Research news: September 2012
Arch Intern Med2012;172:988-96
Cranberry products probably do help prevent urinary tract infections, according to a meta-analysis of 13 randomised trials. A significant effect emerged from pooled analyses that excluded one outlying trial (risk ratio 0.62, 95% CI 0.49 to 0.80), confirming results from a previous much smaller meta-analysis.
Juice seemed to work best in subgroup analyses (0.47, 0.30 to 0.72), although only four of 13 trials tested non-juice products such as capsules or tablets. Cranberry products protected women with recurrent infections, children, and anyone taking more than two doses a day. Results for older adults, pregnant women, and people with neuropathic bladders were less clear cut. The trials had limitations, including a tendency for participants to drop out before completing their treatment. They weren’t well reported and tested a wide range of doses. Results are encouraging but not definitive say the authors.
Cranberries (genus Vaccinium) have been used as a