News - Cranberry matches antibiotic effectiveness for prevention of urinary tract infections
Cranberries have a long history as a natural remedy for urinary tract infections (UTIs). A body of scientific evidence suggests that this is due to special antioxidant compounds in the fruit called polyphenols, which are thought to work by preventing disease-causing organisms from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. This allows them to be flushed out of the body, instead of causing an infection.
In recent findings, published online in The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, cranberry extracts were found to be almost as effective in preventing UTI reoccurrence as the widely used antibiotic Trimethoprim.
One hundred and thirty seven women who had undergone two or more antibiotic treatments in the previous 12 months were selected to receive either 500mg of cranberry extract or the standard antibiotic treatment for six months. According to the researchers, the time of first recurrence of a UTI was found to be very similar in both treatment groups.
The significance of these findings is that women that suffer from recurrent UTIs are now in a strong position to weigh up, with their doctor, the benefits of a cheap, natural product like cranberry extract versus long term antibiotic treatment, that carries the risk of side effects and development of resistance.
Journal Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 2008 [Epub ahead of print]