Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is very common and affects women. Now for women who repeatedly suffer from UTIs, it’s good to try to become a vegetarian.
Reporting from the Daily Mail, to see whether a vegetarian diet can reduce UTI cases, researchers tracked thousands of people in Taiwan, China. They are all Buddhists, the most common religion there.
About one-third of the participants were vegetarians. The researchers recruited 9,274 people and tracked them for almost a decade, from 2005 to 2014 to see if vegetarians got fewer UTIs and kidney infections.
Most vegetarians are women and their benefits are more visible among them than men, the researchers said.
The findings show that women are 18 percent less likely to experience a UTI if they are vegetarian.
Of the 3,040 who are vegetarians, only 217 developed UTI, compared with 444 of 6,684 meat-eaters. Among vegetarians, 188 women and 29 men develop UTI, while the number for meat-eaters is 91 for men and 353 for women.
When other potential influences are taken into account, including age, sex, and smoking habits, vegetarians are 16 percent less than meat eaters to develop UTI.
Because, meat, especially chicken and pork, is believed to carry E. coli bacteria that cause up to three quarters of bladder infections such as cystitis.
Therefore, those who avoid meat are less likely to have E. coli in their intestines. E. coli enters the urinary tract from the intestine when people use the toilet.
The experts, who published their findings in the journal Scientific Reports, also believe that a vegetarian diet rich in fruits and vegetables contains molecules known as phytochemicals, which stop bacterial growth.
Chin-Lon Lin, from Tzu Chi University in Taiwan.
UTIs are caused when disease-causing bacteria invade the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body. This causes pain in the stomach, back and legs. While anyone can develop this condition, women are more often affected because their bladder is closer to the back.
Patients feel the need to urinate frequently and sex life can also be affected. UTIs can also develop into more serious kidney infections if the bacteria spreads further into the bladder.