Updated urinary tract infection (UTI) guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the United Kingdom are expected to be finalized next month and will recommend against using cranberry juice to combat UTIs.
While some studies suggest cranberry juice and other cranberry products can promote urinary health, there is not enough evidence indicating they can treat infections, according to NICE. Standard treatment for UTIs includes plenty of water, pain relievers as instructed by a health care provider, and antibiotics, if needed.
Urinary tract infections, also called cystitis or bladder infections, are caused by bacteria and, in some cases, the body can eliminate the infection without medication. According to NICE, a back-up prescription for antibiotics may be recommended if symptoms (painful urination, fever, malaise, for example) worsen or do not improve within 48 hours. To reduce antibiotic resistance, the shortest effective course of medicine should be used.