Changing to a vegetarian diet reduces levels of E. coli, and UTI infections in both men and women according to the Tzu Chi vegetarian study in Taiwan involving 9724 adults.
Urinary Tract Infections, or UTIs, occur in Western men and women. They are the result of E.coli infection and can lead to serious complications with the bladder and kidneys and even cancer. Bladder cancer, Kidney cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer have all been found in patients with higher levels of E. coli.
Research has suggested that going vegetarian or vegan may help in several ways. Consuming pork or chicken can increase levels of E. coli in the body. Secondly, eating meat lowers the acidity of the intestines and creates a more favourable living environment for E. coli and other pathogens. Conversely, a high natural fibre diet amongst vegans would promote gut acidity, reducing growth and levels of E. coli.
Previous studies had shown that eating meat increased levels of strains of E. coli known to cause UTIs. No research had taken place to see if not eating meat prevented it. The study followed 9724 Budhist monks in Taiwan. The results showed that vegetarians had 16% less UTIs. Men benefitted from a vegetarian diet more than women, although UTIs were already far less in men.
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