This is bound to cause a major upset for women: new studies show that cranberry juice and cranberries may not be effective in preventing UTIs. In fact, cranberry juice may only work for women who have recurring urinary tract infections, and it may have few health benefits.
The review, which looked at several studies claiming the preventative benefits of cranberry juice, said that most of the studies had large drop-outs, and that the proof of benefits was very small. CBS notes that some studies did show that cranberry juice did prevent UTIs for women who had recurring problems, but that they needed to drink two glasses of cranberry juice — daily — to see any kind of lasting effect. Said the lead researcher Ruth Jepson, to WebMD UK, "You do wonder in real life how many women would be prepared to drink that amount." (Doesn't sound that appealing.)
Jepsen did note that more studies on cranberry supplements should be done to see their effect on UTIs, so at least there's that ray of hope. But, she said, the studies should be "only for women with recurrent UTIs, and only if these products contain the recommended amount of active ingredient." In the meantime, we'll enjoy our cranberries in other recipes.