Study under review: 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
Nearly two out of every three women will experience at least one urinary tract infection (UTI) in their lifetime. Of these, about one-fourth will have a recurrent UTI within six months of the initial treatment, and one-third to one-half will have a recurrent UTI within one year. Over 11 million women seek antibiotic treatment for UTIs each year.
Cranberry juice and cranberry supplements have previously been recommended for preventing and/or treating UTIs, as cranberries are rich in potentially helpful phenolic compounds. Many plant phenols, such as flavonoids (shown in Figure 1) and tannins, have been investigated for therapeutic or medicinal properties, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
The evidence for the beneficial effects of cranberry juice on UTIs is mixed, however. A prior meta-analysis found a small but positive effect of cranberry juice products on UTI incidence, but many individual studies have failed to show a positive effect of cranberry juice consumption on UTIs. However, there has been some concern that studies were underpowered, because the incidence of UTIs during the study period ended up being lower than the statistical design had planned for. In addition, it’s possible that certain populations who are at higher risk for recurrence may experience more benefit than the general population. This study aimed to evaluate only those women who were at a risk for recurrent UTIs.
Urinary tract infections are a common occurrence among women, with nearly two-thirds of women experiencing at least one UTI and over one-fourth suffering from recurrent UTIs. Cranberry juice is often recommended to treat or prevent UTIs, but the research supporting this recommendation has been mixed to date.
Other Articles in Issue #22 (August 2016)
Quoth the insulin hypothesis, “Nevermore”
We previously covered the first highly-controlled trial on ketogenic diets and weight loss, and this is the much-anticipated and longer follow-up trial. Does the ketogenic diet truly provide a weight loss advantage?
Ask the researcher: Lalage Katunga, PhD
Katunga researches oxidative stress, a topic that is central to pretty much every major chronic disease out there. She’s especially interested in oxidative stress and heart health.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity: are diagnostic criteria around the corner?
The last few years have seen much conflicting evidence on non-celiac gluten sensitivity. This study went deep into physiological responses to gluten, including immune responses and intestinal damage levels.
Might sucralose promote energy imbalance?
Sucralose, commonly sold as Splenda™, has had a ton of safety research done on it. But there's a mechanism by which it could theoretically promote weight gain.
Propionate – your ally against overeating?
When you eat food, it results in a complex interplay between the food’s components, our gut microbiome, and our gut and brain’s response. It turns out that a type of fatty acid resulting from this process may help reduce appetite.
Just chill, so you can run faster
Nobody likes overheating while exercising, but your muscles and brain especially don’t. This trial tested two cooling methods that may improve aerobic running performance.
Zinc carnosine: gut defender
First of all - this isn’t plain old zinc, but zinc carnosine. Second, zinc carnosine is quite promising for gut health issues, and its impact on gut permeability was formally tested in this trial.
Is butter back? That depends on your viewpoint.
It’s no longer considered obviously unhealthy to eat butter. But the question of butter’s impact on major health outcomes is still an open one, and one that this meta-analysis of nine studies and over 636,000 adults tried to answer.