Cranberry Juice & Supplements for UTIs

I'm a middle-aged healthy woman who gets occasional urinary tract infections. I heard that cranberry juice or cranberry supplements can help prevent the condition. Is this true?

Cranberry has been used with some success by women for many decades to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs).  We now know that certain compounds in cranberries limit the ability of E. coli bacteria that cause the infection to attach to the walls of the bladder and urinary tract and gain a foothold. explains what to look for and how to use cranberry juice or cranberry supplements (including products such as Ellura®/Urell®) to help prevent UTIs. Get the Full Answer >>

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Janice17840   May 10, 2019
I was having recurring UTI'S for several months while taking an antibiotic that obviously was not working. My urogynocologist finally suggested taking the cranberry capsules with the PAC -- proanthocyanidines --total of 6 capsules a day (2 capsules taken 3 x a day) for 2 months. I have had excellent results and now just take 2 capsules a day for maintanace. It is important to buy the cranberries supplements that have the PAC's, otherwise it is ineffective. I bought mine from Amazon. Also, it would be utterly ridiculous to drink cranberry juice with sweeteners in them as the sugar feeds the infection. Straight, pure cranberry juice, tastes so tart and sour it is extremely hard to drink it even with adding water to dilute the taste. I strongly recommend the PAC cranberry supplements in capsule form.   May 10, 2019
Hi Janice - Thank you for sharing your experience with this. Although the evidence is better with juice than pills, your rationale is understandable. It would seem prudent to take the pills with a good amount of water.

susan17885   May 30, 2019
I have some cranberry juice concentrate. I added water but yes, it is hard to drink. Still though are you saying it's better than a supplement? Did i read that increase the oxalates? Will that lead to kidney stones?
thank you!   May 31, 2019
Hi Susan - As noted in the Answer above, a review of published studies did conclude that juice may be more likely to help. Cranberry can increase oxalate levels, which can increase the risk of kidney stones (see the "Side effects and potential drug interactions" section above for more information).

Brian A.11412   November 21, 2016
My experience with Cranberry. Took tablets and frequently drank it for 5 years. Was able to control my gout without meds. Got a kidney stone (ouch!). One year later got another. (Ouch again!). Urologist said "Cranberry (and apple juice) are kidney stone builders".

On hike shortly after with a Boy Scout leader acquaintance who was also a doctor. Told him my dilemma about kidney stones. Suggested I try lemon juice as it is thought to break down or reduce the kidney stones. After additional research noted thoughts that such as lemon juice(and broccoli) also helps reduce body PH. Yes lemon juice, it says, does that.

For over 2 years now most frequently add lemon juice (about 1 to 1 1/2 oz.) to my breakfast and supper beverage. No kidney stones and very infrequent and minor short duration gout pain, (2) alleve and gone.

Uric acid still kinda high but apparently no crystallization.

I will let you know what excessive consumption of lemon juice causes when it happens
but so far so good.

Marshall11369   November 2, 2016
Thank you for providing this analysis. I had already wondered if a group of nursing home residents could be said to be representative of the general population! I've been drinking cranberry juice or taking supplements when the juice is not available (e.g, rarely seen in Europe) for over thirty years and I am quite confident that this has helped reduce the incidence of UTIs, particularly in the years post-pelvic radiation.

Roy11363   October 30, 2016
Thanks very much for this new question answer about UTIs. I appreciate all you do on our behalf. Please keep up the good work.

I'm a 78-year-old guy with a long history of UTI, none of which we've ever let get out of hand through use of Cranberry. For years I used CranActin, sometimes unsweetened Cranberry juice, then "trunature® CRAN-MAX Cranberry 500 mg., 180 Veggie Capsules" from Costco, but more recently "Natural Cranberry Drink Concentrate" by Natural Sources, Inc of San Clemente, CA 92674. Reconstitution instructions: mix 8 oz of concentrate with 56 oz water.

I learned many years ago to check the color of my urine every day and look for any cloudiness (assume that's infection starting up). I keep my urine clear to very light yellow, relying on that to assure I'm drinking enough water (and I rarely drink anything but
t pure water--we have a deep well).

When cloudiness shows up--which it did this morning for first time in more than a year--I immediately start taking cranberry the concentrate diluted 7oz:1oz. All the products I've used seem to work well for me.

Hope my experiece will help others, and perhaps give you additional products to consider testing.

Smitty   August 2, 2017
Hi Roy - No additional suggestions on our end. What you are doing should definitely help.

Tracey11358   October 30, 2016
Thank you for the unbiased reporting of the results of this study! Every other report I've seen says "cranberries don't work". Since millions of women know otherwise it's nice that CL sees both sides of the story!

Colleen11343   October 17, 2016
A question regarding this sentence: "Research suggests that a specific type of PAC, known as the A-type PAC, may be most important as it interferes with bacterial adhesion while B-type PACs (which are common in other fruits, such as apples) do not." By definition, are all cranberry supplements going to be APAC vs BPAC, such that we don't need to be concerned about whether or not the product label states one or the other, or doesn't list that at all?   October 17, 2016
Hi Colleen - The PACs in cranberry are almost entirely A-linked. However, cranberry supplements may be adulterated with other sources of PACs (which are not A-linking) such as apples, grapes, grapeseed, etc. so you can't assume a cranberry supplement contains all A-linked PACs.

