Cranberry Juice Helps Treat Kids' UTIs

Urinary tract infections reduced antibiotic need

(RxWiki News) A urinary tract infection (UTI) can be painful and annoying, especially for children. Here’s a tip: You may be able to treat repeat UTIs more quickly by giving your child a glass of cranberry juice a day, reports a recent study.

Researchers in Finland gave UTI-treated children cranberry juice daily, while other children did not drink cranberry juice. They found that the kids who drank cranberry juice needed to spend less time taking antibiotics for a recurrent UTI.

"Give your kid cranberry juice to speed up UTI recovery."

Dr. Jarmo Salo of Oulu University Hospital and colleagues performed the study at seven hospitals and tracked 263 children. The cranberry juice-drinking group guzzled the beverage for 6 months, and both groups were monitored for one year afterward.

According to the study, 16% (20 children) of the cranberry-juice group had a recurrent UTI, while 22% (28 children) had one.

They discovered that cranberry juice had a beneficial health effect: The kids who drank the juice and later developed a UTI spent fewer days on antibiotic therapy, about six less days per patient year.

Previous studies have shown that active compounds in cranberry juice work to kill bacteria, including E. coli, which is the most common cause of UTIs.

Researchers believe that the cranberry's active compounds prevent the bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urinary tract.

UTIs can occur in any part of the urinary system, but it most often involves the lower urinary tract – in the bladder and urethra – according to the Mayo Clinic.

The most common treatment for UTIs is antibiotics. If left untreated, the infection may spread to the kidneys and cause permanent damage that can lead to chronic kidney disease.

This clinical study was published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. 

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Review Date: 
December 2, 2011