Does cranberry extract prevent UTIs?

Ask the doctor

Published: January, 2017

cranberry extract prevent UTIs
Image: CreativeFire/Thinkstock

Q. I recently read that cranberry capsules don't prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). I've been taking them for several years and seem to be having UTIs less frequently. Should I stop?

A. You might be referring to a clinical trial reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association recently. That study, conducted in a nursing home, found that cranberry-extract capsules didn't prevent UTIs in women who were prone to them. Although the women in this study had an average age of 87, earlier trials in college students and middle-aged women have had similar results.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »