Letters to the Editor
On March 14, 2017, JAMA published a letter to the editor written by researchers at McGill University in response to the misleading research study published in JAMA regarding cranberries’ ability to effectively prevent UTIs.
In the letter, the researchers state that due to two major features of the study’s methodology, the results should be considered “less than definitive.” Of note:
The full letter can be read here.
In addition to the response from McGill, Urology published a letter submitted by top urologists and cranberry researchers, Bilal Chughtai, MD, Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD & Amy Howell, PhD, which examined the methodology of the JAMA research that lead to the misleading results. For more information on the flaws in the JAMA research, read the complete letter here.
October 28, 2016
Statement from the Cranberry Institute
The Cranberry Institute maintains its confidence in the decades of scientific studies from independent research institutions globally, that have demonstrated that regular consumption of cranberry products helps promote a healthy urinary tract – especially in individuals suffering from recurrent UTIs.1,2
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) article, “Effect of Cranberry Capsules on Bacteriuria Plus Pyuria Among Older Women in Nursing Homes” and the subsequent editorial piece, “Cranberry for Prevention of Urinary Tract Infection? Time to move on” is misleading and suffers from fatal flaws. The investigation fails to assess the efficacy of cranberries in the prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) as they treated individuals that did NOT suffer from UTIs or persistent bacteriuria plus pyuria. We are disappointed that this venerated journal supported the publication of the trial and utilized it as a platform to selectively discredit previously peer-reviewed data.
Investigations that aim to assess the efficacy of cranberry products in the prevention of UTIs and maintenance of urinary tract health is a critical priority of the Cranberry Institute. And the benefits for elderly women in nursing homes is a key concern. However, in this particular study, participants were treated with cranberry capsules for issues that did not exist (see tables from the study below). It is likened to evaluating the effectiveness of a weight loss program on individuals with normal body weight – the absence of weight loss will not truly reflect the efficacy of the program.
We agree with the author of the editorial that it is important to identify and evaluate innovative antimicrobial and non-antimicrobial approaches – and encourage the cranberry scientific community to continue this quest. It is time to move forward by furthering cranberry research to help attenuate the use of antibiotics and prevent this pervasive condition.
For a comprehensive reference list of cranberry health research, visit: http://cranberryinstitute.org/doclib/doclib_search.cgi.
Key Research Inaccuracies