Cranberry juice and urinary tract infections

For years, people have used cranberry juice to prevent and help cure urinary tract infections (UTIs). There is limited proof that this is worth trying.

Cranberry juice or supplements may help prevent UTIs. Experts say that studies are promising. But more research is needed.1 It is known that a substance found in cranberry prevents bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract lining. This may have something to do with how cranberry seems to prevent UTIs.

There is no proof that cranberry can cure a UTI. Cranberry is not well tested as a UTI treatment.

You can take cranberry extract or drink pure, unsweetened cranberry juice to help prevent UTIs. Two glasses of cranberry juice a day can help prevent urinary infections. The special chemical is also found in blueberry juice.

Cranberries 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.


  1. Sen A (2006). Recurrent cystitis in non-pregnant women. Clinical Evidence (15): 2558–2564.

Last Updated: June 8, 2009

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