Are cranberry products (juice, tablets, etc.) an effective treatment for a UTI?
There is no credible scientific evidence that cranberry is an effective treatment for an existing UTI. Once the bacteria stick to the bladder wall and start multiplying, cranberries cannot help. The only reliable treatment for a urinary tract infection is an antibiotic. If you suspect that you have a UTI, contact your doctor. Do not attempt to treat it yourself.
If cranberry products don’t treat a UTI, what do they do?
Although cranberries can’t treat an existing UTI, they can help maintain normal urinary tract health. Many women develop recurrent UTIs sometimes several per year. A growing body of evidence now confirms that cranberry products can promote optimal urinary tract health.
How do cranberries work?
Recent research has revealed that cranberries naturally contain a group of compounds called proanthocyanidins (PACs), which are beneficial for supporting urinary tract health.
How much cranberry is needed for benefit?
Approximately 8-10 ounces of 27% cranberry juice cocktail has been shown to promote urinary tract health. This amount of juice contains an average of 36 mg PACs. For those trying to manage their weight, the extra calories from drinking cranberry juice daily can add up over time. Eight to ten ounces of cranberry juice cocktail contains approximately 175 calories, which, if consumed daily, can result in significant weight gain if the excess calories aren’t burned through activity. A cranberry supplement can provide a low calorie alternative to sugar-laden cranberry cocktail.
Are all cranberry supplements the same?
No. Cranberry supplements vary widely in their content, labeling, and marketing claims.
What should I look for in a cranberry supplement?
Choose a product that has been standardized for PAC content. A cranberry product should contain 36 mg of PACs per daily dose, as measured by BL-DMAC methodology, the industry standard for measuring PAC content.
It is best to choose a product that is also independently tested and certified for PAC content by NSF® International or USP®. If the actual content of PACs hasn’t been verified, the efficacy of that product is uncertain.
“Cranberry and Urinary Health” republished from Theralogix.