Urinary Tract Infections:Written question - 26427

(Belfast East)
Asked on: 09 February 2016
Department of Health
Urinary Tract Infections
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of the potential role of cranberries can play in reducing the frequency of prescribing antibiotics for simple infections such as urinary tract infections.
Answered by: Jane Ellison
Answered on: 17 February 2016

The research database, Cochrane, published a study in 2012 which assessed the effectiveness of cranberry products in preventing urinary tract infections in susceptible populations. Researchers found that there is no objective evidence for the benefit of cranberry juice in preventing urinary tract infections. Therefore the Department has not taken steps to promote the consumption of cranberry products.

The UK five year Antimicrobial Resistance strategy set out the need to stimulate the development of new antibiotics, rapid diagnostics and novel therapies. The DH commissioned the Wellcome Trust to undertake a review of alternative treatments in 2014. The review concluded that while many approaches have potential, there is a continued need for conventional antibiotics to treat the majority of infections for the foreseeable future.

A paper, summarising the review “alternatives to antibiotics – a pipeline portfolio review” was published in the Lancet in January 2016. This is available at the following link:


Grouped Questions: 26428 | 26429

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