Can Drinking Cranberry Juice Really Prevent UTIs?

There are some things that are so outrageous you know that they’re definitely not true. Then there are some things that sound so crazy, that you think that they have to be real. Because really, how else could someone ever come up with an idea like that unless it was legit?

One thing that you’ve probably heard is that if you drink cranberry juice, it can prevent urinary tract infections. If you’re wondering whether it’s a big fat crazy myth or whether it’s crazy but it actually works, I’m here to debunk whether drinking cranberry juice will really prevent UTIs.

So, should I be swigging cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections?

If you’ve done your own research, you will see that there are some conflicting reports about it. If you look at legit sources and the most recent research, sorry to say, you might as stop drinking cranberry juice now if you’re just drinking it for UTI prevention. The reports suggest that it will not help treat infections nor will it help prevent them.

Guh. I knew it was too good to be true. Why?

Long story short, there’s basically not enough evidence to prove it. Cosmopolitan reported that a 2012 review of cranberry-UTI literature and a 2016 study from Yale found no statistically significant reason to believe cranberries prevent urinary tract infections. What’s more, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence reported that there is not enough evidence to support the statement that cranberry juice prevents, lowers, or treats UTIs.

What about cranberry supplements?

The Cleveland Clinic points out that the evidence for cranberry supplements can be conflicting for cranberry supplements. Without getting too science-y, there’s an active ingredient in cranberries that basically coats the inside of the bladder to stop bacteria from getting in the blood stream. The thing is that it doesn’t stop bacteria from growing.

What’s more, supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so it’s not known how much of the active ingredient each product contains. Therefore, many of the products may not have enough of the active ingredient to be effective in preventing bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall. To top it all off, there’s really not conclusive evidence of cranberry juice or supplements treating, stopping, or reducing UTIs.

So, should I give up drinking cranberry juice?

If you’re guzzling it in the hopes it will stop UTIs, know that it’s not going to harm you. Will it stop them? Meh. Cranberry juice is still beneficial because it does have antioxidants. Just note that if you’re drinking large quantities of juice, especially ones with added sugar, you have to think about that. In general, it’s normally best to practice moderation.

Are there other ways I can prevent UTIs?

There are a few different things you can do to prevent UTIs. The good news is that they’re all pretty simple and don’t involve adding large quantities of random foods to your diet. First of all, if you have to pee, make sure you go. If you’re sexually active, try to pee after hooking up. Make sure that you’re wearing the proper underwear (read: a pair of breathable panties that aren’t too tight), and that you’re wiping front to back. It might seem obvious, but you should also avoid douching kits as they can cause all sorts of problems down there.

If you find that you’re constantly getting UTIs, it can be worthwhile speaking to your doctor. He/she can assess your lifestyle and see if there are any things you’re doing that could be causing the issue.

Have you ever had a UTI? Let us know in the comments!


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