Cranberry juice not only makes a tasty drink, but as it turns out, it may also help reduce recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women, says a Cochrane Systematic Review.
UTIs are one of the most common reasons why people seek outpatient medical treatment.
Cranberries, and particularly cranberry juice, have been used for decades as a means of preventing or treating UTIs.
Although the mechanism of action is unsure, one theory states that molecules in the juice may make it harder for bacteria such as E. coli to stick to surfaces, and therefore make it difficult for an infection to build up.
As a part of the study a team of Cochrane Researchers reviewed 10 studies that included a total of 1,049 participants. The trials of these chosen researches compared various combinations of cranberry products, placebos and water.
The researchers noted that there was some proof that cranberry juice and capsules could prevent recurrent infections in women.
However, no such proof of benefit was seen in elderly men or elderly women as well as people using catheters.
"It's worth noting that many people in the trials stopped drinking the juice, suggesting that it may not suit everyone's taste, or it may be too burdensome and costly to drink the two recommended glasses a day," says lead researcher Ruth Jepson who works at the Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Stirling, UK.
"We now need to discover how much a person needs to drink, and how long it needs to be used before the juice starts to have an effect," says Jepson.