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August 2019

APMIS. 1995 Nov; 103(11): 818-22.

Inhibition of growth of Proteus mirabilis and Escherichia coli in urine in response to fasting and vegetarian diet.

Kjeldsen-Kragh J, Kvaavik E, Bottolfs M, Lingaas E.

Institute of Immunology and Rheumatology, National Hospital, Oslo, Norway.

It has recently been shown that serum antibody levels against Proteus mirabilis decreased in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who improved clinically during treatment with 7-10 days of fasting followed by a one-year vegetarian diet. As P. mirabilis is commonly implicated in urinary tract infections, this study was carried out to examine whether fasting and vegetarian diet may influence the growth of P. mirabilis and Escherichia coli in urine. Urine samples were collected from 22 patients who were referred to a health farm for various reasons. The dietary regimen recommended by the health farm consisted of fasting for 7 to 10 days followed by a vegan diet. The growth of both bacteria in urine samples collected after 8 days was significantly slower than in samples collected at baseline. In urine samples collected after 18 days growth was also reduced, although not significantly for E. coli. Our results show that dietary manipulation may reduce the ability of urine to support the growth of P. mirabilis and E. coli.

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