A Answers (2)
Stacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answeredCranberry supplements help treat urinary tract infections by keeping bacteria from adhering to the lining of the bladder. It is not certain if cranberry also fights bacteria directly and studies in this area have been inconclusive. When used for kidney stones, cranberry may change the mineral balance in the urine, but research has not proved this.
Robin Miller, MD, Integrative Medicine, answered
Once someone has a documented urinary tract infection (UTI) they should be treated with antibiotics. However, for preventing further infections cranberry juice or pills have been used. Cranberry contains A-type proanthocyanins (PACs), a flavonoid compound that prevents bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract.
In this way, cranberry may help prevent recurrent UTI’s. A recent study has found that low dose antibiotics are better able to prevent recurrent infection when compared to cranberry. However, using low dose antibiotics this way increases bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
Studies are ongoing to look at cranberry to prevent UTI’s. The research will help to determine effectiveness as well as proper dosages and preparations.