vegetarian diet prevents urinary tract infections

The title is both a pun and a hint!

You’ve heard of lots of benefits of the vegetarian diet, but if you’ve never heard of this one, it’s because no one has. This is the first ever study to investigate weather a vegetarian diet can protect you against urinary tract infections.

The first clue for this study was a strange one. 65-75% of all urinary tract infections are caused by a bacteria called Escherichia coli (E. coli). But recently scientists have found that the strain of E. coli that causes most urinary tract infections is different from the strain of E. coli normally found in the body. Instead, they were related to, or the same as, the E. coli found on meat, including poultry and pork. Could eating meat deliver the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections?

So researchers designed a study to see if people who don’t eat meat get less urinary tract infections. Turns out, they do!

The study followed 9,724 people for ten years. The ones who were vegetarians had a significant 16% lower risk of getting a urinary tract infection.

The vegetarian diet may work for a number of reasons, one of which is avoiding the E. coli found in meat. The researchers also suggest that the high fiber and the antioxidant flavonoids found in the vegetarian diet may help. Antioxidant flavonoids like the ones found in cranberries and several other berries have been proven to prevent and treat urinary tract infections.

This study gives a brand new reason for following a vegetarian diet: on top of everything else, it helps prevent urinary tract infections.


Scientific Reports 2020;10:906


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For much more on preventing and treating urinary tract infections, see our book The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.


For comprehensive help with urinary tract infections, make an appointment to see Linda Woolven now.


The Natural Path
 is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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