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PERSONAL HEALTH : Cranberry Juice Gets Credibility

March 15, 1994|ASSOCIATED PRESS

Cranberry juice has long been the drink of choice among women with urinary-tract infections, but urologists have remained skeptical.

Now comes a study from Harvard Medical School giving the drink a boost in credibility.

Researchers divided 153 elderly women--average age 78--into two groups and gave each woman 10 ounces a day of either ordinary cranberry juice or "a specially prepared synthetic placebo" cranberryish juice. Urine samples were collected every month for six months.

Before the test, nearly the same number of women in each group had urinary-tract infections. But those who drank the real stuff tested positive for infection only 42% as often as those who drank the fake.

Next, the Harvard research team intends to test younger women, whose urinary-tract infections generally are more severe.

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