Did your mother ever advise you drink cranberry juice to treat a urinary tract infection(UTI)? It turns out that it doesn’t work. A new study reported in JAMA finds that cranberries and cranberry products–specifically cranberry pills–are not effective in treating or preventing UTIs. It’s time we put the old wives’ tale to bed once and for all.
Millions of Americans get UTIs each year, including between a quarter and a half of all women in nursing homes. According to the National Institutes on Health, bacteria living in the digestive tract, in the vagina, or around the urethra are the most common cause of UTIs. Symptoms include a burning sensation when you urinate and the need to urinate frequently. While most UTIs are not serious, they sometimes can lead to chronic kidney infections, which can cause permanent damage to the kidney and high blood pressure.
Researchers tested whether cranberry pills containing the equivalent of 72mg proanthocyanidins in 20 ounces of cranberry juice could cure or prevent UTIs in nursing home residents. They gave a group of 147 nursing home residents two cranberry pills a day for more than a year to see if they would prevent bacteriuria and pyuria, two conditions that are present in people with urinary tract infections. They found that the people receiving these pills had “no significant difference” in bacteriuria and pyuria from the residents who did not receive the pills. They concluded that these cranberry pills have no clinical benefit and are not cost effective.
Here’s more from Just Care:
- If you’re otherwise healthy, studies find little or no value in vitamin pills, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin B12
- More proof aspirin helps prevent heart attacks and stroke
- How to help someone you love decide when to stop driving
- Exercise may help memory and attention, and it may be your best bet for home health
- Medicare open enrollment between October 15 and December 7: Consider changing health plans