Urinary Tract Infections, or UTIs, are the most common bacterial infection in humans and affect millions of people every year . It’s estimated that about 50-60% of women will get one in their lifetime . As you likely already know, UTIs are quite painful but are usually annoying at most.
However, this isn’t the case for everyone. Many people have had to deal with reoccurring UTIs their whole life or are dealing with an antibiotic-resistant strain and have few other options.
This degree of suffering is unnecessary and, for the vast majority of people, 100% preventable. You’ve probably heard the talk about Cranberries and their great anti-UTI fortunes. Good news is that talk is legitimate and clinically proven to in numerous peer-reviewed studies [3, 4, 5].
So, how do Cranberries help?
We’re glad you asked. In order to fully understand how Cranberries can help remedy UTIs, it’s important for us to first understand how and why they’re usually caused in the first place.
You’ve likely heard of it- the bane of bacteria E. Coli. This bacterium is the most common cause of UTIs around the world . Simply put, it works by adhering to host tissue and multiplying.
That said, the exact mechanism of how cranberries help prevent and disrupt UTIs isn’t fully understood by science. However, the current hypothesis is that it prevents bacterial adhesion.
Basically, if E. Coli can’t adhere to host cells (your body), then it can’t take hold and multiply. As a result, it gets a nice free ride out of the body back to the underworld from whence it spawned.
And that’s how cranberries help prevent UTIs. If you’d like a more in-depth answer, we suggest taking a look at this clinical research. Otherwise, let’s dive into the helpful supplements!
10. BRI Nutrition Cranberry Concentrate Softgels
Don’t let its place at #1 dissuade you. BRI Nutrition’s cranberry concentrate is hardly an average extract. Formulated with effectivity in mind, each bottle of this supplement is designed to last a month and a half of daily use at 45 servings. For less than $18 on Amazon, we appreciate this.
However, let’s not get caught up on just its value as it’s dosage is just as nice. Each of its 45 servings has (expectedly) 500 mg of fresh cranberries in the optimal 50:1 ratio that we look for. What’s more, you’ll also find 40 mg of the micronutrient Vitamin A as well as 6 IUs of Vitamin E.
While its dosages are exactly what we look for, we also care about ingredient quality. That said, we weren’t disappointed. This is mainly because it’s made in the USA in a GMP certified facility. Without quality control certifications, we simply don’t know how safe or pure a brand might be.
BRI-N Cranberry Extract Overview:
- Contains 45 servings at 2 softgels each
- Equal to 25 grams of fresh cranberries
- 40 mg of Vitamin C, 6 IU of Vitamin E
- Made in a USA GMP certified facility
- Contains some soy-based ingredients
- Provides naturally occurring antioxidants
9. AZO Super Concentrated Cranberry Fruit Gummies
When it comes to cranberry extracts, very few brands can match AZO’s level of quality. Unlike the other supplements on this ranking, AZO is unique in that it uses flavored gummies in place of softgels and capsules. This makes it especially suitable for kids and elderly people alike.
Moreover, it’s also the cheapest supplement on our ranking at $6 per 20 servings. As expected, you’ll be glad to see that each serving contains the full-strength (50:1) 500 mg of PACRAN while only supplying 2 grams of sugar. It’s also 100% formula transparent which is always nice to see.
That said, AZO is free of preservatives, gluten, and artificial flavors. This is largely because the cranberry gummies are naturally flavored and only require 2 grams of added sugar. Again, for $6 we had a tough time finding supplements that could top AZO in taste and cost. Well done.
AZO Cranberry Overview:
- Includes 20 servings per container
- No preservatives, gluten, or art. flavors
- Only two grams of sugar per serving
- 500 mg of whole PACRAN® extract
- Equal to a glass of cranberry juice
- Incredibly cost-effective supplement
8. Pure Healthland Cranberry Concentrate Pills
Made by Pure Healthland, this cranberry extract is nothing short of a household name when it comes to fighting and preventing UTIs. While it’s cost leaves a little to be desired relative to its competition, it should be noted that its ingredient formula, servings, and dosages are still great.
Each container of Pure Healthland has a one month supply of small, easy to swallow softgels. Per serving (2 capsules) you’ll find 504 mg of whole 50:1 cranberry fruit extract, which is equal to a more than a full glass of cranberry juice. What’s more, we also found it includes 40 mg of Vitamin C and 6 IU of Vitamin E. These two aid immune function and defend cells from harm.
