› Health benefits
There have been many studies on using cranberry for UTIs, but very little high-quality research has been done on other uses.
In 2016, a yearlong study showed that taking two cranberry capsules daily decreased bacteria levels in urine for the first six months of the study but did not decrease frequency of UTIs over the year.
A 2012 research review of 13 clinical trials suggested that cranberry may help reduce the risk of UTIs in certain people, including women with recurrent UTIs, children, and people who use cranberry-containing products more than twice daily.
A 2012 research review of 24 clinical trials concluded that cranberry juice and supplements don’t prevent UTIs, but many of the studies were of poor quality.
Cranberry hasn’t been shown to be effective as a treatment for an existing UTI.
Research supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health is looking at the possible effects of cranberry on cancer-related anemia and tumor cells.
› How much do I need?
The dosage varies depending on age and what it is being used for. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels, and consult your pharmacist, physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Drinking cranberry juice appears to be safe, although large amounts can cause stomach upset and may over time increase the risk of kidney stones. Large doses of cranberry may alter the effectiveness of warfarin, an anticoagulant (blood-thinner). People who think they have a UTI should see a healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment. Don’t use cranberry products in place of proven treatments for infections.
› Dietary supplements
Cranberry can be found as extract powders, caplets, capsules and in pure juice form.
Source: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
Please consult your health care provider before making changes to your vitamin/supplement regimen.