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Cranberry juice and its impact on peri-stomal skin conditions for urostomy patients

Tsukada K, Tokunaga K, Iwama T, Mishima Y, Tazawa K, Fujimaki M.
Ostomy Wound Manage 40(9):60-2, 64, 66-8

In urostomy patients, peristomal skin problems are common and may stem from alkaline urine. Cranberry juice appears to acidify urine and has bacteriostatic properties, and is widely recommended for the reduction of urinary tract infections. Therefore, it is hypothesized that drinking cranberry juice might also prevent and/or improve skin complications for urostomy patients. To test this hypothesis, pH measurements of the skin around the stoma and of the urine of 13 urostomy patients were taken before and after instituting a regimen of drinking 160 to 320 g of cranberry juice each day for an average period of six months. Results showed an improvement in skin condition from 6 patients with erythema, maceration or pseudoepithelial hyperplasia at the beginning of the study to 2 patients with maceration or PEH. The average pH of the urine taken from the patients' pouches decreased a statistically significant amount from 8.0 to 7.3 (p = 0.0277), yet unexpectantly, the average pH of the fresh urine increased a statistically significant amount from 5.8 to 6.2 (p = 0.0178). Other results were not statistically significant. The authors conclude that while drinking cranberry juice did not appear to acidify the urine as expected, improvements were still seen in the skin conditions of the study participants, suggesting that drinking cranberry juice does positively impact the incidence of skin complications for these patients.