While what it has is great, we’re also impressed with what it doesn’t have. More specifically, PHL’s cranberry extract is free of preservatives, sugars, and is completely naturally derived.
PHL Cranberry Pills Overview:
- Contains 30 servings at 2 softgels per
- Helps prevent and eliminate painful UTIs
- 504 mg of 50:1 cranberry concentrate
- No preservatives or unnecessary sugar
- Contains soy lecithin (an emulsifier)
- Made in a USA, GMP certified facility
7. Nested Naturals D-Mannose + Cranberry Extract
Nested Naturals is undoubtedly a premium brand with an emphasis on product quality. That in mind, this simple yet effective 30-serving supplement contains solid doses at an excellent cost. Each 2 capsule serving is vegan-friendly and sports 1 full gram of D-Mannose, which is optimal.
Moreover, you’ll also find 400 mg of whole cranberry concentrate in a great 50:1 ratio. While great, Nested Naturals sets itself apart with its lack of potential allergens like GMOs, gluten, dairy, fish, and nuts. It’s also third-party lab tested and made in an NSF, GMP certified USA site.
In addition to its excellent range of ingredients, doses, and lack of unnecessary filler, Nested Natural’s D-Mannose + Cranberry Extract is also vegetable based and 100% vegan-friendly. At $0.50 per 2-capsule serving ($15 bottle), we were hard-pressed to find a better supplement.
NN D-Mannose Cranberry Extract Overview:
- 30 servings at 2 vegan capsules each
- Provides a full 1 gram of D-Mannose
- 400 mg of Cranberry Extract at 50:1
- Fully transparent ingredient formula
- Third party tested for purity & safety
- No GMOs, gluten, dairy, fish, or nuts
6. Sports Research Cranberry Concentrate
If you’re looking for a ‘no frills’ type Cranberry Concentrate, look no further. Sports Research has been a true hit and fan favorite among the supplement industry, and with good reason. For years this brand has continued to provide a supplement should have, full transparency, and nothing more. Basically, it’s got what you need just without the fluff many have come to dislike.
Their Cranberry Concentrate is certainly no exception to this rule. This is mainly due to each bottle offering 45 servings (base 90 but we doubled the dose) at x2 50:1 softgels per serving. Contained in each 2-softgel serving is 500 mg of PACRAN®, 20 mg Vitamin C & 3 IU Vitamin E.
While great, we’re most impressed by its no additive outlook. This means zero sugars, fillers, soy, artificial dyes, and gluten. It’s also kosher, organic, and has a 90-day money back policy. All in all, if you’re looking for a simple, effective and quality supplement, you can’t really go wrong.
SR Cranberry Concentrate Overview:
- 45 servings at 2 softgels per serving
- Made from whole cranberry extract
- 500 mg of optimal 50:1 PACRAN®
- Equal to 25,000 mg of cranberries
- 20 mg Vitamin C + 3 IU Vitamin E
- No GMOs, sugar, fillers, soy, or gluten
5. Nature’s Bounty Cranberry Fruit Pills – $15
Made by the highly reputable brand Nature’s Bounty, these penny-sized softgels come packed with safe to use UTI fighting nutrition at a cost-effective price rivaled by few other supplements. While you’ll likely need to modify the serving size in order to attain results, we ran the numbers ahead of time and found that, for its price and quality, it’s quite competitive in terms of value.
That said, let’s check out what exactly it has to offer. Right off the bat, you’ll notice it says it contains 125 servings or 250 capsules. However, the caveat here is that each serving only has 168 mg of PACRAN, which is certainly less than the optimal dosage. This is called label fluffing. According to our numbers, this only equates to 8.4 grams of cranberries or 1/3rd of a glass…
So, in order to get the optimal dose of 500+ mg, you’ll need to take 6 softgels. While this may sound like a lot on paper (spoiler: it is), the good news is the softgels are the size of a dime. Moreover, each batch has Vitamin C & E and is lab tested to ensure a high degree of quality and safety. NB Cranberry is even free of sugar, dairy, gluten, fish, preservatives, and junky artificials.
