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- 05/26/2023

Cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections

AgroFOOD Industry Hi Tech

Credit: Hert Niks, Unsplash

Old Wives’ tales, which are often dismissed as mere folklore, have been found to have some scientific backing according to a recent review study. The study, which was published in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, suggests that cranberry products may be effective in treating urinary tract infections (UTIs).

UTIs are common, affecting an estimated 10 out of 25 women and 3 out of 25 men at some point in their lives. Symptoms of UTIs can range from uncomfortable to life-threatening if left untreated. While antibiotics are often the standard treatment for UTIs, some people experience recurrent UTIs that are difficult to clear up. It is already known cranberry products contain proanthocyanidins (PACs) that can prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall.

The review study study analyzed 50 trials with almost 9,000 participants, comparing cranberry products to a placebo or no treatment for UTI prevention.

The data suggests that cranberry products can reduce the risk of repeat UTIs in women by over 25

The study found that few participants experienced any side effects while taking cranberry products, with tummy pain being the most common. The researchers note that the optimum dose of cranberry remains to be determined, and that standardization of cranberry products for PAC content is important for ensuring their effectiveness.

While cranberry products may be a safe and effective way to prevent recurring UTIs, the study did not compare their effectiveness to antibiotics or probiotics.