A new study has shown that cranberry pills have been proven ineffective and mark no difference in the prevention of UTIs.
Cranberry pills or other cranberry related products have been and still are promoted as a means of preventing UTIs, despite a number of research studies that showed that the fruit does not have an actual contribution to the prevention of the disease.
UTIs, or urinary tract infections, are a problem which mostly affects women, but whose risk of appearance in men increases in accordance with their age.
Cranberry products started being recommended as a means of preventing the problem, although previous studies offered mixed results in terms of their efficiency.
The original, common belief was that the fruit could contribute in the prevention of UTIs thanks to the increase in urine toxicity that they could generate.
Proanthocyanidin, one of the fruit’s compounds, was also speculated as being a natural means of stopping bacteria from adhering and coming into contact with the wall of the bladder.
The current study was a randomized controlled trial, or the highest held scientific demonstration, and was published in the JAMA journal. The results were also presented at the IDWeek, the infectious disease conference taking place in New Orleans.
The trial included a number of 185 women over the age of 65 living in nursing homes and had them take a certain set of pills every day. The results were gathered from 147 women after a year of study.
The difference in participants was determined by the death, the discharge from the respective nursing home, or the withdrawal of the respective women.
The pills, which were randomly assigned, were either two placebo look-alikes, or two cranberry pills. The latter pills are filled with proanthocyanidin coming to 72 milligrams, a value which accounts for a 20-ounce bottle of the fruit’s juice.
About a third of the selected women presented, at the study’s beginning, positive results urine test for white blood cells and bacteria which can determine the UTI infections.
After a year of study, no significant or notable difference could be found in the results of the women in regards to their urine tests, with the cranberry pills marking no difference in relation to the placebos.
Also, no difference could be spotted in between the groups in term of their developing UTIs, their use of antibiotics, hospital visits, or death rates.
As the cranberry pills and related products have been proven scientifically ineffective, the doctors hope that the fruit will continue to be used as a means of relaxation, and not prevention, as the costs of such inefficient products can also be quite high.
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