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'Cranberry juice prevents recurrences of urinary tract infections'

02 February 2012

New research has revealed that cranberry juice can help reduce recurrences of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in children. The results, published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, show that the cranberry’s well-documented role in preventing recurrent UTIs in adult women also has the potential to benefit younger patients.

New research has revealed that cranberry juice can help reduce recurrences of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in children. The results, published in Clinical Infectious Diseases[1], show that the cranberry’s well-documented role in preventing recurrent UTIs in adult women also has the potential to benefit younger patients.

The study carried out by a group of Finnish researchers found that, compared to placebo, regular drinking of cranberry juice limited the number of UTI recurrences in children by 43 percent and reduced the need for antibiotics to be taken by 34 percent - the equivalent of six days per patient a year.

The results indicate that cranberry juice may help provide protection against UTIs in children. In adults, studies have shown that the unique A-type PACs contained in cranberries may “help reduce the adhesion of certain E. coli bacteria to the urinary tract walls”.

The double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled trial saw 129 children who were being treated for UTIs selected to drink Ocean Spray Cranberry Classic cranberry juice for six months, whilst 134 others received a placebo in its place. The two groups were monitored for twelve months and the consumption of juice and daily symptoms were recorded by the children’s parents.

Dr. Tero Kontiokari of the University of Oulu was one of the scientists who carried out the study. He commented: “UTIs are one of the most common bacterial infections in paediatric medicine and children with recurrent problems often face long-term antibiotic use. The cranberry is well known for preventing urinary tract infections in adult women, but this study shows that cranberry juice can be effective also among children in reducing the number of recurrences in children with multiple UTIs.”

Christina Khoo, senior manager of research sciences at Ocean Spray added: “This study shows that cranberry juice could potentially help reduce use of antibiotics in children who are susceptible to UTI recurrences. Antibiotic use for UTI treatment is a major contributor to the growth of antibiotic resistance. Research continues to emerge to highlight the whole body health benefits of the cranberry and we will support further work to improve our understanding.”


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