Page Summary: Quotes & Links to 100+ Science News Reports on the Health Benefits of Plant-based Diets. Studies find Vegetarian Vegan Diets are Associated with Long Healthy Lifespans, Lower Rates of Mortality, Less Cancer, Cardiovascular Heart Diseases, Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, Obesity …
This site also has pages with links to hundreds of science news reports on the higher rates of disease and death associated with consumption of red meat, dairy, chicken, eggs and fish.
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Page Menu – to jump to sections below regards:
+ Endorsements from Dietitian Organizations: Vegan Vegetarian Diets are Healthful.
+ Science Journal Statements on the Multiple Health Benefits of Plant-based (Vegetarian Vegan) Diets.
+ Science Journal Reports on the Association of Plant-Based/Vegan/Vegetarian Diets with these Specific Benefits: Longest Known Lifespans & Healthspans and Lower Death Rates (Mortality) / Lower Rates of Cancer / Lower Rates of Cardiovascular Disease (Coronary/Ischemic Heart Disease, Atherosclerosis etc.) / Lower Rates of Diabetes / Regards Benefits for: Metabolic Syndrome / Hypertension: Lower Blood Pressure / Lower Cholesterol / Healthier BMI & Weight Management / Less Inflammation (Fibromyalgia & Arthritis) / Less Thyroid Disease / Improved Gut Health (re: Gallstones, Diverticular Disease, Microbiota & Reduced Inflammation) / Less Cataracts / Comparisons of Nutritional Quality with Omnivore Diets / Regards Bone Health / Healthy Attitudes.
+ Video Clips & Articles: Reports from Medical Doctors.
+ Links to Related Pages on this Site.
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Dietitian Organisations Endorse Vegetarian Vegan Diets As Healthy for All Stages of Human Life.
From the U.S. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (2016): “It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.
These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes…
Vegetarians and vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity.
Low intake of saturated fat and high intakes of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, soy products, nuts, and seeds (all rich in fiber and phytochemicals) are characteristics of vegetarian and vegan diets that produce lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and better serum glucose control. These factors contribute to reduction of chronic disease…
Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage.”
Reference: “Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Vegetarian Diets”, J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016 Dec;116(12):1970-1980; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27886704
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Dietitians of Canada 2014: “A healthy vegan diet has many health benefits including lower rates of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer… A healthy vegan diet can meet all your nutrient needs at any stage of life including when you are pregnant, breastfeeding or for older adults… A vegan diet includes grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes (dried beans, peas and lentils), seeds and nuts. It excludes meat, fish, poultry, dairy and eggs and products containing these foods…”
Source: “Healthy Eating Guidelines for Vegans” archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20150706055149/https://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Vegetarian-Diets/Eating-Guidelines-for-Vegans.aspx
Dietitians of Canada 2019: “A well-planned vegan eating pattern is healthy.
Anyone can follow a vegan diet – from children to teens to older adults. It’s even healthy for pregnant or nursing mothers. A well-planned vegan diet is high in fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. Plus, it’s low in saturated fat and cholesterol. This healthy combination helps protect against chronic diseases.
Vegans have lower rates of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer than non-vegans. Vegans also have lower blood pressure levels than both meat-eaters and vegetarians and are less likely to be overweight.”
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From the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (2003): “It is the position of the American Dietitic Association and Dietitians of Canada that appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases…
Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Vegetarian diets offer a number of nutritional benefits …
They state that vegetarians: “have lower body mass indices than non-vegetarians [ie. are less likely to be fat and obese compared to meat eaters]… have lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease… lower blood cholesterol levels; lower blood pressure; and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer.”
Source: JADA, 2003, Vol.103 Issue 6, 748-765; http://www.andjrnl.org/article/S0002-8223%2803%2900294-3/fulltext
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Science Journal Reports on Multiple Health Benefits from Plant-based (Vegetarian Vegan) Diets.
From a 2014 report in the Nutrients science journal, that reviewed studies of the Seventh Day Adventists, involving more than 150,000 participants, some excerpts:
“Vegetarian diets confer protection against cardiovascular diseases, cardiometabolic risk factors, some cancers and total mortality. Compared to lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets, vegan diets seem to offer additional protection for obesity, hypertension, type-2 diabetes, and cardiovascular mortality.”
As compared to non-vegetarians the specific findings include:
Mortality (Death Rates): “vegetarians experienced a 10% to 20% decreased [incidence] in all-cause mortality…” & for veganism “14% lower risks of all-cause mortality in males.”
Cardio/Heart Disease: “vegetarians had 26% to 68% lower risks of mortality from ischemic heart disease, cardiovascular disease [CVD], & cerebrovascular disease.” For vegan males, “42% risks reduction in CVD mortality… a 55% risk reduction for ischemic heart disease.”
Hypertension: “vegetarians had 55% lower odds of developing hypertension” while “vegans had 75% risks reduction…”
Cancer: “Vegetarians experienced a 48% risk reduction in mortality from breast cancer…” & “half the risk of developing colon cancer… 23% risk reduction for cancer of the gastrointestinal tract… 35% risk reduction for prostate cancer… lower risk for cancer of the respiratory tract & overall-cancer.”
Type-2 Diabetes: “25% to 49% lower for vegetarians…” & “risks reduction” of “47% to 78% for vegans.”
Body Mass Index (BMI): “vegetarians were approximately 2-4 points lower… vegans had respectively, 3 & 5 points lower BMI…”
And “The odds of developing metabolic syndrome (MetS) for vegetarians were about half compared to non-vegetarians…”
They state they “summarized available evidence from three prospective cohorts of Adventists in North America: Adventist Mortality Study [22,940 participants], Adventist Health Study [34,198 participants], and Adventist Health Study-2 [96,000 participants]…”
Reference: “Beyond Meatless, the Health Effects of Vegan Diets: Findings from the Adventist Cohorts”, Nutrients. 2014 Jun; 6(6): 2131–2147; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4073139/
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A 2015 report in the Public Health Nutrition science journal states that “Compared with non-vegetarians, the vegetarian/vegans had” the following “odds ratios” of:
– 0.56 for hypertension
– 0.48 for diabetes
– 0.42 for high blood total cholesterol
– 0.54 for high blood LDL-cholesterol
– 0.43 for obesity
– 0.54 for abdominal obesity…
“when adjusted for age, gender, education, physical activity and sub-study… Further adjustment for BMI (body mass index) suggested that BMI acts as an intermediary variable between diet and both hypertension and diabetes.”
The authors conclude: “As with non-blacks, these results suggest that there are sizeable advantages to a vegetarian diet in black individuals also…”
Reference: “Vegetarian diets and cardiovascular risk factors in black members of the Adventist Health Study-2”, Public Health Nutrition, 2015 Feb;18(3):537-45; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24636393
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From The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “There is convincing evidence that vegetarians have lower rates of coronary heart disease, largely explained by low LDL cholesterol, probable lower rates of hypertension and diabetes mellitus, and lower prevalence of obesity. Overall, their cancer rates appear to be moderately lower than others living in the same communities, and life expectancy appears to be greater…
It is probable that using the label “vegetarian” as a dietary category is too broad and that our understanding will be served well by dividing vegetarians into more descriptive subtypes. Although vegetarian diets are healthful and are associated with lower risk of several chronic diseases, different types of vegetarians may not experience the same effects on health.”
Reference: “Vegetarian diets: what do we know of their effects on common chronic diseases?” Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;89(5):1607S-1612S; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19321569
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Journal of Geriatric Cardiology: “Plant-based diets are associated with lowering overall mortality and ischemic heart disease mortality; reducing medication needs; supporting sustainable weight management; reducing incidence and severity of high-risk conditions, such as obesity and obesity-related inflammatory markers, hyperglycemia, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia; and even reversing advanced cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
These advantages are likely the result of both the consistent consumption of innate health-promoting compounds found in whole plant foods and the reduction of exposure to harmful substances found in animal products and highly processed foods.”
Reference: “Plant-based nutrition for healthcare professionals: implementing diet as a primary modality in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease”, J Geriatr Cardiol. 2017 May; 14(5): 355–368; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5466942/
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From a 2003 article in the The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “Diets largely based on plant foods, such as well-balanced vegetarian diets, could best prevent nutrient deficiencies as well as diet-related chronic diseases…
scores of nutritional epidemiologic studies have documented important and quantifiable benefits of vegetarian and other plant-based diets… Vegetarians living in affluent countries enjoy remarkably good health, exemplified by low rates of obesity, coronary diseases, diabetes, and many cancers, and increased longevity… meat intake has been related to increased risk for a variety of chronic diseases such as ischemic heart disease and some cancers… All the protective effects were observed for foods of plant origin, while all the hazardous effects were correlated with meat intake…”
Reference: “The contribution of vegetarian diets to health and disease: a paradigm shift?”, Am J Clin Nutr, September 2003 vol.78 no.3 502S-507S; http://www.ajcn.org/content/78/3/502S.full
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From a study published in the journal of Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition: “This comprehensive meta-analysis reports a significant protective effect of a vegetarian diet versus the incidence and/or mortality from ischemic heart disease (-25%) and incidence from total cancer (-8%). Vegan diet conferred a significant reduced risk (-15%) of incidence from total cancer… Eighty-six cross-sectional and 10 cohort prospective studies were included… The overall analysis among cross-sectional studies reported significant reduced levels of body mass index, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and glucose levels in vegetarians and vegans versus omnivores… Beneficial effects of vegetarian and vegan diets on health outcomes have been supposed in previous studies…”
Reference: “Vegetarian, vegan diets & multiple health outcomes: a systematic review…”, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 2017 Nov 22;57(17):3640-3649;
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A 2003 report in the Forum of Nutrition journal states: “Numerous studies show important and quantifiable benefits of the different components of vegetarian diets, namely the reduction of risk for many chronic diseases and the increase in longevity. Such evidence is derived from the study of vegetarians as well as other populations.
