Posts tagged with "E.coli"

Going vegan lowers risk of urinary tract infection

February 3, 2020

Ditching meat and going vegan may reduce your risk of suffering from a urinary tract infection (UTI), a new study conducted at Tzu Chi University in Taiwan has found.

Indeed, according to a report by News Medical, urinary tract infections (UTIs) are most often caused caused by bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E.coli)— which is normally found in the gut, but enters the urinary tract through the urethra.

Past studies have established that meat is a major reservoir for the E. coli strains that cause UTI, but it researchers could not confirm that avoiding eating meat could lower UTI risk. The latest study, published in the journal, Scientific Reports, found that vegetarians have a lower incidence of UTIs than those who eat meat.

To arrive at their findings, the team assessed the incidence of UTIs in more than 9,700 Buddhists in Taiwan, all of whom participated in the Tzu Chi Vegetarian Study, which looked at the connection between a vegetarian diet and chronic degenerative diseases. The researchers followed the participants for ten years—and found that vegans were 16% less likely to develop a UTI than their meat-eating counterparts, News Medical reports.

The team used a 57-item food frequency questionnaire to assess the patients’ dietary habits. After analyzing the diets of men and women separately, the team found that the reduced risk of UTI associated with a vegetarian diet was greater in men than in women. However, women are far more likely to be burdened with cystitis generally. The overall UTI risk for men was 79% lower than for women, regardless of diet.  

Overall, women were 18% less likely to develop UTI if they went vegan.

Research contact: @NewsMedical

Revealed: Deadly superbugs lurk in more than nine out of ten make-up bags

December 4, 2019

It turns out that looks can, indeed, kill: The vast majority of in-use makeup products—among them,  beauty blenders, mascara, and lip gloss—are contaminated with potentially life threatening superbugs, research conducted at Aston University in Birmingham, England, has revealed..

Make-up products used every day by millions of people are contaminated with potentially deadly bugs, such as E.coli and Staphylococci, because most are not being cleaned and are used far beyond their expiration dates, new research led by Dr. Amreen Bashir and Professor Peter Lambert of Aston University’s School of Life and Health Sciences has found.

Bacteria that can cause illnesses ranging from skin infections to blood poisoning if used near eyes, mouth, or cuts or grazes, were found in nine out of ten of the products. This risk is amplified in immunocompromised people who are more likely to contract infections from opportunistic bacteria.

The relatively new beauty blenders — sponges used to apply skin foundation products—were found to have the highest levels of potentially harmful bacteria; with the vast majority (93%) never having been cleaned, despite more than two-thirds (64%) being dropped on the floor at some point during use.

.Often endorsed by celebrities, these sponges are estimated to have sold over 6.5 million times worldwide. The Aston researchers found these products are particularly susceptible to contamination as they are often left damp after use, which creates an ideal breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

Post-Brexit, UK consumers could be at even greater risk as they will no longer be protected by EU regulations and could find themselves purchasing more beauty products from the United States, for example, where there are no regulatory requirements to put expiration dates on make-up packaging at all.

Commenting on the new findings, Dr. Bashir said: “Consumers’ poor hygiene practices when it comes to using make-up, especially beauty blenders, is very worrying when you consider that we found bacteria such as E.coli—which is linked with fecal contamination—breeding on the products we tested.

“More needs to be done to help educate consumers and the make-up industry as a whole about the need to wash beauty blenders regularly and dry them thoroughly, as well as the risks of using makeup beyond its expiry date.”

The study results have been published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology .

Research contact: @AstonUniversity

Don’t drink the water: Study flunks air carriers on quality of H20

August 30, 2019

Despite recent stories about plastic particles in bottled water, most Americans reach for a glass or container of H20 when they want something relatively pure and unsullied to drink. Think again, if you are ordering a potable onboard any U.S. air carrier.

A 2019 Airline Water Study released on August 28 by Diet Detective and the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center at the City University of New York has revealed

that the quality of drinking water varies by airline, and many airlines have possibly provided passengers with unhealthy water.

Unhealthy water violates the EPA’s Aircraft Drinking Water Rule (ADWR), which was implemented in 2011 and requires airlines to provide passengers and flight crew with safe drinking water.

The new study ranks 11 major and 12 regional airlines mainly by the quality of water they provided onboard its flights. Each airline was given a “Water Health Score” (5 = highest rating, 0 = lowest) based on ten criteria—including fleet size, ADWR violations, positive E. coli and coliform water sample reports and cooperation in providing answers to water-quality questions. A score of 3.0 or better indicates that the airline has relatively safe, clean water.

“Alaska Airlines and Allegiant win the top spot with the safest water in the sky, and Hawaiian Airlines finishes No. 2,” says Charles Platkin, PhD, JD, MPH, the editor of and the executive director of the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center.

The airlines with the worst scores are JetBlue and Spirit Airlines, the study shows. “Except for Piedmont Airlines, regional airlines need to improve their onboard water safety,” Platkin says.

Indeed, the study found that nearly all regional airlines, except Piedmont, have poor Water Health Scores and a large number of ADWR violations. Republic Airways (which flies for United Express, Delta Connection, and American Eagle) has the lowest score at 0.44 on a 0-to-5 scale and ExpressJet is second-lowest at 0.56. ExpressJet averages 3.36 ADWR violations per aircraft.

The researchers warn that if an aircraft flies to numerous destinations, drinking water may be pumped  into its tanks from various sources at domestic and international locations. The water quality onboard also depends on the safety of the equipment used to transfer the water, such as water cabinets, trucks, carts, and hoses.

* Here’s the bottom-line advice from DietDetective and the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center. To be extra safe:

  • NEVER drink any water onboard that isn’t in a sealed bottle,
  • Do not drink coffee or tea onboard,
  • Do not wash your hands in the bathroom; bring hand-sanitizer with you instead.

To see the airline health scores for the carrier you are flying, visit the website for the study:

Research contact: