Randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded study of prophylactic cranberries use in women with recurrent uncomplicated cystitis

World J Urol. 2024 Jan 12;42(1):27. doi: 10.1007/s00345-023-04741-0.


Background: Τhe adherence of p-fimbriated Escherichia coli (E. coli) to urothelial cells leading to recurrent urinary tract infections (rUTIs) may be prevented by proanthocyanidins (PACs) contained in American cranberries.

Purpose: The purpose of this clinical trial was to assess the clinical utility of prophylactic use of high-dose PACs daily in women with a history of rUTIs.

Materials and methods: 172 adult women with a history of rUTIs, defined as ≥ 2 within a 6-month period or ≥ 3 within a 12-month period were enrolled and randomized in two groups to receive either Cysticlean™ 240 mg or placebo for a 12-month period. Urine samples, vaginal and rectal swabs were collected at initial and quarterly study visits. The primary study endpoints were the number of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and changes in Quality of Life (QoL), assessed by the 36-Item Short Form Survey (SF-36) questionnaire.

Results: 160 adult women of median age 40 years old (range 19-82) were finally analyzed in this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded clinical trial. In response to intervention, the number of UTIs was significantly lower (Incidence rate ratio IRR 0.49, p < 0.001) and QoL was slightly improved. The numbers of E. coli isolates detected in vaginal (IRR 0.71, p value < 0.001) and in rectal swabs (IRR 0.87, p value < 0.001) were also significantly decreased. No adverse events were reported.

Conclusion: The daily use of Cysticlean™ 240 mg was associated with a reduction of UTIs and a prolongation of UTI-free survival compared to placebo treatment, supporting its use as prophylaxis in this patient population.

Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov, identifier NCT03032003.

Keywords: Cranberry; PACs; Proanthocyanidins; Recurrent urinary tract infections.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cystitis* / prevention & control
  • Escherichia coli
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Urinary Tract Infections* / drug therapy
  • Urinary Tract Infections* / epidemiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections* / prevention & control
  • Vaccinium macrocarpon*
  • Young Adult

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03032003