Clinical trial backs cranberry supplement for children’s UTI

By Nathan GRAY

- Last updated on GMT

Food supplements containing cranberry juice extracts could be a safe and effective way to prevent reccurent urinary tract infections in children and infants, according to new clinical research.

The study – published in the Open Access Journal of Clinical Trials​ – investigated the effectiveness of Vaccinium macrocarpon ​cranberry syrup in for the prevention (prophylaxis) of recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI) in children.

The researchers, led by Jose Uberos of the San Cecilio University Clinical Hospital, Spain, gave 192 children aged between one month and 13 years and either a syrup containing Pharmatoka’s Urell cranberry extract or low-dose prophylactic treatment with the antibiotic trimethoprim – which has been shown in porevious research to reduce the incidence of UTI recurance by around 6%.

“The study hypothesis is that cranberry syrup is safe and effective in the prophylaxis of urinary tract infection, equivalent or at least not inferior to trimethoprim for the prophylaxis of UTI,”​ explained Uberos and his colleagues.

“Our study confirms that cranberry syrup is a safe treatment for the pediatric population, including infants ages less than 2 months,”​ said the study leader. “Cranberry prophylaxis  is shown to be noninferior versus trimethoprim in recurrent UTI.”

Gunter Haesaerts, the CEO and owner of French cranberry supplement manufacturer, Pharmatoka told NutraIngredients he is ‘satisfied’ with the results of the Spanish trial “because it shows  once more that Urell can be used safely as  an alternative prophylactic treatment of recurrent urinary tract infections over a long period  in this very sensitive population of young children.”

Haesaerts added that the growing  resistance of  bacteria responsible for  UTIs to commonly used antibiotics, and the subsequent difficulties to properly treat patients, led the Spanish team to conduct the current study and has encouraged Pharmatoka to  begin further clinical work to provide evidence for the safety and the efficacy of the use of Vaccinium macrocarpon  ​cranberry juice extracts in different populations .

Study details

The researchers recruited a total of 192 participants between the ages of one month and 13 years.

Criteria for exclusion from recruitment to the study included the co-existence of UTI with other infectious diseases or with metabolic diseases, chronic renal insufficiency, and the presence of allergy or intolerance to any of the components of cranberry syrup or trimethoprim.

Uberos explained that the 192 participants were randomised to receive either cranberry syrup or trimethoprim. UTI was observed in 47 patients, 17 of whom were males and 30 females, he revealed.

“We recruited 95 patients diagnosed with recurrent UTI on entry; during follow-up, 26 patients had a UTI ... Eighteen patients receiving trimethoprim had a UTI and eight patients were given cranberry."

The researchers added that 66% of recurrent UTI episodes of UTI were caused by Escherichia coli​ –with no significant differences being found between the two cranberry and antibiotic groups.

“No differences were observed between the two treatment branches in the rate of resistance to antibiotics,”​ they added.

Source: Open Access Journal of Clinical Trials
Published online open access, doi: 10.2147/OAJCT.S31734
“Cranberry syrup vs trimethoprim in the prophylaxis of recurrent urinary tract infections among children: a controlled trial”
Authors: Uberos J, Nogueras-Ocana M, Fernandez-Puentes V, Rodriguez-Belmonte R, Narbona-López E, Molina-Carballo A, Munoz-Hoyos A

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1 comment

Lisa Ling

Posted by Lisa Ling,

I don't get frequent UTI's. I'm 52 and I've had maybe 3 infections. The first one was in my 20's and I went to the Dr for it.
The 2nd one was about 3 or 4 years ago. I despise going to the Dr, so I tried Cranberry Concentrate. It took several days, but the infection finally went away.


My last infection was a few months ago and again I turned to the Cranberry Concentrate. It took longer to clear the infection the last time, but I was determined not to make a trip to the dreaded Dr's office.
Really does work. I keep it on hand now so if I get another UTI, I can start treatment immediately.

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