Why Cranberries Are a Must for Urinary Tract Health + Discover Our CranActin Line

Why Cranberries Are a Must for Urinary Tract Health + Discover Our CranActin Line

You might think of cranberries as a once-a-year treat—or the food you desperately try to avoid every Thanksgiving. Whether you love or loathe the tang of homemade cranberry sauce or that wobbly jelly that goes straight from the can to the table, cranberries really should be on your menu and in your medicine cabinet beyond November. After all, these tiny berries are nutrient-rich and pack a mighty wellness punch.  

Specifically, they provide potent support for urinary tract and bladder health, especially when taken in the higher doses that can be delivered in a supplement.* Did you know: Solaray was one of the first supplement companies to harness the power of cranberries in science-backed formulas to help you easily sustain your health with this incredible fruit all year long.

Let’s dig into the research behind cranberries for bladder and urinary tract health and our proven CranActin® formulas, which have been customer favorites for over 20 years.

Cranberries 101

Cranberries are packed with vitamins and minerals like manganese and vitamins C, E, and K.1 Plus, they’re abundant in an array of unique plant compounds, including a type of polyphenol involved with urinary tract health, which we’ll explore in greater detail in a moment.

You can eat cranberries, drink them as juice, or take them as a supplement. That said, fresh cranberries are too sour for most people to enjoy raw. Cranberry juice is often high in added sugar, which makes the flavor more palatable but means it isn’t the healthiest choice. Even dried cranberries contain added sugar or sweetened juice to offset their tartness, making it difficult to glean all the nutrients without getting too much sugar at the same time.

Cranberry supplements like our CranActin formulas are made without added sugars and can be taken at consistent doses so you can glean the most benefits from this powerful fruit.

Cranberries for Bladder and Urinary Tract Health

Cranberries have long been associated with urinary tract health. The urinary tract is a complex part of the body, especially for women and people assigned female at birth whose urethral opening is closer to their bladders than men. Although the urinary system is designed to keep out bacteria, those defenses sometimes fail.2 

Cranberry supplements have been shown to reduce bacterial adherence when taken as directed. Researchers believe polyphenol compounds called proanthocyanidins (PACs) in cranberries help prevent bacteria from attaching to the walls of the bladder.3

In one double-blind randomized study, for example, cranberry capsules containing 36 mg of cranberry each or placebo were given to healthy volunteers. Those taking three capsules of this cranberry preparation, or 108 mg, had a “highly significant” reduction in bacterial adherence as compared with a placebo, though some benefits were noted with just one capsule.4

Another study showed a dose-dependent relationship to the consumption of cranberry powder, suggesting the more PACs consumed, the more anti-adherence activity one may experience.5 Some research has found that the consumption of multiple cranberry doses throughout the day can have added benefits as compared to single-dose consumption.6

These studies and others indicate that cranberry supplements offer effective urinary tract support, but taking the correct dose at the right time or times of day is essential.* 

Is Cranberry Juice Enough?

Cranberry juice is a go-to for many people who are looking for urinary tract support. Research has found that it can be helpful, though typically not as effective as supplements due to the added sugars and water used for dilution. In other words, juice just isn’t as powerful.

“It takes an extremely large concentration of cranberry to prevent bacterial adhesion,” says Dr. Timothy Boone of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. “This amount of concentration is not found in the juices we drink. There’s a possibility it was stronger back in our grandparents’ day, but definitely not in modern times.”7

Our CranActin supplements contain potent doses of cranberry extract. In fact, you would need to drink 14 six-ounce glasses of cranberry juice to get the same urinary support found in just one serving of our D-Mannose with CranActin.* 

Remember, studies indicate that cranberry supplements are dose-dependent. The amount of cranberry in a typical supplement can vary widely, with dosages as low as 100 mg or less on up to the thousands. Like most supplements, it’s not necessary to take more than the recommended dose to experience desired effects. Several hundred milligrams is a typical serving that has been proven effective.

All Solaray CranActin supplements are tested for purity and potency at our state-of-the-art Utah laboratories, so you can feel confident about what you’re putting in your body and that you’re getting the support you want and need.

How CranActin Made History

More than 20 years ago, when Solaray CranActin with CranActin Cranberry AF Extract™ was introduced, it was one of the first cranberry supplements clinically researched for bacterial anti-adherence.* 

Our innovation experts teamed up with world-class researchers at Rutgers University for in vitro testing, which found our cranberry extract helped prevent bacteria from attaching to cells.* We also conducted a small trial with women through Weber State, which similarly noted exciting benefits. This extract became the backbone of our entire CranActin line.

