Effectiveness of a Combination of Cranberries, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Vitamin C for the Management of Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in Women: Results of a Pilot Study.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in women and many patients with recurrent UTIs do not eradicate the condition albeit being treated with multiple courses of antibiotics. The use of nutritional supplements might reduce the risk of recurrent UTIs. However, the role of supplements taken as single agents appears to be limited. We hypothesized that a combination of cranberries, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and vitamin C might produce a clinical benefit due to their additive or synergistic effects. We prospectively enrolled 42 consecutive women with recurrent UTIs treated with 120mg cranberries (minimum proanthocyanidin content: 32mg), 1 billion heat-killed L. rhamnosus SGL06, and 750mg vitamin C thrice daily for 20 consecutive d. Patients were advised to stop taking these supplements for 10 d and then to repeat the whole cycle three times. Patients were contacted three mo and six mo following the end of the administration of these supplements and evaluated with a semistructured interview and urinalysis. Responders were defined as the absence of symptoms and negative urinalysis or urine culture. Follow-up data were available for 36 patients. Overall, 26 (72.2%) and 22 patients (61.1%) were responders at the 3-mo and 6-month follow-up. No major side effects were recorded. The administration of cranberries, L. rhamnosus, and vitamin C might represent a safe and effective option in women with recurrent UTIs.