While meat intake has been related to increased risk for a variety of chronic diseases, an abundant consumption of vegetables, fruits, cereals, nuts, and legumes all have been independently related with a lower risk for several chronic degenerative diseases, such as ischemic heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and many cancers.
Hence, whole foods of plant origin seem to be beneficial on their own merit for chronic disease prevention… from the public health viewpoint the health benefits of a well-planned vegetarian diet far outweigh the potential risks.”
Reference: “The contribution of vegetarian diets to human health”, Forum Nutr. 2003;56:218-20; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15806870
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A 2013 article published in the Permanente Journal is titled “Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets” The Abstract states: “The objective of this article is to present to physicians an update on plant-based diets. Concerns about the rising cost of health care are being voiced nationwide, even as unhealthy lifestyles are contributing to the spread of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. For these reasons, physicians looking for cost-effective interventions to improve health outcomes are becoming more involved in helping their patients adopt healthier lifestyles.
Healthy eating may be best achieved with a plant-based diet, which we define as a regimen that encourages whole, plant-based foods and discourages meats, dairy products, and eggs as well as all refined and processed foods. We present a case study as an example of the potential health benefits of such a diet.
Research shows that plant-based diets are cost-effective, low-risk interventions that may lower body mass index, blood pressure, HbA1C, and cholesterol levels. They may also reduce the number of medications needed to treat chronic diseases and lower ischemic heart disease mortality rates. Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity.”
Reference: “Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets”, Perm J. 2013 Spring; 17(2): 61–66; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/
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From a 1999 study printed in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “Results associating diet with chronic disease in a cohort of 34192 California Seventh-day Adventists are summarized…
Multivariate analyses showed significant associations between beef consumption and fatal ischemic heart disease (IHD) in men…
significant protective associations between nut consumption and fatal and nonfatal IHD in both sexes…
and reduced risk of IHD in subjects preferring whole-grain to white bread.
The lifetime risk of IHD was reduced by ≈31% in those who consumed nuts frequently and by 37% in male vegetarians compared with nonvegetarians.
Cancers of the colon and prostate were significantly more likely in nonvegetarians [ie. cancer is more frequent in the meat eaters]…
and frequent beef consumers also had higher risk of bladder cancer.
Intake of legumes was negatively associated with risk of colon cancer in nonvegetarians and risk of pancreatic cancer.
Higher consumption of all fruit or dried fruit was associated with lower risks of lung, prostate, and pancreatic cancers.
Cross-sectional data suggest vegetarian Seventh-day Adventists have lower risks of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and arthritis than nonvegetarians.
Thus, among Seventh-day Adventists, vegetarians are healthier than nonvegetarians…”
Reference: “Associations between diet and cancer, ischemic heart disease, and all-cause mortality in non-Hispanic white California Seventh-day Adventists”, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 1999 vol. 70 no. 3 532s-538s; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10479227 and http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/70/3/532s
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From a 2016 report titled “The long-term health of vegetarians and vegans” – excerpt: “Vegetarians have a lower prevalence of overweight and obesity and a lower risk of IHD [ischemic heart disease] compared with non-vegetarians from a similar background…
For cancer, there is some evidence that the risk for all cancer sites combined is slightly lower in vegetarians than in non-vegetarians… Vegetarians have also been found to have lower risks for diabetes, diverticular disease and eye cataract.
Overall mortality is similar for vegetarians and comparable non-vegetarians, but vegetarian groups compare favourably with the general population. The long-term health of vegetarians appears to be generally good, and for some diseases and medical conditions it may be better than that of comparable omnivores…”
Reference: “The long-term health of vegetarians and vegans”, Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 2016 Aug;75(3):287-93; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26707634
and for the full report https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/proceedings-of-the-nutrition-society/article/longterm-health-of-vegetarians-and-vegans/263822873377096A7BAC4F887D42A4CA/core-reader
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From the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2014: “The Adventist Health Study 2 is a large cohort that is well suited to the study of the relation of vegetarian dietary patterns to health and disease risk. Here we review initial published findings with regard to vegetarian diets and several health outcomes.
Vegetarian dietary patterns were associated with lower body mass index, lower prevalence and incidence of diabetes mellitus, lower prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and its component factors, lower prevalence of hypertension, lower all-cause mortality, and in some instances, lower risk of cancer.
Findings with regard to factors related to vegetarian diets and bone health are also reviewed. These initial results show important links between vegetarian dietary patterns and improved health.”
Reference: “Vegetarian diets in the Adventist Health Study 2: a review of initial published findings”, Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul; 100(1): 353S–358S; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4144107/
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From a 1988 report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “Data are strong that vegetarians are at lesser risk for obesity, atonic constipation, lung cancer, and alcoholism. Evidence is good that risks for hypertension, coronary artery disease, type II diabetes, and gallstones are lower.”
Reference: “Health aspects of vegetarian diets”, Am J Clin Nutr. 1988 Sep;48(3 Suppl):712-38; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3046302
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From the official publication of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition: “vegetarians typically have lower body mass index, serum total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and blood pressure; reduced rates of death from ischemic heart disease; and decreased incidence of hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers than do nonvegetarians.”
Reference: “Nutrition concerns and health effects of vegetarian diets”, Nutrition in Clinical Practice, 2010 Dec;25(6):613-20; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21139125
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From a report in Medical Hypotheses titled “Vegan proteins may reduce risk of cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular disease by promoting increased glucagon activity”, some excerpts: “a vegan diet has documented clinical efficacy in rheumatoid arthritis.
Low-fat vegan diets may be especially protective in regard to cancers linked to insulin resistance–namely, breast and colon cancer–as well as prostate cancer; conversely, the high IGF-I activity associated with heavy ingestion of animal products may be largely responsible for the epidemic of ‘Western’ cancers in wealthy societies.
Increased phytochemical intake is also likely to contribute to the reduction of cancer risk in vegans. Regression of coronary stenoses has been documented during low-fat vegan diets coupled with exercise training…
An unnecessarily high intake of essential amino acids–either in the absolute sense or relative to total dietary protein–may prove to be as grave a risk factor for ‘Western’ degenerative diseases as is excessive fat intake.”
Reference: Med Hypotheses. 1999 Dec;53(6):459-85; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10687887
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Medical Journal of Australia: “A vegetarian diet can easily meet human dietary protein requirements as long as energy needs are met and a variety of foods are eaten. Vegetarians should obtain protein from a variety of plant sources, including legumes, soy products, grains, nuts and seeds… There is no need to consciously combine different plant proteins at each meal as long as a variety of foods are eaten from day to day, because the human body maintains a pool of amino acids which can be used to complement dietary protein. The consumption of plant proteins rather than animal proteins by vegetarians may contribute to their reduced risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease…”
Reference: “Protein and vegetarian diets”, Medical Journal of Australia, 2013 Aug 19;199(4 Suppl):S7-S10; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25369930
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A 2012 article in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine states: “There is now a significant amount of research that demonstrates the health benefits of vegetarian and plant-based diets, which have been associated with a reduced risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer as well as increased longevity.
Vegetarian diets are typically lower in fat, particularly saturated fat, and higher in dietary fiber. They are also likely to include more whole grains, legumes, nuts, and soy protein, and together with the absence of red meat, this type of eating plan may provide many benefits for the prevention and treatment of obesity and chronic health problems, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Although a well-planned vegetarian or vegan diet can meet all the nutritional needs of an individual, it may be necessary to pay particular attention to some nutrients to ensure an adequate intake, particularly if the person is on a vegan diet. This article will review the evidence for the health benefits of a vegetarian diet and also discuss strategies for meeting the nutritional needs of those following a vegetarian or plant-based eating pattern.”
Reference: “Health Implications of a Vegetarian Diet”, American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine May/June 2012 vol. 6 no. 3 250-267; http://ajl.sagepub.com/content/6/3/250.abstract
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A 2005 report in the Forum of Nutrition journal states: “A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that wholesome vegetarian diets offer distinct advantages compared to diets containing meat and other foods of animal origin.
The benefits arise from lower intakes of saturated fat, cholesterol and animal protein as well as higher intakes of complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C and E, carotenoids and other phytochemicals.
Since vegetarians consume widely divergent diets, a differentiation between various types of vegetarian diets is necessary. Indeed, many contradictions and misunderstandings concerning vegetarianism are due to scientific data from studies without this differentiation.
In the past, vegetarian diets have been described as being deficient in several nutrients including protein, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin B12 and A, n-3 fatty acids and iodine. Numerous studies have demonstrated that the observed deficiencies are usually due to poor meal planning.
Well-balanced vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating women, the elderly and competitive athletes.
In most cases, vegetarian diets are beneficial in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, renal disease and dementia, as well as diverticular disease, gallstones and rheumatoid arthritis.
