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Cranberry Juice Does Help Prevent Urinary Infections in Women

Medical Author: Frederick Hecht, MD, FAAP, FACMG
Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

Regular drinking of cranberry juice seems to reduce the recurrence of urinary tract infections in women. This is the conclusion of a study published in the British Medical Journal (June 29, 2001).

One hundred and fifty women with a urinary tract infection were randomly allocated into three groups. The first group received 50 ml (a little over 3 tablespoons) of cranberry-lingonberry juice concentrate daily for six months. The second group got 100 ml (just under 7 tablespoons) of lactobacillus drink five days a week for one year, and the third group received nothing and served as the control group.

At six months, episodes of urinary tract infection were reduced by about half in the cranberry group, whereas the lactobacillus drink was ineffective. Only eight (16%) women in the cranberry group had at least one recurrence, compared with 19 (39%) in the lactobacillus group and 18(36%) in the control group.

The results of this study confirms the common belief that recurrences of urinary tract infection can be prevented with cranberry juice. Since cranberry juice is a readily available product, it provides an alternative means for preventing urinary tract infection and could reduce the need for antibiotics.

Reference: Randomised trial of cranberry-lingonberry juice and Lactobacillus GG drink for the prevention of urinary tract infections in women. British Medical Journal, vol 322, pp 1571-1573, (June 29) 2001.


Last Editorial Review: 5/29/2007




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