Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common bacterial infections. They account for about 8 million visits to primary care providers per year!
What cases a UTI?
Bacteria entering the urethra and spreading upwards into the bladder causes a UTI. They generally occur in the bladder, but can spread to the ureters and kidneys. They occur far more often in women than in men.
Do Cranberries Prevent UTIs?
Individuals frequently use cranberry products (juice, capsules, and extracts) with the goal of preventing urinary tract infections.
Laboratory studies show that components of cranberry potentially decrease the ability of bacteria to stick to the lining of the bladder. However, clinical studies do not demonstrate that cranberry products prevent UTIs. A recent large systematic review on the effect of cranberries on UTI rates showed a small, not statistically significant reduction in UTIs among women with recurrent UTIs, but the studies of older women suggest that cranberries are not effective in preventing UTIs.
While cranberry products are not harmful, they are not currently recommended for UTI prevention.
Brianna Johnson, RN, BSN, grew up in Minnesota and studied Community Health Education in Wisconsin before serving in the U.S. Peace Corps. She went to nursing school in Maine and began her career as a Public Health Nurse for the Vermont Department of Health. Brianna currently works at UVM Medical Center as a primary nurse at the UVM Cancer Center and as an RN on the Shepardson 4 Hematology/ Oncology unit. She is studying to become a family nurse practitioner in the UVM Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. She lives in Burlington, VT with her husband and two young daughters.