The reasons for choosing a vegetarian diet often go beyond health and well-being and include among others economical, ecological and social concerns.”
Reference: “Vegetarian diets: what are the advantages?” Forum Nutr. 2005;(57):147-56;
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A 2009 report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states: “A vegetarian diet is associated with many health benefits because of its higher content of fiber, folic acid, vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium, and many phytochemicals and a fat content that is more unsaturated. Compared with other vegetarian diets, vegan diets tend to contain less saturated fat and cholesterol and more dietary fiber. Vegans tend to be thinner, have lower serum cholesterol, and lower blood pressure, reducing their risk of heart disease. However, eliminating all animal products from the diet increases the risk of certain nutritional deficiencies. Micronutrients of special concern for the vegan include vitamins B-12 and D, calcium, and long-chain n-3 (omega-3) fatty acids.* Unless vegans regularly consume foods that are fortified with these nutrients, appropriate supplements should be consumed. In some cases, iron and zinc status of vegans may also be of concern because of the limited bioavailability of these minerals.”
Reference: “Health effects of vegan diets”, Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;89(5):1627S-1633S;
* For more information on how to obtain those nutrients on vegan diets click those links.
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Medical Journal of Australia: “Research has shown that a well planned vegetarian diet can meet nutritional needs for good health and may reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Choosing plant-based meals is also environmentally beneficial.
Vegetarian diets are generally lower in saturated fat and cholesterol and higher in dietary fibre, antioxidants and phytochemicals than non-vegetarian diets.
It is likely that the combination of these factors provide vegetarians with a significant health advantage…
nutrient-dense vegetarian diets are more likely to provide additional health benefits, particularly with respect to prevention and treatment of many chronic diseases.”
Reference: “Meeting the nutrient reference values on a vegetarian diet”, Med J Aust 2013; 199 (4 Suppl): S33-S40; https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2013/199/4/meeting-nutrient-reference-values-vegetarian-diet
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A 2017 position paper in the science journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases concludes: “Well-planned vegetarian diets that include a wide variety of plant foods, and a reliable source of vitamin B12, provide adequate nutrient intake.”
Reference: “Position paper on vegetarian diets from the working group of the Italian Society of Human Nutrition”, Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2017 Dec;27(12):1037-1052; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29174030
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In a 2017 issue of the official journal of The College of Family Physicians of Canada, Dr John Grant states: “We humans do not need meat. In fact, we are healthier without it, or at least with less of it in our diets. The Adventist Health Studies provide solid evidence that vegan, vegetarian, and low-meat diets are associated with statistically significant increases in quality of life and modest increases in longevity. The world that we inhabit would also be healthier without the commercial meat industry. Factory farms are a waste of resources, environmentally damaging, and ethically indefensible. It is time to accept that a plant-predominant diet is best for us individually, as a race, and as a planet.”
Reference: “Time for change: Benefits of a plant-based diet”, Canadian Family Physician 2017 Oct; 63(10): 744–746; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5638464/
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Science Journal Reports on the Association of Plant-based Diets with the Longest Known Human Lifespans & Healthspans; with Decreased Mortality.
A 2015 report in the British Journal of Nutrition states: “Vegetarians and other populations who follow a plant-based dietary pattern enjoy longevity. Specifically, vegetarian dietary patterns have been associated with a lower risk for developing IHD [ischemic heart disease], type 2 diabetes, hypertension, specific cancers, lower all-cause mortality and reduction in cause-specific mortality.”
Reference: “A perspective on vegetarian dietary patterns and risk of metabolic syndrome”, Br J Nutr. 2015 Apr;113 Suppl 2:S136-43; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26148917
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A 2003 article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states: “long-term (≥ 2 decades) adherence to a vegetarian diet can further produce a significant 3.6-year increase in life expectancy…”
Reference: “Does low meat consumption increase life expectancy in humans?” Am J Clin Nutr, September 2003 vol.78 no.3 526S-532S; http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/3/526S.long
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The Longest Living People in the World? Californian Adventist Vegetarians Live Around 10 Years Longer than the Rest of the Population.
A journal of the American Medical Association reported in 2001 that “Adventist vegetarian men and women have expected ages at death of 83.3 and 85.7 years, respectively. These are 9.5 and 6.1 years, respectively, greater than those of the 1985 California population… To our knowledge, the life expectancies of California Adventist men and women are higher than those of any other well-described natural population…”
The “analysis of 34,192 California Seventh-Day Adventists” was reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
The report further states: “High physical activity, frequent consumption of nuts, vegetarian status, and medium body mass index each result in an approximate 1.5- to 2.5-years gain in life expectancy compared with the corresponding high-risk values. The sum of these independent effects (9.7 years in men and 10.4 years in women)…
These results strongly suggest that behavioral choices influence the expected age at death by several years, even as much as a decade…
The extra years of life predicted in these analyses are… quite similar to comparisons between Adventists and others in Norway and the Netherlands… and account for a 10-year difference in life expectancy...
Substantial gains in life expectancy would only be worthwhile if they were also accompanied by a longer period of good-quality life… it was previously shown that the vegetarian Adventists took less medication and had fewer overnight hospital stays, surgical procedures, and x-ray examinations during the previous year. Vegetarians also had a reduced prevalence of several chronic diseases that may degrade the quality of life… persons who choose lower-risk health habits postpone disability…
In conclusion, California Adventists live longer than other Californians, and indeed longer than most, if not all, other formally described populations.”
Reference: “Ten years of life: Is it a matter of choice?”, Archives of Internal Medicine, 2001 Jul 9;161(13):1645-52; the abstract is at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11434797 and full report is at https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/648593
Several other scientific studies listed on this page are based on the Adventists.
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A 2012 article titled “Why Do Vegetarians Live Longer?” – some excerpts “Nearly a decade of extra life – that’s what you get when you move away from eating animal foods and toward a plant-based diet. This is really exciting science for anyone seeking healthy longevity (and who isn’t?)!
According to a recent report on the largest study of vegetarians and vegans to date, those eating plant-based diets appear to have a significantly longer life expectancy. Vegetarians live on average almost eight years longer than the general population, which is similar to the gap between smokers and nonsmokers. This is not surprising, given the reasons most of us are dying. In an online video, “Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death,” Michael Greger, M.D. explores the role a healthy diet can play in preventing, treating, and even reversing the top 15 killers in the United States. Let’s take a closer look at what the good doctor has pulled together…”
The full article is at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-freston/plant-based-diet_b_1981838.html
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Science Journal Reports on the Association of Plant-based Diets with Lower Mortality/Death Rates.
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2013 concludes: “Vegetarian diets are associated with lower all-cause mortality and with some reductions in cause-specific mortality.”
The study was based on “96,469 Seventh-day Adventist men and women recruited between 2002 and 2007”.
The specific results include: “The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for all-cause mortality in all vegetarians combined vs nonvegetarians was 0.88… The adjusted HR for all-cause mortality in vegans was 0.85… in lacto-ovo-vegetarians, 0.91… in pesco-vegetarians, 0.81… and in semi-vegetarians, 0.92… compared with nonvegetarians. Significant associations with vegetarian diets were detected for cardiovascular mortality, noncardiovascular noncancer mortality, renal mortality, and endocrine mortality…”
Compared to omnivores (or non-vegetarians) “Vegans had significantly reduced risk” with these hazard ratios of:
– 0.45 in men for ischemic heart disease mortality; 55% less.
– 0.58 in men for cardiovascular disease mortality; 42% less.
– 0.70 in women for “other mortality”; 28% less.
– 0.72 in men for all-cause mortality; 28% less.
– 0.74 for “other mortality” in both sexes; 26% less.
– 0.81 in men for cancer mortality; 19% less.
Refer to Table 4 in the report.
In regards to kidney renal disease: “In men and women combined, vegetarians had a significantly reduced risk of renal mortality (HR, 0.48 …)”; inferring a 52% lower rate of death from renal disease compared to omnivores.
Reference: “Vegetarian dietary patterns and mortality in Adventist Health Study 2”,
JAMA Internal Medicine, 2013 Jul 8;173(13):1230-8;
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23836264 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4191896/ and http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1710093
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American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “A vegetarian lifestyle of long duration (> or = 20 y) was associated with decreased overall and cancer mortality.”
Reference: “Vegetarian diets and colon cancer: the German experience”, Am J Clin Nutr. 1994 May;59(5 Suppl):1143S-1152S; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8172115
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A 2012 meta-analysis of 124,706 people concluded: “Our results suggest that vegetarians have a significantly lower ischemic heart disease mortality (29%) and overall cancer incidence (18%) than nonvegetarians…”
Other notes: “All-cause mortality in vegetarians was 9% lower than in nonvegetarians… We observed a 16% lower mortality from circulatory diseases… and a 12% lower mortality from cerebrovascular disease… in vegetarians compared with nonvegetarians…”
Reference: “Cardiovascular Disease Mortality and Cancer Incidence in Vegetarians: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review”, Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2012; 60:233–240; at https://content.karger.com/Article/FullText/337301 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22677895
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A 2016 study published in a journal of the American Medical Association reported that “Replacing animal protein of various origins with plant protein was associated with lower mortality.”
That means eating plant protein is associated with a lower risk of dying and eating animal protein is associated with a higher risk of dying.
