Contact: British Medical Association
Regular drinking of cranberry juice seems to reduce the recurrence of urinary tract infections in women, concludes a study in this week's BMJ.
One hundred and fifty women with a urinary tract infection were randomly allocated into three groups. The first group received 50ml of cranberry-lingonberry juice concentrate daily for six months. The second group got 100ml of lactobacillus drink five days a week for one year, and the third group received nothing.
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.
This confirms the common belief that recurrences of urinary tract infection can be prevented with cranberry juice, say the authors. Since cranberry juice is a readily available product, it provides an alternative means for preventing urinary tract infection and could reduce the need for antimicrobial drugs.
(Reference: Randomised trial of cranberry-lingonberry juice and Lactobacillus GG drink for the prevention of urinary tract infections in women BMJ Volume 322, pp 1571-1573)