Not long after its launch, the original CranActin formula won Better Nutrition Magazine’s Best of Supplement Award for Best Women’s Product—and it has been a Solaray bestseller ever since.

We’ve since expanded our line of CranActin offerings to provide even more proven support for urinary and bladder health.* Keep reading to learn about our many formulas.

Which CranActin Is Right for You?

Building off of our original CranActin formula, we created several additional products in an array of formats, including offerings with additional vitamins, herbs, and minerals for synergistic support. 

  • The Original: Our groundbreaking, award-winning CranActin formula in convenient VegCaps contains 400 mg of cranberry extract to powerfully promote urinary tract health along with vitamin C for additional antioxidant support.* It’s also available in different doses as a liquid and chewable to fit your preference and routine.  

  • The Original PLUS: Super CranActin includes 400 mg of our potent cranberry extract plus vitamins C, E, B1 and B6, pantothenic acid, and a targeted proprietary herbal blend for even more nourishing, nutritional support.

  • With D-Mannose: D-mannose is a simple sugar found in many fruits that has also been studied to support overall urinary wellness. Our CranActin and D-Mannose blends are designed to be the ultimate anti-adherence formulas.* Choose from our D-Mannose VegCaps or D-Mannose powder or D-Mannose liquid.

  • With Probiotics: Our CranActin Crandophilus is expertly formulated to promote urinary tract and digestive health.* It features our cranberry extract, vitamin C, and a probiotic blend including L. acidophilus

  • Other Men’s and Women’s Favorites: Solaray’s Pygeum and Saw Palmetto with CranActin formula is specially designed for male urinary and prostate support.* It includes 800 mg of our cranberry extract, as well as saw palmetto, pygeum, zinc, and vitamin B6, plus pumpkin seeds and beet root. Urinary issues can increase with age. Our Women’s 50+ Liposomal Multivitamin also includes our CranActin extract for support. 

  • Taking the correct dose, often spaced throughout the day, has a significant impact on the effectiveness of cranberry supplements. It’s simple: To get the best results, follow the directions on the bottle.

    Shop all Solaray CranActin formulas

    Make Cranberry Supplements Part of Your Routine

    Cranberries are more than a food or drink—they’re a wellness staple. These tiny but mighty berries can offer powerful support for urinary tract health, but consuming the right amount every day is vital to getting the help your body needs.* 

    Supplements are a simple way to make sure you’re getting all of the benefits of cranberries on a consistent basis. Taking supplements also gives you more control over your daily dose, and their effectiveness is supported by science.

    Our research-backed line of CranActin cranberry supplements offers several different ways to incorporate cranberry into your routine–from capsules to powders to liquids and more–for help to stay feeling your best and Living Brighter every day.*


    1. “Are Cranberries Healthy? 6 Surprising Benefits.” Cleveland Clinic https://health.clevelandclinic.org/benefits-of-cranberries.

    2. “UTI.” Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urinary-tract-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20353447.

    3. “Are Cranberries Healthy? 6 Surprising Benefits.” Cleveland Clinic https://health.clevelandclinic.org/benefits-of-cranberries.

    4. Levigne J-P, Bouro G, Combescure C, Botto H, and Sotto A. (2008). In-vitro and in-vivo evidence of dose-dependent decrease of uropathogenic Escherichia coli virulence after consumption of commercial Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) capsules. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2008 Apr; 14(4): pp 350 - 355

    5. Howell AB, Botto H, Combescure C, Blanc-Potard A-B, Gausa L, Matsumoto T, Tenke P, Sotto A, and Lavigne J-P. (2010). Dosage effect on urotathogenic Escherichia coli anti-adhesion activity in urine following consumption of cranberry powder standardized for proanthocyanidin content: a multicentric randomized double blind study. BMC Infections Diseases. 2010; 10:94: 11 pages.

    6. Liu H, Howell AB, Zhang DJ, and Khoo C. (2019). A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study to assess bacterial anti-adhesive activity in human urine following consumption of a cranberry supplement. Food Funct. 2019; 10: pp 7645-7662.

    7.  Lauren Thompson, “Does cranberry juice treat a UTI?” Texas A&M Health Science Center.

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