Cranberry juice has long been used as a home remedy for urinary tract infections (UTIs). But does it really work? Recent research suggests that cranberry juice can help prevent recurrent UTIs in some people, but not everyone.
What is a Urinary Tract Infection?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra. Symptoms of a UTI include burning during urination, frequent urges to urinate, and cloudy or bloody urine. If left untreated, a UTI can lead to more serious complications such as kidney damage or sepsis.
Does Cranberry Juice Help Prevent UTIs?
Recent studies have found that drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry pills may help prevent recurrent UTIs in women who are at risk for these infections. However, the evidence is still inconclusive and more research needs to be done before it can be definitively said that cranberry juice is effective in preventing UTIs.
One study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that while there was some evidence that cranberry juice may decrease the number of symptomatic UTIs over a 12 month period, this effect was only seen in women with recurrent UTIs who were not taking antibiotics regularly. The study also concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that cranberry products could cure existing UTIs.
How Much Cranberry Juice Should I Drink?
If you decide to try using cranberry juice to help prevent recurrent UTIs, it’s important to drink the right amount. Health experts recommend drinking 8-10 ounces (240-300 mL) per day for best results. It’s also important to note that many commercial brands of cranberry juice contain added sugar which can actually increase your risk of developing a UTI so it’s best to opt for unsweetened varieties if possible.
While there is some evidence that drinking cranberry juice may help prevent recurrent UTIs in some people, more research needs to be done before it can be definitively said that this home remedy works for everyone. If you decide to try using cranberry juice as a way to help prevent recurrent UTIs, make sure you’re drinking the right amount and opt for unsweetened varieties whenever possible.