Consumption of cranberry as adjuvant therapy for urinary tract infections in susceptible populations: a systematic review and meta-analysis with trial sequential analysis.
The efficacy of cranberry (Vaccinium spp.) as adjuvant therapy in preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs) remains controversial. This study aims to update and determine cranberry effects as adjuvant therapy on the recurrence rate of UTIs in susceptible groups. According to PRISMA guidelines, we conducted a literature search in Web of Science, PubMed, Embase, Scopus, and the Cochrane Library from their inception dates to June 2021. We included articles with data on the incidence of UTIs in susceptible populations using cranberry-containing products. We then conducted a trial sequential analysis to control the risk of type I and type II errors. This meta-analysis included 23 trials with 3979 participants. We found that cranberry-based products intake can significantly reduce the incidence of UTIs in susceptible populations (risk ratio (RR) = 0.70; 95% confidence interval(CI): 0.59 ~ 0.83; P < 0.01). We identified a relative risk reduction of 32%, 45% and 51% in women with recurrent UTIs (RR = 0.68; 95% CI: 0.56 ~ 0.81), children (RR = 0.55; 95% CI: 0.31 ~ 0.97) and patients using indwelling catheters (RR = 0.49; 95% CI: 0.33 ~ 0.73). Meanwhile, a relative risk reduction of 35% in people who use cranberry juice compared with those who use cranberry capsule or tablet was observed in the subgroup analysis (RR = 0.65; 95% CI: 0.54 ~ 0.77). The TSA result for the effects of cranberry intake and the decreased risk of UTIs in susceptible groups indicated that the effects were conclusive. In conclusion, our meta-analysis demonstrates that cranberry supplementation significantly reduced the risk of developing UTIs in susceptible populations. Cranberry can be considered as adjuvant therapy for preventing UTIs in susceptible populations. However, given the limitations of the included studies in this meta-analysis, the conclusion should be interpreted with caution.