OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of regular intake of cranberry juice beverage on bacteriuria and pyuria in elderly women.
DESIGN: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
SUBJECTS: Volunteer sample of 153 elderly women (mean age, 78.5 years).
INTERVENTION: Subjects were randomly assigned to consume 300 mL per day of a commercially available standard cranberry beverage or a specially prepared synthetic placebo drink that was indistinguishable in taste, appearance, and vitamin C content but lacked cranberry content.
OUTCOME MEASURES: A baseline urine sample and six clean-voided study urine samples were collected at approximately 1-month intervals and tested quantitatively for bacteriuria and the presence of white blood cells.
RESULTS: Subjects randomized to the cranberry beverage had odds of bacteriuria (defined as organisms numbering > or = 10(5)/mL) with pyuria that were only 42% of the odds in the control group (P = .004). Their odds of remaining bacteriuric-pyuric, given that they were bacteriuric-pyuric in the previous month, were only 27% of the odds in the control group (P = .006).
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that use of a cranberry beverage reduces the frequency of bacteriuria with pyuria in older women. Prevalent beliefs about the effects of cranberry juice on the urinary tract may have microbiologic justification.