Delores11124   August 1, 2016
I have used the following recipe over the years and it has never failed to quickly resolve UTI for me, usually in one day if I start it at first hint of symptoms.
Heat 1 quart drinking water to boil and remove from heat. Add to it
1 cup. loosely packed, fresh parsley, roughly chopped and including the stems. Cover and let steep 15-20 minutes. Strain out the parsley and consume this quart throughout the day. Sip some as warm tea, drink cooled or refrigerated. Repeat until symptoms abate.
When I found this recipe it claimed parsley contains something the same or similar to what is used in prescription medications to treat UTI. This was 30 yrs. ago. but it sure has worked for me.   August 1, 2016
Thanks for sharing that. A possible explanation for the benefit you report is that parsley may act as a diuretic -- as noted in the article on Parsley on our website at That and the water itself will increase urinary flow, reducing the risk of UTI. (As noted in the article, pregnant women should avoid excessive intake of parsley.)

Claudia11092   July 20, 2016
So glad you discussed Ellura. I have found it to be a godsend. Not one UTI since starting it, only as needed and d-Mannose daily. A great service to women everywhere.

Kelly11022   June 29, 2016
I used to get regular UTI's, so i started drinking 1/4 cup real cranberry juice diluted with water every morning. I ended up with kidney stones. So be careful! I stopped the cranberry juice and haven't had stones since (once the one's i had were expelled). I was getting UTI's due to too much sugar in my diet or possibly candida or yeast overgrowth. Just another avenue to check out if you get them often. I corrected my diet and no longer get them.

Alice10908   June 22, 2016
Does dried cranberries work as well as cranberry juices for UTI

Elaine10907   June 22, 2016
There seems to be studies re cranberry juice and cranberry capsules but it is getting easier to find dried cranberries in grocery stores. Wouldn't these be better than either the juice or the capsules?   July 7, 2016
Hi Alice and Elaine - Thank you for your questions. We've now added information about dried cranberries to the answer above.

Rhea8473   February 22, 2016
One thing to beware of: If you have IC (interstitial cystitis), any form of cranberry is one of the worst things you can take. IC is an inflammation of the bladder, and because it does not involve any bacteria, the cranberry not only doesn't help, it increases the pain significantly. And IC is *very* painful.

The thing that's so tricky is that most women who get IC do so after years of having various UTIs. The treatments for UTIs and IC are almost opposite in some ways. The only way to know for sure is to go to a doctor or clinic when you're symptomatic and get tested. If no microorganisms are present, then there's a good chance that you now have IC. (Of course your doctor must carefully eliminate the possibility of other, rarer, causes.)

If you have IC, there are a number of good websites with support info. The disease isn't well understood, so looking for online support in addition to your doctor makes sense.

Anna 8472   February 21, 2016
A product that really works every time is Cystex Cranberry liquid. It contains d-Mannose and cranberry extract. This is an over the counter product that I tried in order to get away from taking Cipro or Bactrim.

Idy8471   February 21, 2016
D-Manose works well to quiet & heal uti. I find it far superior to just cranberry.   February 25, 2016
Hi Idy and Anna - Thank you for sharing your experiences using cranberry and/or D-mannose. You may also be interested in the Encyclopedia article about D-Mannose ( and this CL Answer:

Ingrid8470   February 21, 2016
I use to have UTI's very oftten. Started taken Cranbery pills about 12 years ago and have not had one UTI. So I would think they work just as well as the juice which I cna't drink because I am diabetic.

Beth8468   February 21, 2016
Have you read the work done on this by Nathalie Tufenkji, PhD, an associate professor in McGill University's Department of Chemical Engineering? Cranberries actually prevent the bacteria from forming the tail needed to hang on to the urethra.

judy699   May 6, 2015
Check out a product called Ellura. It is available online only. You can read about it there. My urologist suggested it, and although a bit expensive, it's worth it! I hope Consumer Labs tests it soon. P.S. I have no financial interest in this product.   May 19, 2015
Thank you for your suggestion, Judy. We've added information about this product to the Answer above.

lynne434   January 28, 2015
D-Mannose daily prevents UTI infections for me. I suffered for years with them until I found out about this supplement! It works!

sue159   September 16, 2014
D-Mannose a white powder is much more effective for UTI's. It works so quickly. It coats the bladder and the bacteria do not stick to it but are
washed out.
Past Ex: my dad was given every antibiotic poss for a bladder infection for over 3mo, none lasted. I finally gave him D-Mannose and it was gone like nothing. Docs could not figure it out. Now used for prevention.
Sue, RN   September 16, 2014
Hi Sue- You can find information about Mannose here: and more about other treatments for UTI here:

Natalia10967   June 22, 2016
Trader Joe's Cranberry Juice works the best. It's concentrated and sugar-free, which is important since sugar is a breeding ground for yeast and other organism that may cause inflammation.

Marilyn11360   October 30, 2016
Bladder scan and cystoscopy showed no problems which would cause frequent utis. Recommendation of cystex 1- 1and1/2 Tbs a bedtime have eliminated all but perhaps one a year,

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This CL Answer initially posted on 8/31/2012. Last updated 8/3/2018. members may submit questions to We read all questions and try to answer those of popular interest.



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