Further details of the study: “Of the 131 342 participants … After adjusting for major lifestyle and dietary risk factors, animal protein intake … was associated with higher cardiovascular mortality … Plant protein was associated with lower all-cause mortality … and [lower] cardiovascular mortality…” 
The lowest mortality rates were associated with the highest intake of plant protein. From the data in Table 2, these are the age-adjusted hazard ratios for risk of death according to percent of energy from plant protein intake, for highest category of “>6 %”:
– All-cause mortality = 0.67; meaning 33% lower.
– Cardiovascular mortality = 0.60; meaning 40% lower.
– Cancer mortality = 0.72; meaning 28% lower.
– Other mortality = 0.66; meaning 34% lower.
From the discussion section: “Indeed, unlike animal protein, plant protein has not been associated with increased IGF-1 levels, and has been linked to lower blood pressure, reduced LDL, and improved insulin sensitivity. Substitution of plant protein for animal protein has been related to lower incidence of CVD and type 2 diabetes.
Moreover, while high intake of red meat, particularly processed red meat, has been associated with increased mortality in a recent meta-analysis of 13 cohort studies, high consumption of nuts, a major contributor to plant protein, has been associated lower CVD and all-cause mortality.”
From the results section: “The HRs [hazard ratios] of all-cause mortality were 0.66 … when 3% of energy from plant protein was substituted for an equivalent amount of protein from processed red meat, 0.88 … from unprocessed red meat, 0.94 … from poultry, 0.94 … from fish, 0.81 … from eggs, and 0.92 … from dairy. The substitution associations were generally stronger for death from CVD [cardiovascular disease] and other causes than from cancer, except for eggs, for which substitution for 3%-energy plant protein was associated with 21% lower cancer mortality … ” 
Reference: “Association of Animal and Plant Protein Intake With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality”, JAMA Internal Medicine, 2016 Oct 1;176(10):1453-1463;
 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27479196 and
 full article at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5048552/
This clip features Dr Kim Allan Williams*, recent president of the American College of Cardiology, commenting on the study
With reference to a table in the study report he states: “THERE ARE NO SAFE ANIMAL PRODUCTS … The central message is here: that processed red meat is associated with cancer deaths but eggs are actually more associated with it … Cardiovascular disease: nothing is safe – fish, chicken … the worst by far is processed red meat …”
* Dr Williams has served on boards such as the American Medical Association, American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, more are listed in the description of the youtube video.
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From a 1994 report in the journal Digestive Diseases: “Studies have shown a lower than expected death rate in vegetarians with a significant association between meat eating and mortality from all causes in men. Vegetarians were found to have a lower incidence of gastro-intestinal cancer, gallstones, diverticular disease and constipation. ”
Reference: “Vegetarianism, dietary fibre and gastro-intestinal disease”, Dig Dis. 1994 May-Jun;12(3):177-85; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7988064
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The Epidemiology journal published a report in 1992 titled “Mortality pattern of German vegetarians after 11 years of follow-up.” Excerpts: “mortality from all causes was reduced by one-half compared with the general population…
The lowest mortality was found for cardiovascular diseases (SMR = 0.39 for men, 0.46 for women); in particular, for ischemic heart diseases, mortality was reduced to one-third of that expected.
Cancer mortality was reduced by one-half in men (SMR = 0.48), but only by one-quarter in women (SMR = 0.74). The deficit in cancer deaths was mainly observed for lung cancer and gastrointestinal cancers in males and for gastrointestinal cancers in females.
Deaths from diseases of the respiratory and digestive systems were also reduced by about 50%...”
Reference: “Mortality pattern of German vegetarians after 11 years of follow-up”, Epidemiology. 1992 Sep;3(5):395-401; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1391130
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2018 news report titled: “Third of early deaths could be prevented by everyone giving up meat, Harvard says.”
Excerpts: “At least one-third of early deaths could be prevented if everyone moved to a vegetarian diet, Harvard scientists have calculated.
Dr Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard Medical School said the benefits of a plant-based diet had been vastly underestimated.
Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics suggested that around 24 per cent or 141,000 deaths each year in Britain were preventable…
the new figures from Harvard suggest that at least 200,000 lives could be saved each year if people cut meat from their diets…”
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A 2017 report titled “Veganism Could Save Lives, Money And The Planet, Says New Study.” Excerpts: “Eating a more plant-based diet could save lives, slash healthcare costs and help the planet according to a report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences … The impact on planetary health is stark: following a vegan diet would cut food-related emissions by 70 per cent … Following a vegan diet could avert a massive 8.1 million deaths a year … These dietary shifts could translate into financial savings – up to $1 trillion a year on healthcare and lost working days, and also savings in relation to the economic benefits of cutting GHG emissions (suggested to be worth up to $570 billion) …”
Excerpts from the report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Firstly from the Abstract: “Transitioning toward more plant-based diets that are in line with standard dietary guidelines could reduce global mortality by 6–10% and food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 29–70% compared with a reference scenario in 2050 … we estimate the economic benefits of improving diets to be 1–31 trillion US dollars, which is equivalent to 0.4–13% of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2050…”
Secondly from the Results section:
Moving to diets with fewer animal-sourced foods would have major health benefits (Fig. 1A). Compared with the reference scenario [REF], we project that adoption of global dietary guidelines (HGD) would result in 5.1 million avoided deaths per year … and 79 million years of life saved … The equivalent figures for the vegetarian (VGT) diet are 7.3 million avoided deaths … and 114 million life years saved … and for the vegan (VGN) diet 8.1 million avoided deaths … and 129 million life years saved …
In line with other studies we find that dietary changes toward less animal-sourced foods can help mitigate an expected growth in food-related GHG emissions … The two vegetarian diets resulted in food-related GHG emissions at midcentury … that were 45–55% lower than the 2005/2007 levels and 63–70% lower than REF [reference scenario] emissions …
Economic Valuation …
Using the cost-of-illness approach, we estimate that the health-related cost savings of moving to the diets based on dietary guidelines (HGD) from that assumed in the REF scenario will be 735 billion US dollars per year ($735 billion⋅y−1) in 2050 … Greater savings occur with the adoption of vegetarian diets (VGT, $973 billion⋅y−1, range $644–1,303 billion⋅y−1) and vegan diets ($1,067 billion⋅y−1, range $708–1,426 billion⋅y−1)…”
The highest benefits were associated with a completely plant-based (vegan) diet as compared to an omnivorous, a vegetarian & a reference scenario diet based on projections by the FAO of the United Nations.
Reference: “Analysis and valuation of the health and climate change cobenefits of dietary change”, PNAS April 12, 2016 113 (15) 4146-4151; http://www.pnas.org/content/113/15/4146
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A 2019 report titled “Vegans found to have highest amount of disease-fighting biomarkers” is on the Loma Linda University Health website.
Excerpt: “Like clues at a crime scene, biomarkers in blood, urine, fat tissue and other biospecimens can serve as indicators or predictors of health and disease. Biomarkers may have favorable or unfavorable health effects, promoting or preventing cancer, cardiovascular and age-related diseases, and other chronic conditions.
Researchers at the School of Public Health found that a vegan diet slightly outperformed other vegetarian diets, all of which fared better than semi-vegetarian or non-vegetarian diets …
Previous studies at Loma Linda University have shown that vegetarians live longer than meat eaters and have lower risk of cancer, diabetes and cardiometabolic disorders. Miles and her colleagues wondered if five specific dietary patterns, characterized by differing levels of consumption of animal-based foods, might yield biomarkers that potentially correlate with these different health outcomes …
vegans scored highest in terms of bioactive markers that prevent disease. Phytochemicals (compounds in plants) including carotenoids, isoflavones, and enterolactone were all higher among vegetarians, and highest among vegans. Vegans also had the highest levels of total omega-3, attributable to higher amounts of alpha linolenic acid, and lowest levels of saturated fatty acids …
semi-vegetarians fared only slightly better than non-vegetarians, who took last place.”
From the 2019 report in The Journal of Nutrition, the conclusion states: “participants following vegan, and lacto-ovo- or pesco-vegetarian diet patterns have significant differences in plasma, urine, and adipose tissue biomarkers associated with dietary intakes compared with those who consume a non-vegetarian diet.”
From the results: “Vegans had higher plasma total carotenoid concentrations (1.6-fold …), and higher excretion of urinary isoflavones (6-fold …) and enterolactone (4.4-fold) compared with non-vegetarians. Vegans had lower relative abundance of saturated fatty acids including myristic, pentadecanoic, palmitic, and stearic acids … Vegans had higher linoleic acid (18:2ω-6) relative to non-vegetarians (23.3% compared with 19.1%) … and a higher proportion of total omega-3 fatty acids (2.1% compared with 1.6%) … Results overall were similar but less robust for lacto-ovo- and pesco-vegetarians. 1-Methylhistidine was 92% lower in vegans, and lower in lacto-ovo- and pesco-vegetarians by 90% and 80%, respectively, relative to non-vegetarians …”
Reference: “Plasma, Urine, and Adipose Tissue Biomarkers of Dietary Intake Differ Between Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian Diet Groups in the Adventist Health Study-2”, The Journal of Nutrition, nxy292, 2019; https://academic.oup.com/jn/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jn/nxy292/5320848
Related media reports include:
“Vegans more likely than vegetarians to avoid cancer, hypertension, study says” – excerpt: “After analyzing the results, the team found vegans were the healthiest, compared to the other groups. Those on vegan diets had more omega-3 fatty acids, higher levels of antioxidants and higher levels of compounds known to decrease inflammation. High levels of inflammation have been linked to diseases, including cancer. Overall, vegans had more biomarkers that prevent diseases such as cancer, heart disease and hypertension.”
