03.02.2016 Cranberries May Help Prevent UTIs Post-Surgery Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Summary: UTIs are one of the most common hospital-acquired infections, often occurring as a result of surgery involving urinary catheterization. Fortunately, new research suggests cranberry can be an effective nutritional approach to help prevent UTIs after surgery. Anyone who suffers frequent urinary tract infections can attest: they’re painful and frustrating. For some, though, they’re more than painful irritants – especially for those already in the hospital for another ailment. Unfortunately, UTIs are one of the most common hospital-acquired infections—most of these are attributed to the use of a urinary catheter. Even following removal of the catheter, the risk of UTIs remains high, with postoperative patients being particularly vulnerable. In fact, the risk of a UTI in women undergoing elective gynecological surgery and using a catheter is high: 10-64% following catheter removal.1 Luckily, a new study2 suggests cranberry can be an effective nutritional approach to help prevent catheter associated UTIs after surgery. Researchers conducted the first randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to look into the effectiveness of cranberry capsules in preventing catheter associated UTIs after surgery. One hundred sixty patients received either two cranberry capsules twice a day—that’s equivalent to two 8-ounce servings of cranberry juice—or a matching placebo for six weeks. And the good news? Occurrence of UTI was significantly lower in the cranberry treatment group compared with the placebo group—just 19% of the cranberry juice recipients vs 38% of those receiving the placebo. And even better, there were no treatment differences in the incidence of adverse events, such as gastrointestinal upset. What’s the conclusion? Among women undergoing elective benign gynecological surgery involving urinary catheterization, the use of cranberry capsules cut the chance of those nightmarish UTIs in half. Just another reason to be grateful for the little, red superfruit we call cranberries. 1 Falagas ME, Athanasiou S, Iavazzo C, Tokas T, Antsaklis A. Urinary tract infections after pelvic floor gynecological surgery: prevalence and effect of antimicrobial prophylaxis. A systematic review. Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct 2008;19:1165-72. 2 Foxman B, Cronenwett AEW, Spino C, et al. Cranberry juice capsules and urinary tract infection after surgery: results of a randomized trial. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2015;212:xx-xx.