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The pH Connection: Or, Why I Never Recommend Cranberry Juice

Posted in Diet, Immediate UTI Treatment, Infection Killing Protocol, and Useful Tips

There’s a great deal of confusion surrounding the issue of whether your urine pH should be acidic or alkaline, when you have a UTI.
Most people think that it should be more acidic, largely because they hear that cranberry juice is good for a UTI and that’s very, very acidic.
Also, if they put lemon juice in their water and feel better, they think the lemon juice acidified their urine. More on that, in a bit.
If you’ve used cranberry juice, and it seemed to get better, and then it got worse, this is why…(the link is a very worthwhile read)

..cranberry produces hippuric acid in the urine…Putting hippuric acid into the urine initially kills off the bacteria that have thinner acid-susceptible cell-walls, leaving only thicker-skinned acid-resistant individuals to multiply and pass on their resistant genes.

Therefore, you feel better initially, and then the toughest bacteria take over, and you actually get worse, because the surviving bacteria are now more resistant to anything you take, including antibiotics. Fortunately, this isn’t irreversible, so if you’ve experienced this, don’t freak out.


E. coli, and many other types of UTI-causing bacteria,  thrive in an acidic environment, which means they’re feeding like mad and rapidly dividing cells to make more of themselves. And when I say “rapidly” I mean doubling its population every 20-30 minutes. (Meaning it increases exponentially) This is why an infection can flare up so quickly, going from “Gee, I think something hurts” to “OMG, I’m peeing red-hot razor blades” in a matter of a few hours.
As the bacteria feed in an acidic environment, they give off a waste product which alkalizes their surroundings, and feeding and growth slows down. If you’re chugging cranberry juice frantically, you’re lowering your pH and giving them fresh food. (Thankfully, cranberry juice isn’t as acidifying as one might assume, but it’s still not doing you any favors)

When you raise your urine pH, however, you trick them into thinking they’re sitting in a pool of their own filth, and their life cycle slows dramatically, relieving your symptoms.

On the other hand, it seems to be the case that for most gram negative bacteria, living in alkali conditions is like living in their own waste – not ideal conditions. In alkaline urine they slow down their metabolic rate and it can take them twice as long to produce a cell division (to double).

On lemon juice and why it’s beneficial, the key lies in how your body metabolizes it. Just because something is acidic doesn’t mean that its effect in your body is acidic, and the same goes for alkaline substances. There’s a good explanation here

A food’s acid content doesn’t determine whether it becomes acid or alkaline forming — its pH nature in the body is a product of the metabolic process. Often, a food’s acid content contrasts its effect in the body. For example, whole eggs are alkaline, but they’re moderately acid-forming in the body. Similarly, chocolate cake has an alkaline pH, but is highly acid-forming in the body. Angel food cake and watermelon have a comparable, slightly acidic pH range of about 5.2 to 5.6. In the body, however, watermelon is highly alkaline-forming, while angel food cake is highly acid-forming. Most citrus fruits are acidic, but have an alkaline effect in the body. Cranberry juice itself is very acidic, but it’s only moderately acid-forming in the body.

So, when you put baking soda or lemon/lime juice in your drinking water, you’re alkalizing your urine pH and slowing the replication of the vast majority of UTI-causing pathogens, which is a valuable tool in your natural UTI-killing toolbox.

Here’s an extremely useful list of which food/drinks are alkaline or acid-forming for you to use as a reference.

 

14 Comments

  1. Laura
    Laura

    Hi,

    Does this extend to D-Mannose? I had a UTI (burning and frequent peeing) that seemed to get better, at least the burning part went away, but because I am still peeing a lot at night, I took at test and it came back positive for leukocytes, negative for nitrates. I did it in the PM though, so I’ll do it again in the AM.

    I am about to try some of the things you suggest, but I’ve had major digestion problems in the spring and I’m on this FODMAP diet which seems to help – but it says no garlic. So I’ll probably hold off on that part of things. The FODMAP is supposed to be temporary, but I’m nervous about starting to add things back in before I’m cured of UTI.

    Thanks for any thoughts!

    August 1, 2016
    |Reply
    • Laura
      Laura

      Oh – forgot to say that the UTI seemed to get better quickly after I started the D-Mannose. That was 1 week ago.

      August 1, 2016
      |Reply
      • Rebekah W.
        Rebekah W.

        But then it stalled?
        It may be getting caught up in Candida.

        D-mannose is fine, pH-wise. It’s the hippuric acid in cranberry juice that’s harmful. Also, E. coli ADORES an acidic environment and cranberry is acid-forming in your gut.

        August 2, 2016
        |Reply
    • Rebekah W.
      Rebekah W.

      Tests often come back negative for nitrites during the day: don’t be surprised if you see them in the morning.
      Can you try freshly grated horseradish?

      The best thing for a UTI is an alkaline diet, and cayenne may help you: it kills one strain of E.coli outright, all by itself.

