Your mother was right.
For years, women have been passing along the secret to treating and preventing urinary tract infections, or UTIs. Cranberries. And a new study confirmed the theory and found that cranberry consumption can cut the risk of recurrent UTIs by as much as 47 percent.
The study, published recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine, was conducted by researchers from National Taiwan University Hospital. The team looked at 13 studies in which participants, mostly women, were asked to consume cranberry products or a cranberry-free placebo for the course of the trial. Most of the studies lasted six months.
Researchers found that those who regularly drink cranberry juice or take cranberry capsules are less likely to get urinary tract infections. Cranberry consumption was particularly helpful for women who had trouble with recurrent UTIs.
Overall, the study participants who consumed cranberry products on a daily basis had 38 percent fewer UTIs than those who took a placebo. Women who had a history of recurrent UTIs, reduced their risk of future infections by 47 percent while taking cranberry products.
Why are cranberries such potent UTI fighters? The studies suggest that certain compounds in cranberries might prevent bacteria from attaching to tissue in the urinary tract, thereby preventing infection.