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Vegetarians get fewer UTIs

Expert insight:

UTIs develop when bacteria (typically E. coli) enters the urinary tract and multiplies in the bladder. Plant-based diets may help you avoid the issue in two ways.

First, vegetarians are less likely to come into contact with E. coli, which is often found in meat, says study author Chin-Lon Lin, M.D., an internal medicine specialist at the Buddhist Tzu Chi Hospital in Taiwan.

Second, they typically eat more fiber. This can decrease pH levels in the body, making it harder for E. coli to survive, Lin explains.

The bottom line:

If you’re prone to UTIs, adopting a vegetarian diet could help. At the very least, consider cutting out pork and poultry, Lin says. The E. coli strains that cause UTIs are most commonly found in those two types of meat.

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