Vitamin C & Bladder Infections

Bladder infections, medically known as cystitis, are urinary tract infections commonly affecting women, particularly during their reproductive age, pregnancy and after menopause. Usually they are caused by bacteria and symptoms include increased frequency to urinate and burning, painful sensation while urinating. Urine is cloudy and sometimes contains blood, according to Merck Manual Online. If you have been diagnosed with bladder infection and consider taking vitamin C and other supplements for this condition, talk to your health care provider.

Vitamin C tablets on a chopping board. (Image: junce/iStock/Getty Images)

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, medically known as ascorbic acid, is a water soluble nutrient found in fruits and vegetables and also as an over the counter supplement. Vitamin C has antioxidant qualities. Your body can not produce vitamin C, and thus is important to obtain it from foods and if necessary to take it as a supplement. Dietary sources of vitamin C include citric fruits, berries, kiwi, red pepper, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, tomatoes, cauliflower, green pea, spinach and potatoes.

Research

A review of research studies conducted by a medical team from Thorne Research, USA, vitamin C and other natural supplements may help prevent and manage urinary tract infections. In this article published in September 2008 issue of "Alternative Medicine Review," the authors found that vitamins A and C are useful for preventing urinary tract infections, while potassium salts help reduce painful urination associated with urinary tract infections. However, for long term prevention of urinary tract infections the most effective supplements appear to be cranberry, which is rich in vitamin C, as well as mannose and probiotics, according to this review of scientific studies.

Vitamin C Dosage and Other Supplements

A daily dose of 500 to 1000 mg of vitamin C may be beneficial for managing bladder infections, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Other important nutrients that your health care doctor may consider for bladder infections are vitamins A, B complex, E, magnesium, calcium, zinc, selenium, omega 3 fatty acids, probiotics and grapefruit seed extracts.

Considerations

Consult a qualified health care provider to learn more about the benefits of vitamin C and other natural supplements that may help manage your condition. A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water may also help prevent and manage bladder infections. Keep in mind that vitamin C does not replace and should not be used to replace any antibiotics or other prescription drugs used for bladder infections. Don't take vitamin C without medical supervision -- high doses of vitamin C can cause side effects, including digestive upset.

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