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NMU 53 – Cranberry Drink and Supplements Shown to Reduce Recurrence of Urinary Tract Infections in Large Meta-analysis Study

Nutrition / Natural Medicine Update No. 53 (May 17, 2017)

with Dr. James Meschino


Research Topic: Cranberry Drink and Supplements Shown to Reduce Recurrence of Urinary Tract Infections in Large Meta-analysis Study

Source: the FASEB journal (April 2017)

A daily cranberry drink, or the intake of cranberry capsules or tablets, has been shown to reduce the risk of recurrent urinary tract infections in a large meta-analysis study, published in the journal, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, in April 2017. You know, recurring urinary tract infections is one of those nuisance conditions that can play havoc with your quality of life. And they are more common than you may realize. In fact, 1 in 2 women develop a urinary tract infection during their lifetime, and 20-30% of women go on to have recurrent urinary tract infections, which can be triggered by intercourse and sexual activity, but are also common during pregnancy and in diabetics, and patients with MS, history of kidney stones, stroke and spinal cord injuries and any condition that affects normal urine flow. As well, the use of a catheter and weakened immunity also greatly increase the risk of urinary tract infections.

Urinary tract infections (or UTIs), are considered to be the most common bacterial infection. In the US. UTIs account for nearly 7 million office visits and 1 million emergency department visits per year, resulting in 100,000 hospitalizations For pregnant women, urinary tract infections can pose an important risk to the mother and the fetus. Pediatric urinary tract infections can also become quite serious. For most adults, urinary tract infections can be successfully treated with antibiotics, but in some cases, it can move up the urinary tract and infect the kidneys, which is very serious, and/or can spread into the bloodstream causing life-threatening sepsis.

So, the large, 2017, meta-analysis study on this subject, I feel is quite important. In short, data from 1,498 women indicated that daily cranberry intake reduced recurrent urinary tract infections by 23%, as presented by researchers from Tufts University, UCLA and Biofortis Research at the Experimental Biology 2017 event in Chicago. They state that limited data from subgroup analysis suggested cranberry was more effective when taken in the form of a cranberry capsule or tablet, where you are most likely to get a more concentrated dosage of the medicinal ingredients. However, a recent study involving the consumption of a cranberry drink (250 ml/day) showed a 27% reduced risk of UTI recurrence in women who were recently treated with antibiotics for a UTI.

Over the years it has been shown that certain ingredients in cranberry, and cranberry extract capsules and tablets, can reduce the ability of E. Coli bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract. This makes it easier to eliminate these bacteria during urination. However, if you have an UTI, it’s imperative that you get it treated it with an antibiotic prescribed by your doctor. Cranberry products appear to help prevent the recurrence of UTI’s but they can’t actually treat a UTI when one occurs. So, the takeaway message is that if you are prone to UTIs then using a cranberry drink or supplement each day, may be a prudent way to help prevent the onset of future UTIs.

I have provided a link to the 2017 studies below, as well as a link to other supportive research on UTI’s.


1. Fu Z, Liska A, Talan D, Chung M. An updated meta-analysis of cranberry and recurrent urinary tract infections in women. The FASEB journal April 2017. Vol 31 No 1 supplement



2. Niemean KM, Dicklin MR, Schild AL et al. Cranberry beverage consumption reduces antibiotic use for clinical urinary tract infection in women with a recent history of urinary tract infection. The FASEB journal. April 2017. Vol 31 No1 supplement.






Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great

Dr. Meschino

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