MONDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Cranberry juice and cranberry supplements really do help prevent urinary tract infections, a new study confirms.
As many as 50 percent of women will develop at least one urinary tract infection in their lifetime, and up to 30 percent will develop recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs), according to the experts. So researchers have long debated what role -- if any -- cranberries and cranberry-containing products play in preventing or treating these painful infections.
For this new report, researchers from Taiwan analyzed 13 studies that compared cranberry-containing products to inactive placebo among a total of 1,616 individuals in North America and Europe. Most of the trials lasted six months.
The result? These longtime folk remedies provide protection against common urinary tract infections, especially among women, women with repeat infections, children, and those who drink cranberry juice instead of talking cranberry supplements, the researchers reported.
In addition, people who consumed the cranberry products twice a day got more protection than their counterparts who did so less frequently, according to the study, published July 9 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
"Cranberry-containing products could reduce the incidence rate of UTIs for people at high risk," said study author Dr. Chien-Chang Lee, director of the department of emergency medicine at National Taiwan University Hospital Yunlin Branch in Yunlin County.
Pregnant women, the elderly and people with neuropathic bladder -- an underactive bladder caused by damage to the nervous system -- are among those at high risk.
Exactly how cranberries help stave off urinary tract infections isn't fully known, but they may interfere with the attachment of bacteria to cells, potentially preventing infection.
Cranberry juice may be more effec
All rights reserved