Colon blow: High fiber diets linked to increased risk of E. coli O157?

According to new research published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, people who consume diets rich in fiber are at an increased risk of contracting Escherichia coli (E. coli) which can lead to O157:H7 infection and severe disease.

colonblowThe study found that “dietary choice affects Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157:H7 colonization and disease.”

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) researchers found that mice who were fed high fiber diets (HFD) had very high levels of intestinal butyrate, a gut metabolite which enhances the gut binding-capacity of Shiga toxin – of the bacterium E. coli.

Alison O’Brien, Ph.D., chair of USU’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology, led the study, which was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.

While the study does indicate that there is a connection between risk for E. coli infection and high fiber diets, it doesn’t promote changing eating habits that are healthy, especially given that eating fiber is an effective means of reducing the risk of first time stroke, according to a study published in the journal Stroke.

She concluded that “high fiber diets are good for you. However, fresh produce comes from all over the world, so we need to be extra vigilant in keeping our produce free of microbial contaminants.”

Topeka changes name to Google, Kansas, in bid to win new fiber cables

I’ve been to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Amy and I were driving south through NM on our way to Tuscon, Arizona, and had to pee, so why not in a town that changed its name to honor the NBC radio program in 1950. We stopped in at the local historical society or museum, and were endlessly asked if we were going to stay overnight.

No. Where’s the bathroom.

Topeka, the state capital of Kansas, has changed its name to Google, Kansas, for a month, in hopes to get some new fiber optic cables to replace the stagecoaches.

The unusual move comes as several U.S. cities elbow for a spot in Google’s new "Fiber for Communities" program. The Web giant is going to install new Internet connections in unannounced locations, giving those communities Internet speeds 100 times faster than those elsewhere, with data transfer rates faster than 1 gigabit per second.

As 79-year-old Topeka mayor, Bill Bunten, told CNN, the name change will not be permanent, adding,

"Oh, heavens no, Topeka? We are very proud of our city and Topeka is an Indian word which means ‘a good place to grow potatoes.’ We’re not going to change that."

Do people grow potatoes in Topeka these days?

"I don’t think we grow that many potatoes anymore. The crops we have out here are wheat and corn and soybeans and alfalfa. And, did I say soybeans?"

He’s the first to say outsiders probably view Topeka as "another Midwestern town with not a lot going on," but he’s been making efforts to change that. He’s trying to revitalize downtown with a bar and music scene.

Google would add to all that, making the city more attractive to youngsters, he said.

Now if Manhattan (Kansas) will officially change its name to (Little) Apple, maybe we’ll all get free iPhones.