?html> Should urine be more acidic or alkaline in order to prevent Urinary Tract Infections?
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Should urine be more acidic or alkaline in order to prevent Urinary Tract Infections?



Should urine be more acidic or alkaline in order to prevent Urinary Tract Infections?

Urine pH as measured by urinalysis has a normal range of about 4.5-8 with a pH of 6 being the average. Neutral pH is 7. Anything having a lower pH is acidic and anything with a higher pH is basic.
Urine is actually a fairly good growth medium for bacteria and is sometimes used in labs for this pupose. However urine with a lower pH (more acidic) has been found to inhibit the growth of bacteria.
Urine that is high in ammonia on the other hand with its higher pH (more alkaline or basic) has been found to impede the bodies immune responce to a UTI. In fact Proteus species of bacteria which is a common cause of UTIs produces a substance called urease which breaks down uric acid (an end product of nitrogen metabolism found in urine) into ammonia and carbon dioxide, thus causing the urine to become more basic. The ability of Proteus of produce urease increases its ability to cause pylonephritis (infection of the kidney as opposed to the blatter or ureters).
Taking substances that will alter the pH of your urine however may have unforseen side effects. The pH of the urine helps determine what is and what is not filtered out of the blood by the kidney. Also altering the pH will have an effect of the formation of kidney stones. Certain particles will become "un-dissolved" at a higher pH and some at a lower pH. If enough of the particles come out of solution, you will get kidney stones. In fact the Proteus bacteria that cause the urine to become more basic are associated with an increase in kidney stones.
I general however pH has very little to do with get or not getting a UTI. The urinary tract from the distal urethra up is mostly sterile and the few bacteria that do get into the urinary tract are usually flushed out when you urinate. Some bacteria however such as E. coli have molecules on thier outer membrane that can adhere to the urinary tract lining. It can do this reguardless of pH and pH in general has little effect on E. coli which is what causes about 85% of UTIs not contracted in a hospital. E. coli is found in the digestive tract and most UTIs are caused when the E. coli finds its way into the urinary tract. While in the digestive tract the E. coli has had to endure the extremely acidic pH of the stomach and the very basic pH of the small intestine.
Most bacteria that cause UTIs are from the digestive tract. Often they are aided in migration to the urethra by sexual intercourse. The use of spermicides is associated with an increase in UTIs because the protective bacteria of the vagina are killed by the spermicide and this leave the vagina vulnerable to colinization by UTI causing bacteria.
Also some women are genetically predisposed to UTI because they have more adhesion molecules on their vaginal walls.
Cranberry juice is helpful in preventing UTI. Studies have shown that cranberry juice inhibits the ability of bacteria to adhere to the urinary tract.
If recurrent UTIs are a problem you may want to speak to you doctor about methanamine. It is used to prevent UTIs especially those caused by E. coli which is the most common cause of UTIs. Source(s): Mandell, Bennett, & Dolin: Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, 6th ed
Ferri: Ferri's Clinical Advisor: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment, 2006 ed
Walsh: Campbell's Urology, 8th ed
Jerry, sorry to hear about your UT infection. Drink lots of water and straight cranberry juice. I believe urine like your body pH should be alkaline(Never tasted it though)
alkaline,drink loads of water or barley water to make it like this.cranberry juice to prevent infection.
I have read (in doctor's office pamphlets) that the urine should be alkaline. I've found this to be true for myself - when I encourage an alkaline environment I have no problems, but an acidic environment can.

Calcium is a good, good for you, simple way to increase alkalinity. I always have a calcium supplement in the evening and when I started that and stopped taking Vit. C at night I had a lot fewer UTIs.
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