Can cranberries treat Urinary Tract Infections?

Updated: Jan 27

By Sanjana Rao, Ph.D.

Urinary Tract infections (UTIs) can affect any part of the urinary system, kidneys, bladder or urethra. While UTIs affect men as well, the incidence is higher in women.

About 60% of women and 12% of men will have at least one UTI during their lifetime. UTIs are mainly caused by bacteria and can be treated with antibiotics. UTI symptoms include frequent urination, a sense of urgency to urinate, and a burning feeling that occurs with urination.

Studies have found that cranberry juice or supplements were not an effective treatment from UTIs. Additionally, the research on the use of cranberries to prevent UTIs is not concrete. While some studies have found that drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry pills can prevent UTIs, especially in women who are at risk for these infections. But others haven’t come to that conclusion.

A new study shows that while cranberries may not help to treat UTIs once they have occurred, cranberry oligosaccharides may help prevent UTIs by not allowing the bacteria to stick to the wall of the urinary tract and therefore preventing its colonization.

Some studies have also shown that a vegetarian diet has been found to be protective against UTIs in healthy women

As prevention is better than cure, one can try and prevent UTIs by staying hydrated, emptying the bladder often, a diet rich in probiotics, cranberries and blueberries which are a lower cost preventive strategy than consuming antibiotics.

Note: Please consult a medical professional or a trained nutritionist regarding specifics of your health and symptoms or before changing your diet or trying something new.

Disclaimer: Miyara Health does not undertake any financial/ reputational/ legal/ health related/misrepresentational impact or other obligations/ liabilities that may arise from the content.

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