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Unbuffered Vitamin C & Burning Urine

By Dr. Christine Princeton, D.O.

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient found in citrus fruits as well as supplements. Also called ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin important to a variety of physiological processes including wound healing, bone repair and the making of collagen. Vitamin C is also used as an adjunct treatment in urinary tract infections, one of the symptoms of which is burning upon urination.

Unbuffered Vitamin C

The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University provides a list of the different forms of vitamin C that are bioavailable. Buffered vitamin C supplements are less acidic than unbuffered. They can be either mineral ascorbate, Ester-C or vitamin C with bioflavonoids. Mineral ascorbates are vitamin C derivatives that include calcium ascorbate and potassium ascorbate, while Ester-C is a supplement that contains calcium ascorbate and oxidized ascorbic acid. On the other hand, unbuffered vitamin C is more acidic, according to "Integrative Medicine" and is straight ascorbic acid.

Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infections are caused by a number of bacteria, according to "Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practices of Infectious Diseases." The most common causes of bacterial infections of the urinary tract are Escherichia coli, or E.coli, Klebsiella, Staphylococcus saprophyticus or S. saprophyticus and Proteus. E. coli infections are most common in younger women and occur from improper wiping methods. Klebsiella infections occur more in the elderly and immunocompromised populations. S. saprophyticus infections most commonly occur in sexually active women after intercourse. Lastly, Proteus infections occur in elderly men having prostate problems.

Symptoms

Current Clinical Medicine describes urinary tract infection symptoms as feelings of urgency, needing to urinate more frequently, cloudy and foul-smelling urine, pain and burning upon urination. Symptoms that you may experience in more complicated infections include problems with emptying your bladder, burning around your urethral opening, fever, chills, night sweats, pain in your suprapubic region, or your lower abdomen above the pubic bone, and pain in the area of your lower ribs.

Treatment

An article in "Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica," vitamin C was shown to play an important role in the treatment of urinary tract infections. The study further explained that a daily intake of 100 mg of unbuffered ascorbic acid reduced urinary tract infections in pregnant women. Dr. Gerald Mandell, et al. explain how the vitamin C and hippuric acid found in cranberries helps remove bacteria from urinary tracts in "Mandell, Douglas and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Disease." Vitamin C and hippuric acid inhibit bacteria, such as E. coli, from adhering to the epithelial cells that line your bladder and urethra. Thus, helping your body flush out the harmful infection.

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