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Cranberry Juice for the treatment of UTIs

Three Part Question

In [patients with symptomatic, urinary tract infection] does the use of [cranberry juice products] provide [effective treatment of infection].

Clinical Scenario

A 39y old woman presents with a one day history of suprapubic pain, dysuria and urinary frequency. She is systemically well but dipstick testing confirms blood, protein and leucocytes in her urine sample. You send the sample to the microbiology department for culture and write a prescription for antibiotics. The patient states that she does not like to use conventional medicines and asks if cranberry juice is effective for the treatment of UTIs.

Search Strategy

Medline 1966 - Oct 2006 using OVID interface.
EMBASE 1974 - Sept 2006.
Cochrane library
[urinary tract infection$.mp. or exp Urinary Tract Infections/ OR exp CYSTITIS/ OR OR] AND [ OR exp Vaccinium macrocarpon/ OR cranberr$.mp.]
Cochrane library searched with term 'cranberry'.

Search Outcome

96 papers found in OVID search. 125 papers found on EMBASE search. No relevant papers were found.
1 relevant Cochrane review was found.

Relevant Paper(s)

Author, date and country Patient group Study type (level of evidence) Outcomes Key results Study Weaknesses


Despite traditional anecdotal advice regarding the treatment of UTIs with cranberry juice and evidence that compounds within cranberry juice inhibit bacterial adherence to uroepithelial cells, there are no clinical trials at this time looking at the effects of cranberry juice on urinary tract infections.

Clinical Bottom Line

No evidence available.


  1. Jepson, RG; Mihaljevic, L; Craig JC Cranberries for treating urinary tract infections (Review) The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1998; Issue 4