“Vegans are the Healthiest and May Outlive Us All, Says Study” – excerpt: “New study says vegans have lower levels of fat and higher levels of antioxidants in their body; Research has shown that antioxidants may prevent certain diseases, like cancer; Vegans also have more anti-inflammatory properties in their bodies …
Turns out, vegans had the highest levels of carotenoids (an antioxidant), as well as isoflavones, and enterolactone, a compound that may decrease inflammation. Higher levels of chronic inflammation are linked to a range of diseases, including cancer.
Vegans also had more omega-3 fatty acids in their bodies, which may come as a surprise because the nutrient is typically associated with fish. However, walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds are all plant-based foods with omega-3s.”
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Science Journal Reports on the Association of Plant-based Diets with Lower Rates & Risks of Cancer.
A study of 61,647 British men and women over 14.9 years found that compared with meat eaters the vegetarians had lower relative risks (RRs) for these cancers: 0.37 for stomach cancer; 0.64 for cancers of the lymphatic and hematopoietic tissue; 0.23 for multiple myeloma – a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell; and 0.88 for all sites combined.
Their conclusion: “In this British population, the risk of some cancers is lower in… vegetarians than in meat eaters.”
Reference: “Cancer in British vegetarians: updated analyses of 4998 incident cancers in a cohort of 32,491 meat eaters, 8612 fish eaters, 18,298 vegetarians, and 2246 vegans”, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2014 Jul;100 Suppl 1:378S-85S; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24898235
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Vegans had the lowest occurrence of breast cancer from “a prospective cohort of 96,001 subjects” as reported in 2016 in The British Journal of Nutrition. An excerpt: “As compared with non-vegetarians, all vegetarians combined did not have a significantly lower risk (hazard ratio (HR) 0·97…). However, vegans showed consistently lower… point estimates when compared with non-vegetarians (all cases: HR 0·78…). In summary, participants in this cohort who follow a vegetarian dietary pattern did not experience a lower risk of BC as compared with non-vegetarians, although lower risk in vegans is possible…”
Reference: “Vegetarian dietary patterns and the risk of breast cancer in a low-risk population”, Br J Nutr., 2016 May 28;115(10):1790-7; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26987270
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Dr Greger clip “Vegetarians Versus Healthy Omnivores” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApYjDhWo8mM
Summary: “Even after controlling for a variety of dietary and nondietary factors… they still found the incidence of all cancers combined was lower among vegetarians.”
Text at https://nutritionfacts.org/video/vegetarians-versus-healthy-omnivores/
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A 2016 report of a study on prostate cancer covering 26,346 men concluded: “Vegan diets may confer a lower risk of prostate cancer.”
Specifically they found “Vegan diets showed a statistically significant protective association with prostate cancer risk (HR: 0.65…)” – a hazard ratio of 35% lower occurrence as compared to non-vegans.
Other notes: “According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer accounts for ~27% of all incident cancer cases among men and is the second most common (noncutaneous) cancer among men…”
Reference: “Are strict vegetarians protected against prostate cancer?”, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2016 vol. 103 no. 1 153-160; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26561618 and http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/103/1/153
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A 2011 report in Cancer Management and Research states: “Most large prospective observational studies show that vegetarian diets are at least modestly cancer protective (10%–12% reduction in overall cancer risk)…
a broad body of evidence links specific plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, plant constituents such as fiber, antioxidants and other phytochemicals, and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight to reduced risk of cancer diagnosis and recurrence.
Also, research links the consumption of meat, especially red and processed meats, to increased risk of several types of cancer.
Vegetarian and vegan diets increase beneficial plant foods and plant constituents, eliminate the intake of red and processed meat, and aid in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. The direct and indirect evidence taken together suggests that vegetarian diets are a useful strategy for reducing risk of cancer.”
Reference: “Reduced cancer risk in vegetarians: an analysis of recent reports”, Cancer Manag Res. 2011; 3: 1–8; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3048091/
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Regards colorectal cancer a 2015 report in a journal of the American Medical Association states: “Vegetarian diets are associated with an overall lower incidence of colorectal cancers.” Specifically: “The adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) in all vegetarians combined vs nonvegetarians were 0.78… for all colorectal cancers, 0.81… for colon cancer, and 0.71… for rectal cancer.”
In other words, the vegetarians had 22% less colorectal cancer overall; 19% less colon cancer; and 29% less rectal cancer, than the nonvegetarian group.
It was a cohort trial covering 77,659 men and women.
Reference: “Vegetarian dietary patterns and the risk of colorectal cancers”, JAMA Internal Medicine, 2015 May;175(5):767-76; at https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2174939 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25751512
A related 2015 article titled “Vegetarian Diet Protects Against Colorectal Cancer” by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is at
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Regards colorectal cancer (CRC) the conclusion of a study published in 2018 states: “Dietary patterns reflective of high intakes of plant foods and low intakes of animal products before and after CRC diagnosis are associated with longer survival.”
Reference: “Associations of Pre- and Postdiagnosis Diet Quality With Risk of Mortality Among Men and Women With Colorectal Cancer”, Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2018 Oct 19:JCO1800714; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30339519
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A 2009 report in the British Journal of Cancer concludes “The incidence of some cancers may be lower in fish eaters and vegetarians than in meat eaters.”
The results section states the following relative risks (RR), as compared with meat eaters:
– cancers of the lymphatic and haematopoietic tissues = 0.85 in fish eaters and 0.55 in vegetarians
– stomach cancer = 0.29 in fish eaters and 0.36 in vegetarians
– ovarian cancer = 0.37 in fish eaters and 0.69 in vegetarians
– bladder cancer = 0.81 in fish eaters and 0.47 in vegetarians
The RRs for all malignant neoplasms were 0.82 (0.73-0.93) in fish eaters and 0.88 (0.81-0.96) in vegetarians (P for heterogeneity=0.001).”
Reference: “Cancer incidence in British vegetarians”, British Journal of Cancer, 2009 Jul 7;101(1):192-7; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19536095
For a collection of science reports on the disease risks associated with fish consumption click that link to open this site’s page. And explore these pages for around 100 science reports on the higher disease rates associated with red meat consumption plus many more regards chicken, eggs and dairy.
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A media report titled “A Vegan Diet (Hugely) Helpful Against Cancer.” Some excerpts: “A 2012 analysis of all the best studies done to date concluded vegetarians have significantly lower cancer rates. For example, the largest forward-looking study on diet and cancer ever performed concluded that “the incidence of all cancers combined is lower among vegetarians.” …
A new study just out of Loma Linda University funded by the National Cancer Institute reported that vegans have lower rates of cancer than both meat-eaters and vegetarians. Vegan women, for example, had 34 percent lower rates of female-specific cancers such as breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer. And this was compared to a group of healthy omnivores who ate substantially less meat than the general population (two servings a week or more), as well as after controlling for non-dietary factors such as smoking, alcohol, and a family history of cancer…”
Article is at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-freston/vegan-diet-cancer_b_2250052.html
From the study published in 2013 by Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention – a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research – some excerpts: “Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Dietary factors account for at least 30% of all cancers in Western countries… We examined the association between dietary patterns (non-vegetarians, lacto, pesco, vegan, and semi-vegetarian) and the overall cancer incidence among 69,120 participants…
vegan diets showed statistically significant protection for overall cancer incidence [hazard ratio 0.84]… in both genders combined and for female-specific cancers [hazard ratio 0.66]…”
The hazard ratio of 0.66 infers a 36% lower rate of cancer among vegan women.
“CONCLUSION: Vegetarian diets seem to confer protection against cancer…
Vegan diet seems to confer lower risk for overall and female-specific cancer than other dietary patterns…”
Reference: “Vegetarian diets and the incidence of cancer in a low-risk population”, Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Feb;22(2):286-94; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23169929
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Science Journal Reports on the Association of Plant-based Diets with Lower Rates & Risks of Cardiovascular Disease.
From a 2013 study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition about ischemic heart disease (IHD): “The objective was to examine the association of a vegetarian diet with risk of incident (nonfatal and fatal) IHD… A total of 44,561 men and women living in England and Scotland… Conclusion: Consuming a vegetarian diet was associated with lower IHD risk… Compared with nonvegetarians, vegetarians had a lower mean BMI [Body Mass Index]… non-HDL-cholesterol concentration… and systolic blood pressure… Vegetarians had a 32% lower risk of IHD than did nonvegetarians… and did not differ materially by sex, age, BMI, smoking, or the presence of IHD risk factors…”
Reference: “Risk of hospitalization or death from ischemic heart disease among British vegetarians and nonvegetarians: results from the EPIC-Oxford cohort study”, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 97, Issue 3, 1 March 2013, Pages 597–603; http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2013/01/30/ajcn.112.044073.abstract
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A study published by the American Heart Association in 2018 found that “a vegan diet is more effective at preventing heart disease than the American Heart Association-recommended diet … the vegan group saw the best results, with inflammation reduced significantly more compared to other groups. Studies have linked inflammation to an increased risk of heart disease. Many medical experts maintain that by reducing inflammation, the risk of experiencing a heart attack is also reduced.” 
