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Tags: cranberry | juice | urinary

Can Cranberry Juice Fight Infections?

Wednesday, 17 October 2012 12:15 PM EDT

For decades, doctors have recommended cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections. But new research suggests the benefits from the fruit juice are likely to be small and only for women with recurrent UTIs.
The findings, published in the Cochrane Library journal, are based on a new analysis of 24 studies that involved a total of 4,473 people. The results showed cranberry juice is unlikely to prevent bladder and kidney infections, but may be beneficial to some women with recurrent UTIs that affect the bladder, as in cystitis, and sometimes the kidneys.
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Cranberries and cranberry juice have long been used to prevent UTIs, with some health experts suggesting sugars and flavanol compounds in the fruit may prevent bacteria from sticking to cells lining the walls of the urinary tract.
Several reviews have been published on the subject in the Cochrane Library, each time incorporating more evidence. In the last review in 2008, it was concluded that cranberries offer a small benefit in preventing recurring UTIs in women.
In the current review, the researchers re-examined the evidence and included information from 14 studies conducted since the 2008 update. Study participants were given cranberry juice, tablets, or capsules, and compared to individuals who were given inactive placebo cranberry products, water, methenamine hippurate, antibiotics, lactobacillus or nothing.
Although in some studies there were small benefits for women with recurring infections, they would have to consume two glasses of cranberry juice per day to benefit.
"Now that we've updated our review with more studies, the results suggest that cranberry juice is even less effective at preventing UTIs than was shown in the last update," said lead researcher Ruth Jepson of the University of Stirling in Stirling, U.K.
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"We can't see a particular need for more studies of the effect of cranberry juice, as the majority of existing studies indicate that the benefit is small at best, and the studies have high drop-out rates. More studies of other cranberry products such as tablets and capsules may be justified, but only for women with recurrent UTIs, and only if these products contain the recommended amount of active ingredient."

© HealthDay

Cranberry juice offers only slight benefits for women with recurrent urinary infections, a new study suggests.
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 12:15 PM
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