Cranberries can help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Cranberries are useful in preventing these infections because the fruit's high acid content can help inhibit bacterial growth along the urinary tract.
If left untreated, a simple UTI could spell trouble for the bladder and kidneys.
UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract and multiply in the urethra. The lining of the urethra becomes red and irritated, like a sore throat.
If the infection in the urethra (urethritis) is left unchecked, bacteria can move deeper into the urinary tract to the bladder (cystitis) and throughout the ureters into the kidneys (pyelonephritis).
Kidney infections are extremely dangerous and can lead to life-threatening conditions such as bacteremia (bacteria in the bloodstream) if left untreated.
However, urologists has warned that cranberries might not help everyone and urge patients to seek treatment if they have UTI symptoms.
Other methods of UTI prevention include proper hydration and judicious use of antibiotics prescribed by a physician.