From the abstract summary of the report: “A linear regression model compared end points after 8 weeks of a vegan versus American Heart Association diet and adjusted for baseline concentration of the end point … A vegan diet resulted in a significant 32% lower high‐sensitivity C‐reactive protein … when compared with the American Heart Association diet.” 
 “Anti‐Inflammatory Effects of a Vegan Diet Versus the American Heart Association–Recommended Diet in Coronary Artery Disease Trial”, Journal of the American Heart Association, 2018; 7:e011367; https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.118.011367
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A study published in Public Health Nutrition in 1998 concluded “Vegetarians have a lower risk of dying from ischaemic heart disease than non-vegetarians“. The study was based on “76,172 men and women aged 16-89 years at recruitment. Vegetarians were those who did not eat any meat or fish (n = 27,808). Non-vegetarians were from a similar background to the vegetarians within each study.”
The results state: “In comparison with non-vegetarians, vegetarians had a 24% reduction in mortality from ischaemic heart disease…”
Reference: “Mortality in vegetarians and non-vegetarians: a collaborative analysis of 8300 deaths among 76,000 men and women in five prospective studies”, Public Health Nutr. 1998 Mar;1(1):33-41; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10555529
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Journal of Geriatric Cardiology, 2017: “Cardiovascular disease remains the world’s leading cause of death. Yet, we have known for decades that the vast majority of atherosclerosis and its subsequent morbidity and mortality are influenced predominantly by diet. This paper will describe a health-promoting whole food, plant-based diet… and offer guidance to physicians and other healthcare practitioners to support patients in successfully utilizing nutrition to improve their health…”
Reference: “Plant-based nutrition for healthcare professionals: implementing diet as a primary modality in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease”, J Geriatr Cardiol. 2017 May; 14(5): 355–368; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5466942/
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A 1999 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports: “Data for 76172 men and women were available. Vegetarians were those who did not eat any meat or fish… Mortality from ischemic heart disease was 24% lower in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians…
The lower mortality from ischemic heart disease among vegetarians was greater at younger ages and was restricted to those who had followed their current diet for >5 y. Further categorization of diets showed that, in comparison with regular meat eaters, mortality from ischemic heart disease was 20% lower in occasional meat eaters, 34% lower in people who ate fish but not meat, 34% lower in lactoovovegetarians, and 26% lower in vegans…”
Reference: “Mortality in vegetarians and nonvegetarians: detailed findings from a collaborative analysis of 5 prospective studies”, Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Sep;70(3 Suppl):516S-524S; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10479225
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Regards coronary heart disease (CHD) a 2018 report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded, from study of 63,442 women and 29,942 men: “plant-based foods are the preferable sources of [monounsaturated fatty acids] MUFAs for CHD prevention.”
Specifically they found that when MUFAs from plant sources (MUFA-Ps) “were modeled to isocalorically replace other macronutrients” the Hazard Ratios (HRs) of CHD were as follows:
– 0.83 for saturated fatty acids (SFAs); representing 17% less CHD for MUFA-Ps.
– 0.86 for refined carbohydrates; 14% less CHD.
– 0.80 for trans fats; 20% less CHD.
Regards MUFAs from animals sources (MUFA-As) they found higher HRs of:
– 1.04 for SFAs; representing 4% more CHD for MUFA-As.
– 1.11 for refined carbohydrates; 11% more CHD.
– 0.88 for trans fats; 12% less CHD.
They state: “we further estimated CHD risk when the sum of MUFA-As and SFAs… was replaced by MUFA-Ps, and found that the HR was 0.81… for this replacement.”
In other words consuming monounsaturated fatty acids from plant foods is associated with a 19% lower rate of coronary heart disease (CHD) as compared to animal sources.
Reference: “Monounsaturated fats from plant and animal sources in relation to risk of coronary heart disease among US men and women”, Am J Clin Nutr. 2018 Mar 1;107(3):445-453; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29566185
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The summary of a 2013 report in the journal Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine states: “Vegetarian diets lower the probability of developing [cardiovascular disease] CVD, are effective in altering serum lipids, are beneficial in reducing blood pressure, improve glycemic control and insulin sensitivity, reduce weight, and lower mortality. Vascular effects of a vegetarian diet include a thinner carotid IMT and lower brachial artery resistance.”
Reference: “Vegetarian diets in cardiovascular prevention”, Curr Treat Options Cardiovasc Med. 2013 Dec;15(6):735-45; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23928682/
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Regards cardiovascular disease this 2015 report in Permanente Journal:
“A plant-based diet is increasingly becoming recognized as a healthier alternative to a diet laden with meat. Atherosclerosis associated with high dietary intake of meat, fat, and carbohydrates remains the leading cause of mortality in the US…
Polyphenols derived from dietary plant intake have protective effects on vascular endothelial cells, possibly as antioxidants that prevent the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein.
Recently, metabolites of L-carnitine, such as trimethylamine-N-oxide [TMAO], that result from ingestion of red meat have been identified as a potential predictive marker of coronary artery disease (CAD).
Metabolism of L-carnitine by the intestinal microbiome is associated with atherosclerosis in omnivores but not in vegetarians, supporting CAD benefits of a plant-based diet.
Trimethylamine-N-oxide may cause atherosclerosis via macrophage activation…
This review provides a mechanistic perspective of the evidence for protection by a plant-based diet against atherosclerotic CAD.”
Reference: “A Plant-Based Diet, Atherogenesis, and Coronary Artery Disease Prevention”, Permanente Journal, 2015 Winter; 19(1): 62–67; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4315380/
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In 2017 Circulation journal reported a study regards plant-based diets reducing the risks of atherosclerosis. That is the build up of plaque inside arteries that raises the risks of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular disease.
Notes from the report: “Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] is a highly atherogenic lipoprotein and is minimally effected by lifestyle changes.”
The report’s conclusion states: “A defined, plant-based diet has a favorable impact on Lp(a) and other atherogenic lipoproteins and particles. Lp(a) concentration was previously thought to be only minimally altered by interventions. In this protocol however, a defined plant-based diet was shown to have a significant impact on this biomarker.”
Specifically, within just 4 weeks on “a defined, plant-based diet… Significant reductions were observed for serum Lp(a), total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C, triglycerides, apolipoprotein B, LDL particles, small-dense LDL-C, HDL2-C and apolipoprotein A-1.
Reference: “Abstract 15119: Consumption of a Defined Plant Based Diet Reduces Lp(a) and Other Atherogenic Lipoproteins and Particles in Four Weeks”, Circulation. 2017;136:A15119; http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/136/Suppl_1/A15119
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Vegetarian diet reverses coronary heart disease? From a study reported in the Lancet medical journal: “28 patients were assigned to an experimental group (low-fat vegetarian diet, stopping smoking, stress management training, and moderate exercise) and 20 to a usual-care control group…
Overall, 82% of experimental-group patients had an average change towards regression. Comprehensive lifestyle changes may be able to bring about regression of even severe coronary atherosclerosis after only 1 year, without use of lipid-lowering drugs.”
Reference: “Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease? The Lifestyle Heart Trial”, Lancet, 1990 Jul 21;336(8708):129-33; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=1973470
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Regards dietary fats and cardiovascular disease the American Heart Association reports on a 2018 study: “Mono-unsaturated fats from plants, not animals may reduce risk of death from heart disease and other causes.”
Further notes: “The largest reductions in the risk of death were found when healthy fats from plant sources replaced saturated fats, trans fats and refined carbohydrates.”
Analyzing the diet information related to 20,672 deaths over an average 22 years of follow-up, “the researchers found:
+ Participants with a higher intake of mono-unsaturated fatty acids from plants had a 16 percent lower risk of death from any cause compared to those with lower intakes.
+ Participants with a higher intake of mono-unsaturated fatty acids from animals had a 21 percent higher risk of death from any cause.
+ Replacing saturated fats, refined carbohydrates (like simple sugars) or trans fats with an equal number of calories (2 percent – 5 percent of the total) from mono-unsaturated fatty acids from plants might lower the risk of heart disease deaths and death from any cause between 10 percent and15 percent.
+ Replacing mono-unsaturated fatty acids from animals with an equal amount of calories (5 percent of the total) of mono-unsaturated fatty acids from plants might lower the risk of heart disease deaths and deaths from any cause between 24 percent to 26 percent…”
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The International Journal of Epidemiology published a study in 2018 regards cardiovascular disease (CVD). They found that those who consume higher amounts of meat protein had a 60% increased death rate from cardiovascular disease (CVD). In contrast, people who obtain a high intake of protein from nuts and seeds had a 40 % reduction in CVD mortality.
The study covered 81,337 men and women with 2276 CVD deaths during a mean follow-up time of 9.4 years. The hazard ratios they found for CVD mortality were:
– 1.61 for the ‘Meat’ protein factor.
– 0.60 for the ‘Nuts & Seeds’ protein factor.
These being “highest vs lowest quintile of factor scores”.
Further notes: “No significant associations were found for the ‘Grains’, ‘Processed Foods’ and ‘Legumes, Fruits & Vegetables‘ protein factors. Additional adjustments for the participants’ vegetarian dietary pattern and nutrients related to cardiovascular disease outcomes did not change the results.”
