1000mg of Cranberry Powder a day strongly reduces the recurrence of urinary tract infections

May 13, 2011

Infections of the urinary tract represent a wide variety of syndromes, including urethritis, cystitis, prostatitis, and pyelonephritis. Urinary tract infections (UTI) are one of the most commonly occurring bacterial infections in medicine today and account for millions of patient visits annually. UTIs are disorders involving a repeated or prolonged bacterial infection of the bladder or lower urinary tract. Most UTIs occur in the lower urinary tract, which includes the bladder and urethra. Cystitis occurs when bacteria, with resultant inflammation infect the normally sterile lower urinary tract. Chronic or recurrent UTIs include repeated episodes of cystitis (more than two occurrences in six months), or UTIs that do not respond to usual therapies or that last longer than two weeks. UTIs are most common in women; however, men and children may experience them as well.

Cranberry fruit juice has been recommended for many years for the treatment of UTIs. Recent scientific research lends additional scientific validity to this folk remedy. In the United States, UTIs account for a significant number of the bacterial infections that are reported each year. Although these infections are not usually life threatening or even a significant health risk for most individuals, there is increasing concern over bacterial resistance to antibiotics that treat UTIs and other infections. Therefore, cranberry could, in some cases, serve as a natural and much-needed complement to conventional antibiotics.

In a randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial, researchers sought to evaluate the efficacy of whole cranberry powder in preventing urinary tract infections. The study included 60 women between the ages of 18 to 40 years who suffer with recurrent UTIs who were randomly selected to receive either placebo, 500 mg (low dose) or 1000 mg (high dose) of whole cranberry powder daily for 90 days. At the end of the study, no significant changes in the presence of E. coli were found in the placebo group. However, a significant reduction in the presence of E. coli was found in the both the low and high dose treatment groups. The subjects also reported symptomatic relief in both treatment groups, while no reduction in symptoms was noted in the placebo group. Overall, it was found that a dose of 500 mg of whole cranberry powder per day reduced the recurrence of UTIs by 36 percent. A dose of 1000 mg per day reduced the recurrence by 65 percent. These findings suggest that whole cranberry powder should be considered a safe and effective adjunct treatment along with antibiotics to reduce the recurrence of UTIs in women. The study is published March 2011 in the journal Current Bioactive Compounds.