Cranberries are fruit that can be consumed whole or made into food products such as jellies and juices.
(See also Overview of Dietary Supplements Overview of Dietary Supplements Integrative medicine and health (IMH) and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) include healing approaches and therapies that historically have not been included in conventional, mainstream... read more .)
People most often take cranberries to help prevent and relieve the symptoms of urinary tract infections Overview of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) In healthy people, urine in the bladder is sterile—no bacteria or other infectious organisms are present. The tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body (urethra) contains no bacteria... read more (UTIs). The effectiveness of cranberries in preventing urinary tract infections has been documented in some studies, but not in others. However, recent analyses showed 26 to 33% decreases in UTIs. Natural unprocessed cranberry juice contains anthocyanidins, which prevent Escherichia coli (the bacteria that usually cause urinary tract infections) from attaching to the urinary tract wall.
Some people take cranberry juice to reduce fever and treat certain cancers. However, there is no scientific proof that it is effective for these uses.
Possible side effects
No side effects are known. However, because most cranberry juice is highly sweetened to offset its tart taste, people with diabetes should not consume cranberry juice unless it is artificially sweetened. People who have kidney stones should consult their doctor before taking cranberry products.
Possible drug interactions
Cranberry products may increase the effects of drugs that prevent blood clots (such as the anticoagulant warfarin), causing severe bleeding.
More Information about Cranberry
The following is an English-language resource that may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of this resource.
National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: General information on the use of cranberry as a dietary supplement