Cranberry Shown to Have UTI Prevention Properties
People have been using cranberry juice as a remedy for urinary tract infections (UTIs) for centuries. A recent analysis sought to evaluate the effectiveness of cranberry products in treating UTIs and determine which products are most effective.
Beyond finding that cranberry products protect against UTIs, the researchers also noted that cranberry juice was more effective than cranberry capsules in most cases. They were not sure if this effect was a result of better hydration or the effects of as yet unidentified substances in cranberry juice.
They also found that drinking cranberry juice more than twice daily was most effective. This correlates with in vitro studies that have found that the anti-adhesion activity of cranberry juice on the bacteria that causes UTIs lasts for approximately 8 hours after consumption.
The researchers examined 10 trials which included 1,494 participants. 700 of those participants were administered placebos and the other 794 consumed some variety of cranberry products.
Cranberry-containing products were found to be most effective for women with recurrent UTIs, females in general, children and participants who used cranberry-containing products more than twice daily.
The researchers were based at the University of Taiwan. They published their results on July 9, 2012, in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Cranberry juice contains proanthocyanidins, flavanols which have antioxidant effects. Previous studies have shown that these flavanols prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract, thereby preventing urinary tract infections.
This study adds yet another layer of science to support the ability of cranberries to reduce the risk and symptoms of UTI’s. Cranberries are also packed with numerous beneficial natural vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers and antioxidants. These compounds in cranberries have been shown to provide a lengthy list of health benefits including protection against heart disease, cancer and inflammatory diseases.