How do cranberry supplements treat urinary tract infections?

A Answers (2)

  • A answered
    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.
  • A , Internal 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.

    1 person found this helpful.
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.
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