According to a new study published online in the June issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, drinking a cranberry juice beverage can be a safe and effective way for women prone to urinary tract infections (UTI) to prevent or reduce the number of occurrences of such illnesses. The study, which took place at 17 clinical research facilities in the US and one in France, evaluated 373 women who are likely to get UTIs.
To find out if drinking cranberry juice beverages would decrease the number of UTI occurrences, women who participated in the trial were randomly asked to drink 240 ml (about 1 cup) of a cranberry juice beverage or a placebo every day for 24 weeks. The women did not know which drink they were consuming, and researchers tested urine samples periodically throughout the study.
The research demonstrated that the women who drank cranberry juice beverages had lower rates — nearly 40% lower — of clinical UTI episodes compared to those who drank the placebo. Moreover, the results showed that cranberry juice beverages can aid in the prevention of one clinical UTI event for every 3.2 years.
Other research has shown similar effects, suggesting that cranberry juice interferes with the attachment of the pathogenic E. Coli cells in the bladder. The anti-inflammatory properties of cranberry juice beverages may also help explain its benefits. This is the first study to effectively compare the effects of cranberry juice consumption and a placebo on UTI incidence density. Thus, offering cranberry juice can be a useful strategy for reducing recurrent clinical UTI episodes and antibiotic treatment.
The full study can be viewed on The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition here: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/103/6/1434.abstract