Cranberry juice, rich in several antibacterial properties, may be able to prevent bladder infections in children.
Doctors at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada published a study in the Journal of Urology that shows children who drank cranberry juice high in proanthocyanidins (PACs) have two-thirds fewer urinary tract infections.
While the study is encouraging, running to the store for cranberry juice today won’t likely help much. Reuters reports that grocery store cranberry juice may not have that high concentration of PAC levels, and the PAC levels are believed to be the key component in preventing bladder infections.
WFAA TV reported the study involved 40 children who had at least two urinary tract infections in the past year. They randomly assigned the kids to drink one of two juices made for the study: a cranberry juice rich in PACs or a “control” juice containing no cranberry product. During the following year, children who drank the cranberry juice with high PACs had a UTI rate of 0.4 per child compared with 1.15 in the comparison group.
Ocean Spray provided both juices used in the study, but researchers made it clear their study was not an endorsement of any product.
The findings of this study should not be construed as an endorsement of any commercially available cranberry products,” they wrote. Dr. Kourosh Afshar was the lead researcher.
Some children with recurring bladder infections are put on preventative antibiotics, but antibiotics have side effects and long term use can lead to problems, so finding a drug-free way to reduce bladder infections is important.