NB Cranberry Pills Overview:
- About 42 servings per 3 softgels
- Easy to swallow penny-sized gels
- Free of most potential allergens
- 504 mg of cranberry concentrate
- No artificial colors or sweeteners
- 40 mg Vitamin C + 6 IU of Vitamin E
4. Solaray D-Mannose with CranActin – $21
Solaray is undoubtedly one of the best when it comes to helping fight and prevent UTIs. Made with effectivity in mind, this supplement delivers all the right ingredients at all the right doses. For $21 on Amazon, it’s gonna be tough to find a contender to outmatch what it has to offer.
What makes Solaray’s extract so effective, though, is its combination of ingredients. Aside from Vitamin E, it contains just about everything we look for in a UTI fighting supplement. For one, we found it has 1 full gram of D-Mannose, which is incredible. It also sports a solid 400 mg of CranActin® 50:1 cranberry extract, which is equal to about 20 grams of fresh cranberries.
Additionally, you’ll find 30 mg of Vitamin C to promote better immune function help prevent UTIs occurring . Lastly, Solaray is made with lab-verified organic, non-GMO ingredients. It should go without saying that it’s vegan-friendly (vegetable based capsules) for ensured quality.
Solaray CB Extract Overview:
- Contains 30 servings per bottle
- Includes 1 gram of D-Mannose
- 400 mg of CranActin® Extract
- Highly effective dosages
- 30 mg of additional Vitamin C
- Vegan, Non-GMO, Lab verified
3. Dr. Formulas Cranberry Nexabiotic for Women – $20
Formulated by Dr. Formulas, Nexabiotic (Cranberry) is, to us, a pinnacle in UTI prevention and remedy. Comprised of two ingredients and a third rather massive blend of probiotics, we quickly found that out that this supplement means business. Let’s take a look at why it’s so effective.
For starters, it’s the heaviest hitter on our list. If you’re looking for peak effectivity per serving, this is likely for you. See, while most supplements try and skate by at 250-500 mg of PACRAN® per serving, Dr. Fromulas Nexabiotic ups the ante to 800 mg, which is nothing short of amazing.
You’ll also find 100 mg of D-MANNOSE alongside its cranberry extract to help flush pathogens from the body. While impressive, we also really like its inclusion of probiotics. More specifically, it contains 17.25 billion CFUs (at time of manufacture) of 23 unique beneficial probiotic strains.
DF Nexabiotic Overview:
- 30 vegetable capsules per container
- 800 mg of PACRAN® per serving
- Equal to 40 grams of cranberry juice
- Includes 100 mg of D-MANNOSE
- 17.25 billion CFUs of 23 probiotic strains
- Made in the USA in a cGMP facility
2. YounGlo Research Cranberry Fruit Extract – $15
YounGlo Research (formerly Young Life Research) is undoubtedly among the best brands we’ve had the opportunity of coming across yet. Designed to provide safe yet effective nutrition, you’ll find each of its 60 vegan-friendly servings supplies everything you need and nothing you don’t.
Simply put, aside from its plant-based capsule, it has two ingredients. That’s it. The first and most notable of which is its 504 mg of, as to be expected, PACRAN® whole cranberry extract. The second and only other active ingredient is 120 mg of Vitamin C to aid immune function.
While we really like what it has to offer, particularly at its price point of $15 (on Amazon), we’re most impressed by what it doesn’t provide you. Unlike most supplements, we found it doesn’t have GMOs, preservatives, yeast, and fish. It’s also free of soy, dairy, eggs, and gluten to boot.
YGR Cranberry Concentrate Overview:
- 60 full strength servings per bottle
- 504 mg of PACRAN® per serving
- Equal to 25+ grams of cranberries
- Additional 120 mg of Vitamin C
- 100% Vegetarian and Gluten Free
- No GMOs, soy, dairy, egg, or fish
1. VitaDirect Premium Cranberry Pills – $13
VitaDirect is our absolute favorite when it comes to cranberry supplements. It combines the best of everything we’re looking for like efficacy, cost-effectivity, and most importantly safety. Historically speaking, VitaDirect is best known to formulate their products with this in mind.
Each bottle of VD Cranberry Extract offers 90 servings (capsules). Inside each serving is an optimal 500 mg of 50:1 cranberry concentrate, or the same as 25 grams of fresh cranberries. It also has 30 mg of vitamin C and 6 IU of vitamin E to support immune function and fight UTIs.
