This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Cranberry juice proven to be ineffective against UTIs

Written by: | Published:

Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins, which prevent certain bacteria, such as E.coli which causes 80% of UTIs, from collecting on the walls of the bladder

New guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have declared that drinking cranberry juice has no effect on urinary tract infections (UTIs).

‘We recognise that the majority of UTIs will require antibiotic treatment, but we need to be smarter with our use of these medicines,’ said Mark Baker, director of the centre of guidelines at NICE.

‘Our new guidance will help healthcare professionals to optimise their use of antibiotics. This will help to protect these vital medicines and ensure that no one experiences side effects from a treatment they do not need.’

Some studies have suggested that cranberry juice may be effective – for example, a review in the Archives of Internal Medicine claims there may be benefits, however, people must have consumed a couple of glasses daily for many months or even years.

Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins, which prevent certain bacteria, such as E.coli which causes 80% of UTIs, from collecting on the walls of the bladder.

The NICE guidelines recommend that patients visit their GPs who might prescribe them antibiotics. This may not always be the best treatment as infections can clear up on their own. Additionally, some clinicians are warning GPs to think carefully before prescribing because of antimicrobial resistance.

‘Our surveillance shows that more than a third of laboratory confirmed E.coli UTIs display resistance to key antibiotics. We are therefore urging GP practices and hospitals to follow the new guidelines so they can prescribe antibiotics appropriately to their patients,’ said Susan Hopkins, deputy director for AMR (Antimicrobial Research Collaborative) and Healthcare Associated Infections at Public Health England.

‘This will preserve our antibiotics so they not only save lives today but can continue to save lives tomorrow.’

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.