2011 Flu Vaccine/ Vegetarians and Diverticulitis

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 // Uncategorized

The components of the 2011 flu vaccine have been chosen and are the same as last year.  This is a summary from Journal Watch.

Influenza Vaccine Components Unchanged from Last Season
The components of influenza vaccine for the 2011-2012 season will be the same as those in the previous season’s vaccine, the FDA announced on Monday. The vaccine will include:
A/California/7/09 (H1N1)-like virus (the 2009 pandemic virus);
A/Perth /16/2009 (H3N2)-like virus; and
B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.
In addition, a new vaccine formulation will be available this year. In May, the FDA approved Fluzone Intradermal for patients aged 18 to 64 years. This vaccine will be administered under the skin with a smaller needle.
Patients may ask whether, having been vaccinated with these same strains last year, another round of shots is necessary. The answer is yes. The FDA’s Dr. Karen Midthun explains: “It is important to get vaccinated every year, even if the strains in the vaccine do not change, because the protection received the previous year will diminish over time and may be too low to provide protection into the next year.”

Diverticuli are basically hernias on the colon which are common in developed countries.  This is thought to be due to the low fiber in the diet.  Sometimes diverticuli become inflamed.  This is called diverticulitis.  these are small abscesses which can cause serious abdominal infections if left untreated.  This summary of an article in the British Medical Journal suggests that vegetarians who likely take in more fiber in their diets are less likely to develop diverticular disease.  It stands to reason that even non vegetarians could improve their colon health by adding more high fiber food to their diets.  A list of high fiber foods follows the summary from Journal Watch.
Physician’s First Watch for July 20, 2011
David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, Editor-in-Chief
Vegetarian, High-Fiber Diets Linked to Lower Risk for Diverticular Disease
 Vegetarian, High-Fiber Diets Linked to Lower Risk for Diverticular Disease
Vegetarian and high-fiber diets are each associated with lower risk for hospitalization or death from diverticular disease, according to a prospective study in BMJ.
Some 47,000 “generally health conscious” adults in the U.K. completed dietary and lifestyle questionnaires and then were followed for nearly 12 years. About one third of participants said they were vegetarian.
During follow-up, there were 806 hospital admissions and 6 deaths from diverticular disease. After multivariable adjustment, vegetarians had a roughly 30% lower risk for diverticular disease compared with meat eaters, and participants in the highest quintile of fiber intake had about a 40% reduced risk compared with those in the lowest quintile.
The authors note that vegetarianism and high fiber intake are “correlated with rapid bowel transit times and increased frequency of bowel movements, which could be the biological mechanism” underlying the lower risk for diverticular disease observed here.

Amount of fiber in different foods
Food Serving Grams of fiber
Apple (with skin) 1 medium apple 4.4
Banana 1 medium banana 3.1
Oranges 1 orange 3.1
Prunes 1 cup, pitted 12.4
Apple, unsweetened, w/ added ascorbic acid 1 cup 0.5
Grapefruit, white, canned, sweetened 1 cup 0.2
Grape, unsweetened, w/added ascorbic acid 1 cup 0.5
Orange 1 cup 0.7
Green beans 1 cup 4.0
Carrots .5 cups sliced 2.3
Peas 1 cup 8.8
Potato (baked, with skin) 1 medium potato 3.8
Cucumber (with peel) 1 cucumber 1.5
Lettuce 1 cup shredded 0.5
Tomato 1 medium tomato 1.5
Spinach 1 cup 0.7
Baked beans, canned, no salt added 1 cup 13.9
Kidney beans, canned 1 cup 13.6
Lima beans, canned 1 cup 11.6
Lentils, boiled 1 cup 15.6
Breads, pastas, flours
Bran muffins 1 medium muffin 5.2
Oatmeal, cooked 1 cup 4.0
White bread 1 slice 0.6
Whole-wheat bread 1 slice 1.9
Pasta and rice, cooked
Macaroni 1 cup 2.5
Rice, brown 1 cup 3.5
Rice, white 1 cup 0.6
Spaghetti (regular) 1 cup 2.5
Almonds 1 cup 17.4
Peanuts 1 cup 12.4
To learn how much fiber and other nutrients are in different foods, visit the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database at:

Created using data from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Available at
For more information on what fiber is and it’s importance check out this link to UpToDate:

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