A group of cranberries with text "Are Cranberry Pills Good For You?"

Cranberries are small, tart, bright red berries that are a popular treat, as well as a holiday staple. They are packed with antioxidants and provide many health benefits. Cranberry juice has a reputation for preventing Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), though research is inconsistent. Is there a benefit to taking cranberry pills?

What are cranberry pills? They are a small tablet or capsule made from dried, powered cranberries and may contain additional ingredients such as vitamin C or probiotics. One benefit of taking cranberry pills is that they may help prevent UTIs, however there have been conflicting research.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in November 2016, looked at 185 older women living in a nursing home. The group of women taking cranberry supplements saw a decrease in the number of bacteria in their urine in the first six months. The study did not show a decrease in UTI frequency in the first year.

According to Pennington Biomedical Research Center, cranberry pill health benefits include:
• May help with chronic disease
• May help treat stomach ailments
• High level of antioxidants

While cranberry pills are thought to be safe, there are a few mild side effects such as:
• Stomach pain
• Potential to cause kidney stones (if you are susceptible to them)
• May increase affects of blood thinning with some medications

If you think you may have a UTI, contact your general practitioner.

Aspen Healthcare serves the Dallas/Fort Worth Area as a premier provider of home health care, hospice, respiratory therapy, personal assistance, and private duty nursing. At Aspen, we are dedicated to our patients and pride ourselves on the quality of care we provide. We care for your family as you would. Call us today at (972) 316-2035.

Sources:

Juthani-Mehta M, Van Ness PH, Bianco L, et al. Effect of Cranberry Capsules on Bacteriuria Plus Pyuria Among Older Women in Nursing Homes: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2016;316(18):1879–1887.

Roy, Heli J. “Cranberries.” Pennington Nutrition Series. Pennington Biomedical Research Center LSU. 41(2014)

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