Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Study suggests cranberry juice not effective against urinary tract infections

From a December 8 2010 Eureka news alert

Drinking cranberry juice has been recommended to decrease the incidence of urinary tract infections, based on observational studies and a few small clinical trials. However, a new study published in the Jan. 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases suggests otherwise.

College-aged women who tested positive for having a urinary tract infection were assigned to drink eight ounces of cranberry juice or a placebo twice a day for either six months or until a recurrence of a urinary tract infection, whichever happened first. Of the participants who suffered a second urinary tract infection, the cranberry juice drinkers had a recurrence rate of almost 20 percent, while those who drank the placebo suffered only a 14 percent recurrence.

“We assumed that we would observe a 30 percent recurrence rate among the placebo group. It is possible that the placebo juice inadvertently contained the active ingredients that reduce urinary tract infection risk, since both juices contained Vitamin C,” explained study author Betsy Foxman, PhD, of the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor. She added, “Another possibility is that the study protocol kept participants better hydrated, leading them to urinate more frequently, therefore decreasing bacterial growth and reducing urinary tract infection symptoms.”



Founded in 1979, Clinical Infectious Diseases publishes clinical articles twice monthly in a variety of areas of infectious disease, and is one of the most highly regarded journals in this specialty. It is published under the auspices of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Based in Arlington, Va., IDSA is a professional society representing more than 9,000 physicians and scientists who specialize in infectious diseases. For more information, visit


December 11, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health, Health News Items | , , , | Leave a comment

Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Focus on Research and Care

[From ]


In a recent US government newsletter, recent studies on the benefits of fish oil, cranberry juice, and probiotics were highlighted.

Research funded by the US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine enables scientists to study the effects of many natural and complementary medicine products and substances. Omega‑3 supplementation in studies lasting at least a year seem to be beneficial in reducing risk for only specific heart ailments  (as recent heart attack)and thus cardiovascular deaths and overall mortality. 

Recent intermediary level trials involving humans seem to suggest cranberry reduces infections through removing available iron in a person’s body that bacteria needs to live. Also, probiotics (which are living microorganisms living in the human body that may confer health benefits) may prove useful in reducing or preventing gastrointestinal illnesses as diarrhea.

June 7, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: