24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
Fax: (361)578-5500

Basic InformationLatest News
Excess Sugar Is No Sweet Deal for Your HeartAHA News: A Healthier Frozen Treat for Hot Summer DaysIntestinal Illness Spurs Recall of Bagged Salads Sold at Walmart, AldiHealthier Meals Could Mean Fewer Strokes, Heart AttacksWhat Difference Do Calorie Counts on Menus Make?Female Athletes Shortchange Themselves on NutritionMilk Chocolate, Dairy and Fatty Foods Tied to Acne in AdultsLatest in Cancer Prevention: Move More, Ditch Beer and BaconFor Tasty Tomatoes, Either the Fridge or the Counter Is OK: StudyAHA News: Calorie Data on Menus Could Generate Significant Health, Economic BenefitsHealth Warning Labels Could Cut Soda SalesWhere Are Kids Getting the Most 'Empty Calories'?AHA News: A Nutritious Side Dish to Grill This Memorial DayAHA News: Cooking More at Home? Diverse Food Cultures Can Expand Heart-Healthy MenuEven One High-Fat Meal May Dull Your MindToo Many Sugary Sodas Might Harm Your KidneysCan Fruits, Tea Help Fend Off Alzheimer's Disease?More Evidence Sugary Drinks Harm Women's HeartsIn COVID Crisis, Nearly Half of People in Some U.S. States Are Going HungryNavigating the Grocery Store SafelyOn Some Farms, Washing Machines Give Leafy Greens a Spin -- But Is That Safe?Coffee May Do a Heart Good, as Long as It's FilteredPotato & Sausages, Cold Cuts a Bad Combo for Your BrainTips for Safe Grocery ShoppingWhich Foods Might Reduce Your Odds for Dementia?High-Fiber Diets May Lower Odds for Breast CancerMission Possible: Tips for Safe Grocery Shopping During the PandemicDon't Worry About U.S. Food Supply, FDA SaysAHA News: Is This Nature's Healthier Meat Replacement?AHA News: If You Think Before You Snack, It's Not So BadCooking Up a Storm During Coronavirus Crisis? Store Leftovers SafelyU.S. Kids, Teens Eating Better But Nutrition Gaps PersistTurning to Tofu Might Help the Heart: StudyEating Fish in Moderation During Pregnancy Benefits Fetus: StudyDon't Abandon Healthy Eating During Coronavirus PandemicFor Heart Health, Not All Plant-Based Diets Are Equal: StudyTrying the Keto Diet? Watch Out for the 'Keto Flu'How to Understand New Food LabelsWill a Jolt of Java Get Your Creative Juices Flowing?Post-Game Snacks May Undo Calorie-Burning Benefit of Kids' SportsOlive Oil Could Help Lower Your Heart Disease RiskMore Evidence That Ditching Red Meat Is Good for Your HeartUnscrambling the Egg Data: One a Day Looks OKAHA News: How Millennials' Notions on Food Are Changing the Entire SystemWant Your Kids to Eat Veggies? Both Parents Must Set ExampleBig Breakfast May Be the Most Slimming Meal of the DaySugary Sodas Wreak Havoc With Cholesterol Levels, Harming the HeartChicago's Short-Lived 'Soda Tax' Cut Consumption, Boosted Health Care FundsMealtime Choices Could Affect Your Odds for StrokeAHA News: This Meaty Jambalaya Takes the Fat Out of Fat Tuesday
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Wellness and Personal Development

Want Fewer UTIs? Go Vegetarian, Study Suggests

HealthDay News
by By E.J. MundellHealthDay Reporter
Updated: Jan 30th 2020

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Jan. 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Urinary tract infections plague millions of Americans. Now new research suggests that what they eat might have a role to play.

The Taiwanese study compared UTI rates among nearly 10,000 Buddhists living in the island nation, about a third of whom followed a strict vegetarian diet.

The research couldn't prove a cause-and-effect link, but it showed that people who eschewed meat had a 16% lower odds for a UTI versus those who didn't.

The benefit was more pronounced among women. Female vegetarians had an 18% lower odds of getting a UTI compared to women who ate meat, the study found.

Why might the foods people eat dictate UTI risk? As the researchers pointed out, these troublesome infections usually have their origin in microbes introduced via the intestinal tract, "particularly the species of Escherichia coli accounting for 65-75% of all urinary tract infections."

And they added that two meats -- poultry and pork -- are "the major reservoir" in the diet for E. coli.

The study was led by Dr. Chin-Lon Lin of Tzu Chi University in Hualien, Taiwan, and was published Jan. 30 in Scientific Reports.

As the researchers noted, UTIs strike about 1 in every 100 people worldwide, causing discomfort and distress. In women, especially, UTIs are among the most common type of bacterial infection, accounting for nearly 25% of all infections. UTI recurrence rates can range from 16%-36% in younger women to 55% in postmenopausal women.

In the new study, Lin's group tracked UTI rates for Taiwanese Buddhists enrolled in a long-running study on the effects of a vegetarian diet on health. Of the nearly 10,000 people in the study, about 3,200 were vegetarian. Rates of UTI were tracked over a decade, and the vegetarians had significantly lower rates, the researchers found.

Two U.S. physicians who weren't connected to the study took differing views on the results.

"I would like the answer to UTI prevention to be as basic as to say that less meat means fewer UTIs," said Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler, a urologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "But in the U.S. we cook our meat thoroughly, which kills E. coli bacteria that could be transmitted though infected meat."

"Secondly, E. coli is also present on vegetables, and can be transmitted through handling by workers with dirty hands," Kavaler noted.

Her advice: "Cook your meat through and wash your veggies, whether or not you get UTIs."

Another specialist believes there could be more to the diet-UTI link, however.

Dr. Jill Rabin is vice chair of education and development for obstetrics and gynecology at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, N.Y. She agreed that "the importance of diet and lifestyle factors in the development of urinary tract infections cannot be overstated."

Rabin said one key reason for the finding might be that lowering the population of E. coli in the intestine "allows the gastrointestinal tract to become more acidic -- it is believed that a more acidic environment in the gut [and bladder] may reduce UTIs."

Vegetarian diets tend to also boost the level of fiber in the diet, and that might help prevent UTIs as well, Rabin added.

More information

For more about UTIs, visit the American Urological Association.