Acupuncture for Urinary Tract Infection
In the United States, over 11 million women receive antibiotics for urinary tract infections (UTI) each year at a cost of about $1.6 billion. Repeated use of antibiotics leads to resistant bacterial strains and a greater chance of recurrence in some women.
Cranberry Juice Inhibits Urinary Tract Infections
Regular consumption of cranberry juice appears to be effective in preventing the recurrence of urinary infections in women, according to a study recently published in the British Medical Journal.
One hundred fifty women with acute urinary tract infections caused by the E. coli were treated with antibiotics to resolve the infection. They were then placed in one of three groups assigned to take either a cranberry juice concentrate that was consumed five times per week for six months, a Lactobacillus drink consumed five times per week for one year, or no treatment.
After 6 months, only eight women (16%) taking cranberry juice experienced a recurrence of a UTI compared to 19 (39%) in the lactobacillus group and 18 (36%) in the no-treatment group.
Interestingly, even though women in the cranberry group stopped consuming the juice after six months, they had a lower rate of urinary tract infection recurrence at 12 months as well.
(Note: While Lactobacillus has been proven to be useful in preventing side effects of antibiotic therapy such as diarrhea and yeast infections, it was not shown to be useful in preventing recurrence of UTIs in this study.)
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