Can Cranberry Juice Help Women with UTIs?
June 14, 2016
The number of clinical urinary tract infection (UTI) episodes in women with a recent history of UTI was lowered with the consumption of a cranberry juice beverage. This according to a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in which 373 women with a history of recent UTI were assigned to consume a 240 mL serving of cranberry beverage/day (n=185) or a placebo (n=188) beverage for 24 weekends. Primary outcome was a reduction in the total number of clinical UTI events per unit of observation time. Researchers found:
• There were 39 diagnosed episodes of clinical UTI in the cranberry group vs 67 episodes in the placebo group (antibiotic use-adjusted incidence rate ratio, 0.61).
• Clinical UTI with pyuria was also significantly reduced (incidence RR=0.63).
• Time to UTI with culture positively did not differ significantly between groups (HR=0.97).
Citation: Maki KC, Kaspar KL, Khoo C, Derrig LH, Schild AL, Gupta K. Consumption of a cranberry juice beverage lowered the number of clinical urinary tract infection episodes in women with a recent history of urinary tract infection. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016;103:1434-42. doi:10.3945/ajcn.116.130542.
Commentary: Recurrent UTIs are common, with a quarter of young women who have a first UTI experiencing a recurrence within 6 months. Sexual intercourse, spermicide/diaphragm use, and previous UTIs are the strongest risk factors for recurrent UTIs. Various strategies have been used to decrease recurrence, ranging from post-coital voiding, cranberry juice, probiotics, post-coital antibiotics, and daily antibiotic prophylaxis.1 The results of the present study showing that cranberry juice decreases recurrences of UTIs is consistent with the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis that shows an approximate 40% decrease in the incidence of recurrent UTIs with the use of cranberry containing products.2 This study lends further evidence to support using daily cranberry juice for prophylaxis of UTIs in women with multiple UTI recurrences, a simple approach that has the advantage of avoiding issues of antimicrobial resistance associated with antibiotic prophylaxis. —Neil Skolnik, MD
1. Hooton TM, Gupta K. Recurrent UTIs in women. UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/recurrent-urinary-tract-infection-in-women?source=search_result&search=uti+prophylaxis&selectedTitle=1%7E150.
2. Wang CH, Fang CC, Chen NC, et al. Cranberry-containing products for prevention of urinary tract infections in susceptible populations: a systemic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172:988–96. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3004.