Pure cranberry juice, cranberry extract, or cranberry supplements may help prevent repeated UTIs in women, but the benefit is small. It helps about as much as taking antibiotics to prevent another UTI.1 Using cranberry products to prevent UTIs may be expensive, and some women complain of the taste. No single concentration of cranberry juice, extract, or supplement has been studied, so it's hard to know which product to choose.
By Amy Engeler
At 3 a.m., with all the houses dark up and down her winding suburban street in West Warwick, Rhode Island, Jo-Ann Frey, 37, lights a candle so she can see well enough to dust her furniture. Careful not to turn on any lights or make noise that might wake up her family, she drifts from room to room with her candle and cleaning supplies, waiting until she feels sleepy enough to climb back into bed. That feeling doesn't come -- and when she hears the alarm in the bedroom go off...
If you do want to try cranberry juice to prevent UTIs, it's better to drink pure, unsweetened cranberry juice (rather than cranberry juice cocktail). Drinking cranberry juice cocktail doesn't seem to prevent UTIs better than drinking any other fruit juice.2
There is no proof that cranberry can cure a UTI. Cranberry
is not well tested as a UTI treatment.
may affect how warfarin works, which can be dangerous. If you are taking the
anticoagulant medicine warfarin (such as Coumadin), talk to your doctor before
using cranberry to prevent a UTI.