In terms of value, for $13 you’re gonna be hard pressed to find something better that still maintains an effective dosage and high degree of ingredient quality. More on that, you won’t find other ingredients besides its plant-based capsule. What you see is literally what you get.
Refreshing, right? We think so.
VD Cranberry Extract Overview:
- 90 plant-based capsules per bottle
- Equal to a glass of cranberry juice
- 500 mg of optimal 50:1 concentrate
- Easy to swallow, completely odorless
- 30 mg Vitamin C + 6 IU of Vitamin E
- Excellent value – costs less than $13!
The Bottom Line
These days there’s a seemingly infinite amount of options to choose from. As a result, many bad products can ‘saturate’ and outweigh the good ones. This is why we made our ranking.
That being said, if you have a UTI or are looking to prevent one, these might very well help. We’ve outlined which supplements we believe to be the best (and why) to the best of our ability and provided you with the tools, knowledge, and products to increase your odds of success.
However, if you’re suffering from a UTI or suspect it may be worsening, talk with your doctor.
While natural remedies like cranberry extract, D-Mannose, and probiotics have been seen to work, even when antibiotics have failed, each body is unique and results are not guaranteed.
On that note, many women often find it incredibly useful too, at the very least, take them as a preventative. After all, they’ve been clinically proven to significantly reduce UTI occurrences. Paired with a good dose of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and D-Mannose, well- you’re in for a treat.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a UTI?
A urinary tract infection, or ‘UTI’ for short, is an infection in one or more parts of your urinary system. This can include the kidneys, urethra, ureters, and bladder. Although, most UTIs occur in the lower urinary tract like the bladder and urethra. Women are more prone to UTIs than men.
UTIs are almost always very painful and should be taken care of as soon as possible. They’re most often caused by certain strains of a bacteria you’ve probably heard of: E-Coli. While some forms are normally symbiotic and help provide benefits to humans, some are also pathogenic.
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of a UTI can include but are not limited to:
- Feeling you like always need to pee
- A burning feeling when you pee
- Cloudy, red, or bright pink pee
- Strong smelling, odorous urine
- Pain in the pelvis or around the pubic bone
If you’re unsure or not whether you have a UTI, talk to your doctor and maybe take a urine test.
Can UTIs go away on their own?
Short answer: Yes- but rarely. Try not to rely on it because most of the time it won’t get better. Given enough time, untreated UTIs can spread through the body and become quite dangerous and in some cases even lethal. That’s because if left to its own volition a simple UTI can turn into a kidney infection. While UTIs are annoying at most, a kidney infection is far more serious.
If the pathogenic bacteria are given the opportunity to infect the kidney, they can then travel into the bloodstream and cause sepsis. This can make you dangerously ill or even critical.
Sepsis is what we call the body’s response to identifying a harmful threat in the bloodstream. It’s a final-stand life-threatening immunogenic response to fight the invading microorganisms.
During this intense fight, organ systems can be damaged and fail, sometimes resulting in death.
How do cranberries help fight UTIs?
While the human immune system is naturally powerful at fighting pathogenic organisms, it isn’t always perfect and sometimes needs some help. This is where cranberry supplements come in.
For a UTI to occur, bacteria (namely E. Coli) must attach to the lining of the bladder. Cranberry extracts are thought to prevent this by making the wall slippery for bacteria thus significantly reducing the likelihood of adherence. This is done with type-a proanthocyanidins or ‘PACs’ .
If the bacteria can’t attach to the bladder wall, then it won’t be able to colonize (replicate) and will be eliminated from the body. In addition to acting as a direct approach, it also serves quite well acting as a healthy cost-effective method of helping prevent future UTIs from developing.
How fast do cranberry pills work?
Whether or not your supplement will work depends on a wide variety of factors. Things like your unique genetic makeup, the strain of bacteria, and supplement dose are just a few of the many.
That being said, most people notice positive changes reasonably quickly. That is, granted after they’ve taken effective doses of high-quality (safe and effective) whole cranberry supplements.
One 6 week study involving women who’d undergone gynecological surgery where UTI rates are usually high (10-64% following catheter removal) showed a significant reduction of UTIs in the group given cranberry extracts compared to placebo, cutting UTI occurrence by half !
On that note, we recommend taking a product with a safe yet effective dose. Many people report great benefits with 500mg of extract, which equals one full glass of cranberry juice. We outlined each product on this ranking according to these guidelines for full transparency.