Changing the conversation about health

Cranberry juice can help reduce the risk of recurrent UTIs, new research says

New research has thrown weight behind the argument that cranberry juice can decrease the occurrence of urinary tract infections (UTIs).

The Journal of Urology has published results of a study involving 28 clinical trials using nearly 5,000 patients, which showed a 32 per cent reduced risk of repeated infections if the red fruit is ingested.

Authors of the research, carried out by the Universidade da Beira Interior in Portugal, say the small, red fruit, grown in bogs, contain an antioxidant called proanthocyanidins (PACS) that helps prevent infections in the bladder by stopping bugs including E.coli from attaching to the organ’s walls.

The research found that women who had undergone gynaecological surgery – a risk factor for repeated infections – were particularly receptive.

The latest tests go in the face of a series of other studies which have doubted the link between cranberries and maintaining a healthy bladder.

The amount of PACS in products such as juice bought in supermarkets is thought to not be enough to contribute significantly to urinary health.

Angelo Luis, from the Universidade da Beira Interior in Portugal,  wrote: ‘Our investigation supports that cranberry products can be a powerful tool to fight off frequent UTIs.

‘While recommendations for dosage and duration of treatment require further study, the efficacy of the medicinal properties of cranberry products has been well-established.’