Beneficial substances in cranberry juice help fight urinary tract infections by preventing E. coli bacteria from bonding to other bacteria found in the urinary tract, according to WebMD. Without the ability to bond to other bacteria, the E. coli bacteria cannot grow and spread throughout the urinary tract as quickly.
Research studies published in medical journals have determined that cranberry juice and cranberry powder help prevent UTIs, reports Medical News Today. However, another study indicates that cranberry juice is no more effective than antibiotics and other medical UTI treatments. This study also indicates that cranberry juice helps fight recurrent UTIs, but may not provide much relief to first-time UTI suffers.
While cranberry juice and cranberry powder help prevent E. coli from sticking to other E. coli and bacteria and from spreading throughout the urinary tract, people who suspect they have a UTI should not self-treat, recommends WebMD. Instead, they should seek medical attention to receive a proper UTI diagnosis and prescription antibiotics. If treated promptly, UTIs rarely cause complications, but if left untreated, UTIs may lead to additional UTIs or permanent kidney damage, reports the Mayo Clinic. Frequent UTIs also increase the risk for premature or low-weight births in women.