Cranberry in children: prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections and review of the literature
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are common in childhood. In 30-50% of children with UTI the infections occur recurrently, especially in those with vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), neurogenic bladder (NB), previous cystitis or pyelonephritis and malformative uropathies. To reduce the likelihood of UTI, antibiotic prophylaxis has been regarded as the therapeutic standard for many years. However, the disadvantage of long-term antibiotic therapy is the potential for development of collateral effects and resistant organisms in the host. Such reasons have induced scientists to search for alternative modalities of UTI prevention and have contributed to determining the increasing desire for "naturalness" of the population and preventing excessive medication. The use of cranberry fulfils these needs by potentially replacing or enhancing traditional procedures. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of cranberry in preventing UTI in pediatric populations. We searched Pubmed, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Internet. Cranberry in patients with previous UTI was evaluated in three studies, cranberry in patients with VUR in three studies and four studies analyzed the efficacy of cranberry in children with NB. In seven of nine studies cranberry had a significant effect in preventing UTI.