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How do cranberry supplements treat urinary tract infections?

Cranberry supplements (or juice) aren't helpful in treating a urinary tract infection. The thinking has long been, based mostly on lab studies, that compounds in cranberries can make the urine more acidic and prevent bacteria from attaching to your cells, so the bacteria get flushed out of your system. But juices and supplements don't have enough of these active chemicals to help in real life. Once an infection takes hold, your best bet is to see your doctor for a short course of antibiotics. And if you have UTIs often, your doctor may give you a low dose of an antibiotic for several months to prevent recurrent infections.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.