Cranberry products do not prevent urinary tract infections (UTI) in older women, according to new research. In a randomized clinical trial of 185 older female nursing home residents, subjects were randomized to two oral cranberry capsules daily, each containing 72 mg of proanthocyanidin (equivalent to 20 ounces of cranberry juice) or matching placebo. The women were assessed for bacteriuria plus pyuria every two months over the 12-month study period. Symptomatic UTI also was assessed as well as all-cause death, hospitalization, presence of multidrug antibiotic-resistant organisms, and antibiotic administration. Adherence was 80%, and 147 women completed the study. There was no difference in the rate of bacteruria or pyuria between the treatment and control groups. There also was no significant difference in the number of symptomatic UTIs, rate of death, hospitalization, multidrug-resistant bacteria, antibiotics administered for suspected UTIs, or total antibiotics used. The authors concluded that among older women who are nursing home residents, administration of cranberry capsules vs. placebo was of no benefit in preventing bacteriuria plus pyuria over one year (JAMA. Published online Oct. 27, 2016. DOI:10.1001/jama.2016.16141).
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