Cranberry found to be effective for urinary tract infection prevention in girls

Urinary tract infections are common in women, and for some women can be recurrent and require repeated doses of antibiotics or even prophylactic antibiotics. Organisms (usually E. coli) that cause UTIs generally gain access to the bladder via the urethra (the pipe connecting the bladder with the outside). Some of the strategies that may help to prevent UTI is to drink plenty of water (to help flush the bladder and urethra of organism), urinating quite soon are sexual intercourse (intercourse increases the risk of organisms being introduced into the urethra) and wiping after going to the toilet from front to back (reducing the risk that organisms will be introduced into the urethra).

In addition, certain natural agents can help, and perhaps the most well known of these is cranberry. Research has discovered that cranberry has the ability to reduce the ability of E. coli organisms to ‘stick’ to the lining of the urinary tract. This means that E. coli has less capacity to set up camp in the urinary tract, and is therefore more likely to be flushed out of the body before it causes a bona fide infection.

Previous studies have found that cranberry supplementation has the capacity to reduce the risk of UTIs. See here and here for previous posts which have reported on relevant research in this area.

More recently, further research has found that cranberry may be an effective UTI preventer in the young [1]. In a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Urology and Nephrology, girls aged 3-14 were treated with cranberry juice, or a probiotic, or nothing for a period of 6 months. The dose of cranberry was just 50 mls of juice, taken daily.

At the end of the study, rates of urinary tract infection in the cranberry, probiotic and control groups were about 18, 42 and 48 per cent respectively. The lower rate of UTI in the cranberry group was statistically significant.

Reading about this study reminded of another natural remember for UTIs which come in the form of D-mannose (a sugar). Like cranberry, D-mannose affects adhesion of E. coli to the urinary tract. It can be used in the treatment and prevention of UTIs in both children and adults.

For more details about D-mannose and how to use it, see here.


1. Ferrara P, et al. Cranberry juice for the prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections: a randomized controlled trial in children. Scand J Urol Nephrol 2009;43(5):369-72.

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7 Responses to Cranberry found to be effective for urinary tract infection prevention in girls

  1. Sherry 12 February 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    Cranberry may well work to prevent UTI ,but in my opinion, once you`ve got one the only effective cure is a course of antibiotics. The alternative of drinking cranberry juice every day, just in case, would mean an unnecessary and undesirable intake of sugar, as you can never buy it in it`s unsweetened form.I imagine it would be pretty unpalatable in it`s natural state.

    I`ve tried it on both occasions when I had an infection, and considered that it was a hype by the manufacturers of the juice. It has never worked for any of my friends (we are all of a certain age…)and my GP just smiled indulgently when I told her what I`d been drinking for relief from quite a debilitating ailment. You shouldn`t leave it too long, if you think you may have an infection.It can affect your kidneys, I believe.

    To be honest, I thought it was just one of those myths you read in women`s magazines and then find the word “Advertisement” in small type at the bottom of the page.

    I`m just playing Devil`s Advocate here….Love the Newsletters !

  2. Sherry 12 February 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    Further to my comment above. I managed to find a link to the actual trial. Interestingly, it does warn against taking concentrated cranberry whilst also taking warfarin. It apparently increases the anti-coagulant effects.
    I`m assuming ordinary “juice” wouldn`t have the same effect or they would put it on the carton. Wouldn`t they?

  3. Ren 3 August 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    I honestly haven’t tried cranberry juice for UTI. I do use D-Mannose, which I get here : in this link, I’ve also read about cranberry juice, and that one of the disadvantages is the sugar content. However, there’s also cranberry extract, which has the same effects of the juice, but without the sugar.

  4. HattieTottie 16 May 2012 at 5:32 am #

    I suffer from chronic bladder infections and before I discovered Lady Soma’s Cranberry Supplements, I was at the doctor’s office about every 3 months. I have been taking the Lady Soma Cranberry every day for about 6 months now and I have not had to go back to the doctor.


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