After I reported this recent and interesting research paper about urinary tract inflictions, a number of conversations broke out on that post, on my facebook page, and via email, and some of these conversations raised the question of cranberry juice and whether the idea that it prevents, reduces, or shortens the duration of UTIs is real or woo.
Added: After further discussion elsewhere, I would like to clarify what is being asked here: Imagine you are a person who drinks apple juice and cranberry juice as your main hydrating substance. Also, you are are a person who is concerned with UTIs. One day, you ask yourself: “I want to switch to drinking only one kind of juice, apple or cranberry. Should I make it cranberry, with the idea that it could prevent UTIs, to some degree, for me? No biggie if it does not, but is there a reasonable chance that it will?” This is NOT a post about whether or not cranberry juice in any concentration or form can treat a UTI. Obviously.
So, I decided to use Gooogle Scholar (which is a version of Google that you should probably use more often than you currently do) to find out what the peer reviewed literature says. First I entered a few appropriate search terms (bladder infection UTI cranberry, for example) and looked at the first few references provided, then I narrowed the search for the most recent five years. That narrowing gave me a recent review article (which is what I was hoping for).
I came to a conclusion about cranberry juice after just few minutes of looking at abstracts and a couple of full text papers, and then spent considerably more time summarizing my results for you. Here is what I found:
Continue reading Does Cranberry Juice Help Repress or Reduce Urinary Tract Infections? A study in skeptical juice drinking.