Cranberry extract may be a suitable alternative to antibiotics for preventing recurrent UTIs in older women, British researchers concluded in The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (2008; published online ahead of print).

In a study of 137 women with recurrent UTIs, investigators randomized 69 (mean age 62.6 years) to receive 500 mg of cranberry extract and 68 (mean age 63.3 years) to receive 100 mg of trimethoprim for six months.

Twenty-five women in the cranberry group and 14 in the trimethoprim group had an antibiotic-treated UTI during the study, but the difference in risk was not statistically significant. The time to first UTI recurrence was similar for both groups—a median of 84.5 and 91 days for the cranberry and trimethoprim groups, respectively.

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