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Cranberry Juice May Help Reduce Urinary Tract Infection Recurrence

Cranberry juice has been used for a long time as a folk remedy for urinary tract infections, which are among the most common bacterial infections. A recent study found that drinking cranberry juice was associated with fewer clinical urinary tract infections in women with a recent history of UTIs, providing scientific backing to the effectiveness of cranberry juice.

Participants in the study included 373 women who had a history of more than two UTIs in the previous year that had been treated by a health care professional. One hundred eighty-five of the women were instructed to drink 240 ml of cranberry juice daily for 24 weeks.  The remaining 188 were instructed to drink a placebo beverage that looked, smelled, and tasted like cranberry juice but did not have the anthocyanins, phenolic acids, and flavanols of cranberry juice. The cranberry juice was similar to commercially available low-calorie cranberry juices and contained 27% cranberry juice.

All of the participants were asked to avoid probiotic-containing products as well as blueberries, blueberry-derived products, and cranberries for the 24-week study periods as well as two weeks before the initial screening.

The cranberry juice group had a 39% reduction in clinical UTI episodes, which were measured through a validated daily diary.

Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine conducted the study. It was published in the June 2016 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Cranberries are packed with beneficial vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and antioxidants. They have been shown to provide a lengthy list of health benefits including improved urological health, heart health protection, and help controlling excess inflammation. They also have been linked with a decrease in plaque formation on teeth and improved cholesterol levels.

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