DRINKING cranberry juice is an effective treatment for urinary tract infections, say researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston. In a study of 153 elderly women, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, they found that drinking cranberry juice regularly reduced levels of bacteria and pus in the urine.

The study is the first large- scale controlled trial to show the drink can reduce bacteria levels. Researchers now intend to see whether it is effective against cystitis.