Cranberry juice may not stop infections

Dec. 11, 2010 at 11:33 PM
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ANN ARBOR, Mich., Dec. 11 (UPI) -- A U.S. researcher says cranberry juice may be no more effective than a placebo against urinary tract infections.

Study author Betsy Foxman of the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor says they expected a 30 percent recurrence rate in those in the placebo group.

However, Foxman reports their study, published in the January issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, found the cranberry juice drinkers had a recurrence of urinary tract infections at a rate of almost 20 percent, while those who drank the placebo suffered only a 14 percent recurrence.

However, Foxman notes the possibility the placebo juice inadvertently contained the active ingredients that reduce urinary tract infection risk, since both juices had vitamin C.

"Another possibility is that the study protocol kept participants better hydrated, leading them to urinate more frequently, therefore decreasing bacterial growth and reducing urinary tract infection symptoms," Foxman, the study author, said in a statement.

Foxman and colleagues looked at college-age women who tested positive for having had a urinary tract infection who were assigned to drink either 8 ounces of cranberry juice or a placebo twice a day for either six months or until an infection recurrence.

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