and 700 mcg for women. Foods rich in vitamin A include cod liver oil, butter, eggs, milk, baked sweet potatoes, mangoes, broccoli, squash, canned pumpkin, raw carrots and spinach.
Vitamin B-12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that may improve central nervous system functioning, and help to relieve bladder pressure and alleviate mild urine leakage, notes H. Winter Griffith, author of the book “Vitamins, Herbs, Minerals, & Supplements: The Complete Guide.” The recommended daily dosage for vitamin B-12 is 2.4 mcg for teens and adults. Foods rich in vitamin B-12 include rainbow trout, milk, plain yogurt, beef liver, top sirloin beef, white tuna, salmon, breakfast cereals, eggs and roasted chicken.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that strengthens the immune system and may protect the bladder from harmful free radicals that can impair or damage it, according to Steve Blake, author of the book “Vitamins and Minerals Demystified.” Blake explains that vitamin C may decrease bladder inflammation, relieve bladder pressure, and help to prevent bladder infections. The recommended daily dosage for vitamin C is 1,000 mg for adults. Foods rich in vitamin C include cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, grapefruits, pineapples, kiwi, broccoli, oranges, Brussels sprouts, spinach and tomatoes.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that may reduce bladder inflammation, aids in bladder muscle contraction, strengthens bladder muscles, and lowers the risk of pelvic floor disorders such as urinary incontinence, reports Diane Stafford, author of the book “The Vitamin D Cure.” The recommended daily dosage for vitamin D is 15 mcg for adults. Foods rich in vitamin D include canned pink salmon, fortified soy milk, fortified cereals, egg yolks, fortified orange juice, fortified cow’s milk and sardines.
- “The Vitamin D Cure”; Diane Stafford; 2009
- “Vitamins and Minerals Demystified”; Steve Blake; 2007
- “About the Natural Treatments for Urinary Incontinence: Using Butterbur and Other Natural Supplements to Treat Bladder Control Problems”; Rita Elkins; 2000
- “Clinician's Guide to Holistic Medicine”; Robert A. Anderson; 2001
- “Vitamins, Herbs, Minerals, & Supplements: The Complete Guide”; H. Winter Griffith; 2000
- “Vitamins for Dummies”; Christopher Hobbs; 1999