UTIs – The Cranberry Cure

September 14, 2009
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

Here’s the Juice on Why it Works.

girl_cranberriesAccounting for about 8.3 million medical visits annually, urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the second most common infection in humans. This serious health problem impacts one in five women, and many suffer recurring infections.

Most urinary infections are due to E. coli, bacteria normally found in the intestines. Chlamydia, an increasingly common sexually transmitted disease (STD), is another culprit, as are the herpes virus, candida overgrowth, parasites, and enlarged prostate in men.

Sad to say, not everyone with a urinary infection will notice any symptoms. Pay attention if you have frequent urges to urinate, burning and/or pain when urinating, or if you just feel crummy in general (fatigued, shaky, washed out), as these are common signals for UTIs.

If urine is cloudy, milky-looking, or dark colored, you may have a UTI, especially if only a small amount of liquid is passed. Men may experience a sense of fullness in the rectum.

Infected women often feel an uncomfortable pressure above the pubic bone. UTIs occur more often in females because the urethra is close to the rectum and vagina, making it easier for bacteria and other pathogens to migrate into the urinary tract. Hormonal changes in pregnancy also put women with UTIs at risk for bladder infections.

Don’t despair: Researchers at Rutgers and Yale universities now confirm that cranberries can prevent UTIs. These ruby red “jewels” of the berry family are rich in proanthocyanidins, which adhere to the E. coli bacteria that cause the vast majority of these infections.

Recent analyses of several studies show that cranberries reduce the recurrence rate of urinary tract infections—for a year—by 35 percent. Because these berries remove (rather than kill) the infection-causing bacteria, E. coli is less likely to build the resistance that bacteria often does to antibiotics.

Scottish scientists call cranberry extract an inexpensive, natural way to relieve recurring UTIs—without the adverse effects of drugs like trimethoprim. This antibiotic cannot be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Nor should anyone low in folic acid (as many Americans are) or those with kidney or liver disease use this drug.

Dr. Ann Louise’s Take:

I’ve been a big fan of cranberries for years, which is why cran-water is a staple in all of my Fat Flush programs. But be sure to buy high quality—unsweetened—cranberry juice to mix with plenty of pure water as you flush out bacteria and other toxins. Sugar only feeds bacteria.

Cranberry’s antibacterial action may also prevent Helicobacter pylori, implicated in ulcers and gastrointestinal problems. And cranberry in various forms can help clear the bacteria that cause gum disease—the gateway to many other infections.

Besides bacteria-fighting chemicals and life-saving antioxidants, cranberries contain malic acid that staves off diarrhea, as well as those terribly painful kidney stones. Other organic acids and quercetin in cranberries can inhibit the growth of cancer.

That’s only the beginning. Cranberries help prevent atherosclerosis—the buildup of cholesterol, fat, and plaque in the arteries—and raise HDL (healthy) cholesterol. These potent berries may even prevent the formation of blood clots and stroke.

To help prevent UTIs in the first place, make hygiene a priority too. Shower instead of taking tub baths. Women must always wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from the anus from entering the vagina or urethra. Cleanse the genital area after sexual intercourse, and avoid feminine hygiene sprays or scented douches, which can irritate the urethra.


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Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. tracy

    I’ve lost track of the fat flush cran water recipe…. can you tell us again what it is. Thanks!

  2. Caroline

    I’ve been a big fan of ‘cran-water’. I mix 4oz pure cranberry juice to 28oz filtered water. It’s a staple to my diet.

  3. anna

    I was on Fat Flash plan about 4 months. It warked perfectly, I lost 20 pounds. But I went for wacation for a week and interapted drinking cranwater and the life coctail. When I came home, I started from a small amount, just pinkish water, but I felt so much pain in my stomac. I interapted and try to start again 3 times, but the pain was so high. From that time I am afraid to drink cranwater again. I am 58 now with a bukey of diseases and in the past I had an ulcer duodenal and gastritis. Is any suggestions? I need it so much! Anna..

  4. Carol

    I swear by CranWater and drink 90 oz faithfully every day – and will even drop a touch of cranberry concentrate in a bottle of water before I take it off with me. It cleans out your system to such a great degree that I haven’t been sick in years – since I did Fat Flush several years ago.

  5. Valerie

    I also need the recipe for the cran water.( in pain)

  6. Ann Louise Gittleman

    Dear Friends:
    I would love to answer each and every single one of your queries, as I have done to the best of my ability, in the past. The popularity of this Blog has grown to the extent that I can no longer provide that service but I am in the planning stages of an Internet – TV show where you can call in and get those questions answered by me in person! Please stay tuned for this exciting development. I first must complete a new manuscript and then will make some exciting announcements. In the interim, may I suggest that if you have questions about products, call UNI KEY at 1-800-888-4353. The folks there are helpful and will direct you accordingly. If you are concerned about a particular health condition, then by all means check out the Testing Kits on my site which will help you to determine underlying causes. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and interest!

  7. dawn

    I’m looking for recipe of cranberry/lemon/cinamon/ ginger/nutmeg/ that you bring to a boil and then cool and drink as a one day fast, first hour juice, second hour water, third hour juice and so on for the day. I’m a type II diabetic and have some renal issues. wondering if I should stay away from this drink?

  8. don

    I once tried your recipe for a cranberry cocktail, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. I did the juice fast for one day and it was great for my diabetes, sugar came right down. I’m looking for the recipe again, I lost it.
    thanx don

  9. Joel

    Don- That recipe is in Dr. Ann Louise’s book “Fast Detox Program”, it cannot be posted here because of copyrights.

  10. don

    You say its “Fast Detox Program”
    on Amazon.com I see “Fast Track Detox Diet” Is this the same book with the Cranberry cocktail ?

  11. Joel

    Yes it is! Sorry I did not give the correct title; they are one and the same.

  12. liz

    The Fast Track Detox Diet is written by Ann Louise Gittleman.


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