Antibiotics are sometimes used prophylactically in women with a history of multiple urinary tract infections (UTIs). However, concerns over antimicrobial drug resistance and side effects mean that alternative strategies are desirable.
In a randomised study involving 373 women with at least two antibiotic-treated UTIs in the past year, researchers compared one daily 240ml serving of cranberry juice with placebo juice for UTI prevention.
Over 24 weeks, there were 39 clinical (symptomatic) UTIs diagnosed among women in the cranberry juice group compared with 67 UTIs in the placebo group, equating to a 39% reduction, the team report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (online, June 2016)
The researchers say this study, supported by Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc, is the largest to explore the use of cranberry juice for clinical UTI prevention, and the results suggest that it could reduce antibiotic use.
 Maki KC, Kaspar KL, Khoo C et al. Consumption of a cranberry juice beverage lowered the number of clinical urinary tract infection episodes in women with a recent history of urinary tract infection. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2016;103:1434–1442. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.130542