Cranberry Juice Helps Fight Infections

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Drinking cranberry juice on a regular basis may help women reduce the recurrence of urinary tract infections. Up to three out of five women experience these infections at some point in their life, and at least a third of women with the ailment will undergo a recurrence during the following year. Researchers in Finland who gave 50 women who had urinary tract infections 50 milliliters of cranberry-lingonberry juice daily for six months found that incidents of urinary tract infections were reduced by roughly half. The investigators believe their findings are important because over 11 million women in the United States receive antibiotics each year to treat the infections. Annually the cost for treatment is over $1.6 billion and the heavy use of antibiotics increases the risk of breeding antibiotic-resistant germs. "Cranberry juice provides an alternative tool for prevention of urinary tract infection that could result in decreased use of antimicrobials," the researchers write in a report published in the British Medical Journal. The physicians believe compounds in cranberry juice prevent the bacteria from sticking to the body. No negative side effects were reported, other than occasional complaints about the bitter taste of the cranberry juice.