Although prior research demonstrated that cranberry juice might decrease the number of symptomatic urinary tract infections (UTIs) over a 12-month period, but a new Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews analysis of up-to-date evidence suggests that cranberry juice is less effective than previously indicated.

The analysis by Ruth Jepson, PhD, of the University of Stirling in Stirling, U.K., and colleagues, which involved 4,473 participants across 24 studies, found that some small studies found a modest benefit for women with recurrent UTIs, but no statistically significant differences were observed when the results of a much larger study were included.

Citing the large number of study dropouts/withdrawals, mainly attributed to the acceptability of consuming cranberry products (particularly juice) over long periods, and the low evidence of UTI prevention, the authors stated that cranberry juice cannot currently be recommended for UTI prevention.

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