“The New England Journal of Medicine” reports that every year 11 percent of American women seek medical care for a urinary tract infection, UTI. If you are female, your lifetime risk for developing a UTI is 60 percent. Many of the bacteria that cause these infections have become resistant to commonly prescribed antibiotics. Cranberry juice has been used for decades as an alternative remedy for UTIs, but the dosage needed to confer benefit is unclear, and cranberry products are not universally accepted as an effective therapy. Consult a doctor before using cranberry for UTI.
How UTIs Get Started
Your urinary tract is normally a relatively sterile environment. However, bacteria can gain access to your bladder by ascending through your urethra, which is the tube that drains urine from your bladder. If urine is retained in your bladder for extended periods of time, if your urethra becomes irritated or inflamed, or if the normal protective barriers that coat the lining of your bladder break down, bacteria can adhere to the interior of your bladder and begin reproducing. Cranberry juice may prevent bacteria from “sticking” to your bladder wall.