      August 2, 2016
      |Reply
  2. I wear a catheter because I am unable to walk and i have this terrible infection. Sometimes i have to get injections to help. The doctor recommends ciproflaxin but within a week the infection flares up worse. Please can you help me. Thanks

    August 16, 2016
    |Reply
    • Rebekah W.
      Rebekah W.

      Yes, mince 3 cloves of fresh raw garlic and either take the pieces with baking soda water, like pills, or mix it into mashed avocado. Do that 3x a day and follow the Phase I protocol where you drink 8 oz lemon or baking soda water per hour, and a few cups of cinnamon tea.

      You’re going to need good OLE: did you see the Supplies list linked at the top of the page, in the banner?

      August 16, 2016
      |Reply
  3. Sara
    Sara

    I luckily stumbled on to this site at the first twinge of pain, and I’ve been reading like crazy cuz of the wealth of info… THANK YOU! However, one thing I didn’t see, was how often should I be drinking the baking soda water? I did my first one about 2 hours ago and am about to add another for good measure and because I’m about to leave the house and don’t want to have symptoms while I’m out, since I’m not using the old tried and true Azo to stop the burn, I don’t know how long it will last? Do I continue drinking it throughout the entire process?

    On a side note, I felt relief in less than a half hour, it was incredible! Granted I didn’t have razor blades of fire piss yet, but it was well on its way!

    April 21, 2017
    |Reply
    • Rebekah W.
      Rebekah W.

      You can use that several times a day if you don’t have issues with sodium! I never had a bit of problem with it at all, but a lot of women have a big fluid retention/high BP problem.
      If that’s not you, hit it twice more today, and buy a big bottle of lemon juice. That’ll keep you feeling better and help you cleanse your system, and it gives you alkaline Vitamin C, which is good.

      April 21, 2017
      |Reply
  4. Nicole
    Nicole

    Hi there Rebekah What is the issue with d mannose? Does it feed something in a negative way?

    May 22, 2017
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    • Rebekah W.
      Rebekah W.

      D-mannose is great for some strains of E. coli, but it can be ineffective in some cases due to factors like how much Candida is present in the gut.
      There are many strains of E. coli, and they can react to the same substance in wildly different ways. Since they don’t identify by strain in a culture, you can only tell the difference by how your particular strain reacts to what you take.

      May 22, 2017
      |Reply
  5. Kathy Gould
    Kathy Gould

    Hi Rebekah,
    What would be the best protocol to follow for a Staphylococcus saprophyticus strain of infection?My daughter was prescribed Keflex for her UTI, which has now backfired and now she has severe thrush/candida from the Keflex- which she stopped taking.She has suffered from UTIs for years on and off but now its ridiculously frequently and debilitating for her. A urologist recommended having her bladder quarterized(burned!) to possibly kill off the infection,I was horrified,especially when theres no guarantee of success, and so I found your site-Thank God!!

    June 14, 2017
    |Reply
    • Rebekah W.
      Rebekah W.

      Kathy, put her on 1500 mg of ascorbic acid Vitamin C 3x a day: she’ll be cured in 2-3 days.

      Staph is the opposite of the acid-adaptive bacteria that cause most UTI’s: check out the post on Vitamin C.
      When she gets the runs from that C, start giving her a big dose of charcoal (3000 mg or 2 tsp) twice a day, in between meals. That will stop the ascorbic acid runs and clear the Candida out of her gut at the same time.
      She’ll feel like a new person in 3 days. Keep going with the C and charcoal for a week to get her gut thoroughly cleansed, and then put her on 2 OLE per meal to cleanse and Candida from her kidneys.
      She can stay on OLE as long as she likes, and take as much as she likes: she’ll get no more UTI’s, her skin will be crystal clear, no more PMS, painless periods, and she won’t get so much as a cold.

      June 14, 2017
      |Reply
  6. Kathy G
    Kathy G

    Hi Rebekah,
    Thank you for your prompt reply,I just need to clarify, is that 1500mg of ascorbic acid as well as vitamin C x3 day with food?
    As my understanding is that ascorbic acid was different to vitamin c.
    Sorry for my dumb question, but I want to make sure I get this right for
    my daughter.
    Thanks:)

    June 16, 2017
    |Reply
    • Rebekah W.
      Rebekah W.

      Ascorbic acid is the most common form of Vitamin C: it’s the cheap stuff! It’s gotten bad press from gurus touting ‘whole Vitamin C’, but it kills Staphylococcus better than powerful antibiotics. It’ll be in any grocery store: look at the label and make sure it says ascorbic acid, not calcium ascorbate, or sodium ascorbate. The buffered, whole food, expensive kind isn’t what you want. You want the cheap stuff: it goes right into the bladder and absolutely slaughters staph.
      1500 mg of plain ascorbic acid Vitamin C 3x a day will kill her infection.
      A lady in the FB group contacted me in April with a similar case: she had a staph infection (for 2 months) that antibiotics wouldn’t kill.
      She was cured in 3 days with ascorbic acid she already had in her kitchen cupboard.

      June 16, 2017
      |Reply

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