Reference: “Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: the Adventist Health Study-2 cohort”, International Journal of Epidemiology, 2018 Apr 2; https://academic.oup.com/ije/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/ije/dyy030/4924399
An associated report sums it up as “A study conducted by researchers in California and France has found that meat protein is associated with a sharp increased risk of heart disease while protein from nuts and seeds is beneficial for the human heart… people who consumed large amounts of meat protein experienced a 60-percent increase in cardiovascular disease (CVD), while people who consumed large amounts of protein from nuts and seeds experienced a 40-percent reduction in CVD.”
Reference: “Meat protein is unhealthy, but protein from nuts and seeds is heart smart. Study reports major comparison of animal, plant proteins.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180403111106.htm
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2017 news report: “Scientists say a plant-based diet may help to reduce the risk of deadly heart failure. According to a study of five different kinds of diet, people who eat a lot of fruit and vegetables are 42 per cent less likely to develop the condition than those who consumed fewer plant-based foods.”
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Regards coronary heart disease (CHD) the Journal of the American College of Cardiology reported in 2017: “Higher intake of a plant-based diet index rich in healthier plant foods is associated with substantially lower CHD risk, whereas a plant-based diet index that emphasizes less-healthy plant foods is associated with higher CHD risk.”
The study included more than 200,000 people.
Regards definitions: “healthy plant foods (whole grains, fruits/vegetables, nuts/legumes, oils, tea/coffee)… whereas less-healthy plant foods (juices/sweetened beverages, refined grains, potatoes/fries, sweets)…”
Regards specific results they found that higher adherence to a plant-based diet overall “was independently inversely associated with CHD” with a hazard ratio [HR] of 0.92; meaning 8% lower incidence of CHD.
Furthermore the “inverse association was stronger” for the healthy plant-based diet with HR of 0.75; meaning 25% less CHD.
In contrast the unhealthy plant-based diet “was positively associated with CHD” with an HR of 1.32; meaning a 32% higher rate of CHD.
Reference: “Healthful and Unhealthful Plant-Based Diets and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in U.S. Adults”, J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017 Jul 25;70(4):411-422; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28728684
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Regards cardiovascular health “Results from this study indicate that vegetarian endurance athletes’ cardiorespiratory fitness was greater than that for their omnivorous counterparts, but that peak torque did not differ between diet groups. These data suggest that vegetarian diets do not compromise performance outcomes and may facilitate aerobic capacity in athletes.”
Reference: “Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Peak Torque Differences between Vegetarian and Omnivore Endurance Athletes: A Cross-Sectional Study”, Nutrients. 2016 Nov 15;8(11); https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27854281
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A 2017 report in Nutrients science journal states: “Cardio-metabolic disease, namely ischemic heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, represent substantial health and economic burdens. Almost one half of cardio-metabolic deaths in the U.S. might be prevented through proper nutrition.
Plant-based (vegetarian and vegan) diets are an effective strategy for improving nutrient intake. At the same time, they are associated with decreased all-cause mortality and decreased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and coronary heart disease.
Evidence suggests that plant-based diets may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease events by an estimated 40% and the risk of cerebral vascular disease events by 29%.
These diets also reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes by about one half.
Properly planned vegetarian diets are healthful, effective for weight and glycemic control, and provide metabolic and cardiovascular benefits, including reversing atherosclerosis and decreasing blood lipids and blood pressure. The use of plant-based diets as a means of prevention and treatment of cardio-metabolic disease should be promoted through dietary guidelines and recommendations.”
Reference: “Cardio-Metabolic Benefits of Plant-Based Diets”, Nutrients. 2017 Aug; 9(8): 848; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579641/ and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28792455
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From a 2019 report: “Healthy plant-based diets lowered the risk for total and CVD [cardiovascular disease] mortality, whereas unhealthy plant-based diets raised the risk, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions.
“Not all plant-based diets are equal, but boosting the intake of high-quality plant-based foods over time lowers the risk of death even among people who started off with poor-quality diets,” Megu Y. Baden, MD, PhD, postdoctoral research fellow in the department of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in a press release.” …
“Over a period of time, consuming more whole grains, fruits and vegetables while decreasing your intake of refined grains, sweets and desserts, and animal foods such as animal fat meat and miscellaneous animal-based foods may lower your risk of death from heart disease and other causes,” Baden said in the release.
Referring to Baden MY, et al. Abstract MP38. Presented at: American Heart Association Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions; March 5-8, 2019; Houston.
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Regards coronary artery disease (CAD) a report in the Journal of Family Practice states: “Though current medical and surgical treatments manage coronary artery disease, they do little to prevent or stop it. Nutritional intervention, as shown in our study and others, has halted and even reversed CAD … CAD remains the number one killer of women and men in western civilization despite 40 years of aggressive drug and surgical interventions …”
The conclusion of their study: “Most of the volunteer patients with CVD responded to intensive counseling, and those who sustained plant-based nutrition for a mean of 3.7 years experienced a low rate of subsequent cardiac events … Plant-based nutrition has the potential for a large effect on the CVD epidemic.”
From the Discussion section:
“Large cohort studies support nutritional intervention. In addition, 2 large prospective cohort studies have recently emphasized the importance of nutrition in decreasing the risk of recurrent CVD [cardiovascular] events in people with CVD or diabetes and decreasing the risk of developing CVD among healthy individuals. Dehghan and colleagues  followed 31,546 participants with CVD or diabetes over 4.5 years and divided them into quintiles of nutritional quality. Reduction in CVD-related risk within the healthiest quintile was 35% for death, 14% for MI [myocardial infarction – a heart attack], and 19% for stroke. They found this protective association was maintained whether or not patients were receiving medications.
Crowe and colleagues  followed 44,561 men and women enrolled in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Thirty-four percent (15,151) were vegetarians, consuming neither meat nor fish. During an 11.6-year follow-up, they found vegetarians had a lower mean body mass index, lower non-HDL-C level, lower systolic blood pressure, and a 32% lower risk of developing ischemic heart disease. These combined studies of 76,107 individuals support an assertion of the power of nutrition for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular illness.
By way of contrast are findings associated with a typical western diet …”
Reference: “A way to reverse CAD?” Journal of Family Practice, July 2014 | Vol 63, No 7; http://www.mdedge.com/sites/default/files/Document/September-2017/JFP_06307_Article1.pdf
References listed in the discussion section:
 “Conclusions: A higher-quality diet was associated with a lower risk of recurrent CVD events among people ≥55 years of age with CVD or diabetes mellitus. Highlighting the importance of healthy eating by health professionals would substantially reduce CVD recurrence and save lives globally.”
Reference: “Relationship between healthy diet and risk of cardiovascular disease among patients on drug therapies for secondary prevention: a prospective cohort study of 31 546 high-risk individuals from 40 countries.” Circulation. 2012; 126:
 “Conclusion: Consuming a vegetarian diet was associated with lower IHD risk, a finding that is probably mediated by differences in non-HDL cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure.”
Reference: “Risk of hospitalization or death from ischemic heart disease among British vegetarians and nonvegetarians: results from the EPIC-Oxford cohort study.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;97:597-603. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23364007
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Science Journal Reports on the Association of Plant-based Diets with Lower Rates & Risks of Diabetes.
From the journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases: “Vegetarian diets (vegan, lacto ovo, semi-) were associated with a substantial and independent reduction in diabetes incidence.”
Results include: “Cases of diabetes developed in 0.54% of vegans, 1.08% of lacto ovo vegetarians, 1.29% of pesco vegetarians, 0.92% of semi-vegetarians and 2.12% of non-vegetarians.”
The study’s “participants were 15,200 men and 26,187 women”.
Reference: “Vegetarian diets and incidence of diabetes in the Adventist Health Study-2”, Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2013 Apr;23(4):292-9; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21983060
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From a journal of the American Diabetes Association: “Prevalence of type 2 diabetes increased from 2.9% in vegans to 7.6% in nonvegetarians; the prevalence was intermediate in participants consuming lacto-ovo (3.2%), pesco (4.8%), or semi-vegetarian (6.1%) diets…
Increased conformity to vegetarian diets protected against risk of type 2 diabetes after lifestyle characteristics and BMI were taken into account.”
Reference: “Type of vegetarian diet, body weight, and prevalence of type 2 diabetes”, Diabetes Care, 2009 May;32(5):791-6; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671114/
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Regards diabetes the conclusion of a 2017 report in Nutrients journal: “This meta-analysis indicates that a vegetarian diet is inversely associated with diabetes risk… The pooled odds ratio (OR) for diabetes in vegetarians vs. non-vegetarians was 0.726…” In other words they found ~27% lower rates of diabetes among vegetarians as compared to omnivores.
Reference: “Adherence to a Vegetarian Diet and Diabetes Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies.” Nutrients, 2017 Jun 14;9(6). pii: E603; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28613258
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Regards type 2 diabetes (T2D) a study of more than 200,000 people concluded: “Our study suggests that plant-based diets, especially when rich in high-quality plant foods, are associated with substantially lower risk of developing T2D. This supports current recommendations to shift to diets rich in healthy plant foods, with lower intake of less healthy plant and animal foods.”
