Cranberry-containing products to prevent urinary tract infections

Cranberry-containing products are a folk remedy to prevent UTIs.

Researchers in Taipei and Boston evaluated their value and factors influencing their effectiveness.

First, the details.

  • Data from 13 studies, including 1616 patients, were used in a meta-analysis.
  • The studies compared prevention of UTIs with cranberry-containing products vs placebo or nonplacebo controls.
  • There were no restrictions for language, population, or publication year.

And, the results.

  • Cranberry-containing products were more effective than placebo in the following groups.
    • Women with recurrent UTIs
    • Women
    • Children
    • Cranberry juice drinkers
    • People using cranberry-containing products more than twice daily

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Cranberry-containing products are associated with protective effect against UTIs.”

The authors caution that the design of the studies were dissimilar (heterogeneous) and that might affect the findings.

A 2008 Cochrane review reported a favorable effect of cranberry juice in the prevention of symptomatic UTIs in women with recurrent UTIs.

Since then, additional study results make it possible to include other groups.

7/10/12 19:43 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.