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NewsBites January 2017 Issue

Questioning Cranberry for Urinary Tract Infections

Cranberry juice is touted for fending off urinary tract infections (UTIs), typically signaled by frequent, burning urination. However, results from clinical trials have been inconsistent. A new study published in JAMA failed to find a benefit. Scientists gave 92 elderly women in long-term care facilities two cranberry capsules daily (total of 72 milligrams of the purported active ingredient proanthocyanidin; equal to 20 ounces of cranberry juice) while 93 other women received placebo pills. Overall, there was no significant difference in UTI episodes between the two groups in this one-year study, although researchers noted a benefit of cranberry capsules early in the study. One difference between this study and a previous study that did find a benefit of cranberry capsules was instruction to drink 8 ounces of water with each dose, thus providing additional hydration.


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