cranberry prevents urinary tract infections from prostate cancer radiation

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among men. Men who have their prostate cancer treated by radiation—pelvic external beam radiotherapy—are at increased risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Cranberry is an important treatment for UTIs. This controlled, but unblinded, study wanted to determine whether cranberry could prevent UTIs and decrease the need for antibiotics in men undergoing radiation for prostate cancer. . . .



This large study gave either 200mg a day of cranberry extract standardized for 30% proanthocyanidins or nothing to 924 men undergoing radiation therapy for their prostate cancer. The study lasted 6-7 weeks.

The cranberry extract successfully protected against UTIs: while a full 24.6% of the control group came down with a UTI, a significantly fewer 10.8% of the cranberry group did. Recurrent UTIs occurred in only .8% of the cranberry group versus 2.3% of the control group: this improvement was also significant.

Importantly, the prevention of UTIs allowed the cranberry group to get away with way less antibiotics. The control group spent 585 days on antibiotics while the cranberry group spent a significantly less 285. The need for painkillers went down significantly in the cranberry group also with only 23.1% of the cranberry requiring NSAIDs versus 46.2% of the control group. And while a whopping 62.8% of the control group suffered painful urination (dysuria), a significantly fewer 36.6% of the cranberry group did.

And that’s not all. Cranberry improved the many urinary symptoms caused by radiation. Compared to the control group, waking at night to urinate went down from 52% to 29%, urgency dropped from 55% to 30% and the number of average urinations a day went down from 3.35 to 1.8.

This study demonstrates an impressive ability to protect men undergoing radiation for prostate cancer from UTIs and from the undesirable use of antibiotics.


Res Rep Urol 2017;9:65-69


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For much more on preventing and treating prostate cancer, see our book The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.

And for more on cranberry, see our book Healthy Herbs: Your Everyday Guide to Medicinal Herbs and Their Use.


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 is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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