Cranberry juice won't prevent urinary tract infection
Cranberries, cranberry juice and cranberry products are often recommended as a natural way to prevent urinary tract infections. But a new study suggests this method may be futile.
A study conducted by researchers at Yale School of Medicine assigned 185 women who resided in nursing homes two oral cranberry capsules, each capsule containing 36 mg of the active ingredient proanthocyanidin, equivalent to 20 ounces of cranberry juice, or a placebo administered once a day.
Following the study, researchers discovered that the women who took high-potency cranberry capsules did not have fewer episodes of urinary tract infection than those taking a placebo.
"Many studies of cranberry products have been conducted over several decades with conflicting evidence of its utility for UTI prevention. The results have led to the recommendation that cranberry products do not prevent UTI overall but may be effective in older women,” the report read.
Study author Dr. Manisha Juthani-Mehta added that women who enjoy eating cranberry products or drinking cranberry juice, should continue doing so.
But spending money on cranberry capsules with "limited potential benefit" for preventing urinary tract infections "does not seem worthwhile."
Urinary tract infections occur in women of all ages, and as men age, they too become increasingly susceptible. Symptoms include feeling the need to urinate despite having an empty bladder, pain or burning while urinating, frequent urination, low fever and cloudy or bloody urine.
According to the U.K. National Health Service, UTIs are normally treated with a short course of antibiotics. Most women are given a three-day course of antibiotic capsules or tablets. Men, pregnant women and people with more serious symptoms may need a slightly longer course. Symptoms will normally pass within three to five days of starting treatment.
The study was first published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.