A Review of Cranberry Use for Preventing Urinary Tract Infections in Older Adults.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one the of the most common types of infections in adults older than 65 years of age. Preventing UTIs with prophylactic antibiotics increases the risk of side effects and microbial resistance, and is costly. Cranberry fruit and juices contain the compound proanthrocyanidins (PACs), specifically proanthrocyanidin-A, which exerts antiadhesion characteristics against bacteria. Cranberry products therefore have been an attractive, nonantibiotic preventative option for UTIs; however, the current literature supporting cranberry use in older adults is controversial. This could be multifactorial owing to the heterogeneity of the older population as well as inconsistencies in the recommended dose of PAC in the current literature. Evidence supports that cranberry may be beneficial in preventing UTIs in specific populations such as catheterassociated UTI and postradiotherapy prostate cancer. The cost of daily capsules versus the cost of preventing a UTI in older adults is an important consideration for initiating therapy.