Cranberry Juice

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Question

Does drinking cranberry juice prevent urinary tract infections?

Answer

There is some evidence that cranberries will help with urinary tract infections. It won't actually treat a urinary tract infection but may help reduce the number of infections you may have in a year as well as the severity. Most urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria called E. coli. The way infections occur is when E. coli binds to the walls of the urinary tract. Previously it was thought that cranberry helped by making the environment more acidic, preventing E. coli from binding. Current research however indicates that the way cranberry helps is actually by preventing E. coli adherence to the walls of the urinary tract. Note that cranberry juice cocktails contain sugar and may be diluted by other juices. It's recommended to use 100% cranberry juice for better outcomes. If you suspect that you have a UTI, you need to see a physician immediately. Cranberry juice is something that may only potentially prevent a UTl and does not treat it.

Learn more about urinary tract infections in our health encyclopedia.

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