To the Editor.
—Dr Avorn and colleagues1 reported a clinical trial showing that drinking cranberry juice may reduce the incidence of bacteriuria in elderly women. The idea that cranberry juice reduces the probability of infection is an old one, but has rarely been studied thoroughly. Cranberries were introduced to the Netherlands when an American ship was wrecked on the Dutch coast, and crates with cranberries washed ashore on a small island called Terschelling. The cranberries seeded and are now cultivated on this island.We looked at the cranberry/bacteriuria problem in another way, using a randomized controlled cross-over design. This technique avoids problems due to great variation in elderly individuals' general condition, drinking habits, and urinary continence. From the end of 1992 until early 1994, a study was done in a nursing department of a general hospital, including persons who had hospital treatment and were waiting for transfer to a
Haverkorn MJ, Mandigers J. Reduction of Bacteriuria and Pyuria Using Cranberry Juice. JAMA. 1994;272(8):590. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520080030026