Half of women will have a urinary tract infection at least once in their lifetime.
Cranberry juice and cranberry preparations often reduce symptoms in people suffering from urinary tract infections, a recent review study confirms. The review, carried out by the prestigious Cochrane network of researchers, analyzed data from 50 randomized and placebo-controlled studies and nearly 9,000 patients.
Cranberries have long been used to self-treat urinary tract infections, but research evidence over the years has been mixed. A previous similar review study from 2012 found no protective effect, but the matter has since been studied further.
Based on the analysis now published, cranberry juice and other cranberry preparations reduced the risk of new urinary tract infections by 25 percent in women with recurrent urinary tract infections. Cranberry reduced the risk of urinary tract infections in children by about 50 percent, and a similar effect was seen in adults with urinary tract infections due to medical procedures. Cranberry did not prevent urinary tract infections in the elderly and in institutional care or in pregnant women.
The use of cranberry juice or other cranberry products was found to be safe and no adverse effects were observed.
Urinary tract infections are common ailments, especially among women, and more than half of women suffer from a urinary tract infection at least once in their lifetime. Antibiotics are the most common treatment for urinary tract infections, but their overuse should be avoided to prevent resistant bacterial strains. Cranberry is believed to reduce urinary tract infections by preventing bacteria from sticking to the bladder mucosa.