Monday, January 24, 2011

Does Cranberry Juice Prevent Recurrent UTI ?

As we all know....cranberry juice has been thought to prevent UTIs. No we have a randomised controlled trial to answer the above question. Reasearchersa at Michigan conducted a double blind trial on women 18 - 40 years of age who presented with with UTIs over a 2 year period.

There were 319 participants who were randomized to receive 8 ounces twice daily of placebo juice or of low-calorie cranberry juice cocktail standardized for its concentration of proanthocyanidin (the active ingredient). A clean-catch urine sample was collected for culture at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months, and at visits associated with UTI episodes. During the 6-month follow up, 54 culture-confirmed recurrent UTI episodes were observed. The recurrence rate — 16.9% overall — was 19.3% in the cranberry juice group and 14.6% in the placebo group (P=0.21).

These findings and the don't show any reduction in the recurrence of UTI among reproductive age group females. However, as the authors point out, something other than proanthocyanidin might be the active factor, and the placebo might inadvertently have contained this ingredient. Therefore, this study is probably not the last nail on cranberry juice and UTI prevention.In fact the 2008 cochrane review 
showed a small reduction in UTI over a 12 month period.

After an initial urinary tract infection (UTI), 24% of otherwise healthy women aged 18 to 39 experience a recurrence within 6 months, and 5% of women have multiple recurrences within 1 year. Cranberry juice is a well-known folk remedy for preventing UTI, and in vitro experiments have suggested that cranberries decrease the adherence of Escherichia coli to the uroepithelium.

All this study shows is that proanthocyanidin may not be the active ingredient behind UTI prevention ! Given the inability to prove or disprove this will be ok to take cranberry it doesnt cause any harm.


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