Reference: “Plant-Based Dietary Patterns and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in US Men and Women: Results from Three Prospective Cohort Studies”, PLoS Med. 2016 Jun 14;13(6):e1002039; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27299701
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From a 2017 report in the Journal of Geriatric Cardiology: “The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is rising worldwide, especially in older adults. Diet and lifestyle, particularly plant-based diets, are effective tools for type 2 diabetes prevention and management… Cohort studies strongly support the role of plant-based diets, and food and nutrient components of plant-based diets, in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Evidence from observational and interventional studies demonstrates the benefits of plant-based diets in treating type 2 diabetes and reducing key diabetes-related macrovascular and microvascular complications… Multiple potential mechanisms underlie the benefits of a plant-based diet in ameliorating insulin resistance, including promotion of a healthy body weight, increases in fiber and phytonutrients, food-microbiome interactions, and decreases in saturated fat, advanced glycation endproducts, nitrosamines, and heme iron.”
Reference: “A plant-based diet for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes”, J Geriatr Cardiol. 2017 May; 14(5): 342–354; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5466941/
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A 2016 report on a study of type 2 diabetes (T2D), covering more than 200,000 people, concluded: “Our study suggests that plant-based diets, especially when rich in high-quality plant foods, are associated with substantially lower risk of developing T2D. This supports current recommendations to shift to diets rich in healthy plant foods, with lower intake of less healthy plant and animal foods.”
Reference: “Plant-Based Dietary Patterns and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in US Men and Women: Results from Three Prospective Cohort Studies”, PLoS Med. 2016 Jun 14;13; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27299701 and http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002039(6):e1002039.
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Regards risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, a 2006 study found that a low-fat vegetarian diet improves glycemic and lipid control. The reports conclusion states: “Both a low-fat vegan diet and a diet based on ADA guidelines improved glycemic and lipid control in type 2 diabetic patients. These improvements were greater with a low-fat vegan diet.”
Specific results included: “Forty-three percent (21 of 49) of the vegan group and 26% (13 of 50) of the ADA group participants reduced diabetes medications…. Body weight decreased 6.5 kg in the vegan group and 3.1 kg in the ADA group… Among those who did not change lipid-lowering medications, LDL cholesterol fell 21.2% in the vegan group and 10.7% in the ADA group…”
Reference: “A low-fat vegan diet improves glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in a randomized clinical trial in individuals with type 2 diabetes”, Diabetes Care. 2006 Aug;29(8):1777-83; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16873779
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A 2014 study published in the Public Library of Science’s PLoS One journal states: “We evaluated the association between diet and diabetes/impaired fasting glucose (IFG) among 4384 Taiwanese Buddhist volunteers and identified diabetes/IFG cases from a comprehensive review of medical history and fasting plasma glucose…
The crude prevalence of diabetes in vegetarians versus omnivores is 0.6% versus 2.3% in pre-menopausal women, 2.8% versus 10% in menopausal women, and 4.3% versus 8.1% in men…
CONCLUSION: We found a strong protective association between Taiwanese vegetarian diet and diabetes/IFG, after controlling for various potential confounders and risk factors.”
Reference: “Taiwanese vegetarians and omnivores: dietary composition, prevalence of diabetes and IFG”, PLoS One. 2014 Feb 11;9(2); https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24523914 … About The Public Library of Science (PLOS) “With rigorous reporting and peer review, PLOS journals are highly respected and influential in all areas of science” https://www.plos.org/faq
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See this page for more articles regards the association of Meat Consumption with Higher rates & risks of Type 2 Diabetes and lowered/decreased risks from Plant-based (Vegan, Vegetarian) Diets.
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Science Journal Reports on the Association of Plant-based Diets with Lower Rates & Risks of Metabolic Syndrome.
“Approximately 20 %-25 % of adults worldwide have metabolic syndrome. Vegetarian and vegan diets have demonstrated effectiveness in improving body weight, glycemic control, and cardiovascular risk factors, as compared with conventional therapeutic approaches, and are potentially useful in the prevention of metabolic syndrome…
The present review found eight observational research studies… The majority… found better metabolic risk factors and lowered risk of metabolic syndrome among individuals following plant-based diets, as compared with omnivores.”
Reference: Key elements of plant-based diets associated with reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, Current Diabetes Reports, 2014;14(9):524; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25084991
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From the British Journal of Nutrition: “The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in the USA is approximately 20 % and is currently increasing in developing countries in line with the obesity epidemic. The health care costs associated with the MetS are on a magnitude of 1.6 overall compared with healthy individuals, which makes it an important public health problem.
Current evidence from several cross-sectional and case-control studies shows an association between consumption of a vegetarian dietary pattern and a reduced prevalence or risk of developing the MetS.”
Reference: “A perspective on vegetarian dietary patterns and risk of metabolic syndrome”, Br J Nutr. 2015 Apr;113 Suppl 2:S136-43; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26148917
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From a 2015 report in the British Journal of Nutrition: “Several previous cross-sectional studies have shown that vegetarians have a better metabolic profile than non-vegetarians, suggesting that a vegetarian dietary pattern may help prevent chronic degenerative diseases…
We studied how several sub-types of vegetarian diets affect metabolic traits, including waist circumference, BMI, systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, total cholesterol (TC), HDL, LDL, TAG and TC:HDL ratio…
In the cross-sectional comparisons, all sub-types of vegetarians had lower likelihoods of abnormalities compared with non-vegetarians on all metabolic traits (P<0·001 for all comparisons), except for HDL and TAG.
The better metabolic profile in vegetarians is partially attributable to lower BMI. With proper management of TAG and HDL, along with caution about the intake of refined carbohydrates and fructose, a plant-based diet may benefit all aspects of the metabolic profile.
In the longitudinal follow-up, each additional year of vegan diet lowered the risk of obesity by 7 %… whereas each additional year of lacto-vegetarian diet lowered the risk of elevated SBP by 8 %… and elevated glucose by 7 %… and each additional year of ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet increased abnormal HDL by 7 %… compared with non-vegetarians.”
Reference: “Cross-sectional and longitudinal comparisons of metabolic profiles between vegetarian and non-vegetarian subjects: a matched cohort study”, Br J Nutr. 2015 Oct 28;114(8):1313-20; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26355190~ ~ ~
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Science Journal Reports on the Association of Plant-based Diets with Lower Rates & Risks of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure).
Regards blood pressure (BP) the Internal Medicine journal reports: “Consumption of vegetarian diets is associated with lower BP. Such diets could be a useful nonpharmacologic means for reducing BP.”
Reference: “Vegetarian diets and blood pressure: a meta-analysis”, JAMA Intern Med. 2014 Apr;174(4):577-87; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24566947
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A 2002 study of 11,000 British men and women concluded “Non-meat eaters, especially vegans, have a lower prevalence of hypertension and lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures than meat eaters, largely because of differences in body mass index.”
Reference: “Hypertension and blood pressure among meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans in EPIC-Oxford”, Public Health Nutrition, 2002 Oct;5(5):645-54; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12372158
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Regards high blood pressure (hypertension) a 2012 report in the journal of Public Health Nutrition states: “We conclude from this relatively large study that vegetarians, especially vegans, with otherwise diverse characteristics but stable diets, do have lower systolic and diastolic BP and less hypertension than omnivores. This is only partly due to their lower body mass.”
Specific notes: “Defining hypertension as systolic BP > 139 mmHg or diastolic BP > 89 mmHg or use of antihypertensive medications, the odds ratio of hypertension compared with omnivores was 0.37…, 0.57… and 0.92…, respectively, for vegans, lacto-ovo vegetarians and partial vegetarians.”
Reference: “Vegetarian diets and blood pressure among white subjects: results from the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2)”, Public Health Nutr. 2012 Oct;15(10):1909-16; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22230619
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Science Journal Reports on the Association of Plant-based Diets with Lower Rates & Risks of High Cholesterol.
Regards high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia), the Journal of the American Heart Association reports: “This systematic review and meta-analysis provides evidence that vegetarian diets effectively lower blood concentrations of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Such diets could be a useful nonpharmaceutical means of managing dyslipidemia, especially hypercholesterolemia.”
Reference: “Effects of Vegetarian Diets on Blood Lipids: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials”, J Am Heart Assoc. 2015 Oct 27;4(10):e002408; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26508743
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From The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “a low-fat vegan diet appeared to improve glycemia and plasma lipids more than did conventional diabetes diet recommendations…
In analyses before alterations in lipid-lowering medications, total cholesterol decreased by 20.4 and 6.8 mg/dL in the vegan and conventional diet groups, respectively (P = 0.01); LDL cholesterol decreased by 13.5 and 3.4 mg/dL in the vegan and conventional groups, respectively (P = 0.03).”
In other words the vegan group had around 3 times the reduction in total cholesterol and around 4 times the reduction in LDL cholesetrol.
Reference: “A low-fat vegan diet and a conventional diabetes diet in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: a randomized, controlled, 74-wk clinical trial”, Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 May; 89(5): 1588S–1596S; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2677007/
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Science Journal Reports on the Association of Plant-based Diets with Lower BMI & Improved Weight Management.
Regards BMI, weight management & obesity issues a Dr Greger clip reports on a study in Diabetes Care that found “only the vegans are on average a healthy weight.” And even though “the vegans exercised less” they were on average 40 pounds lighter than meat-eaters.
The study compared the body mass index of vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians and omnivores.
Further excerpts: “A BMI over 30 is considered obese; between 25 and 30, overweight; and they used to call under 25 “normal” weight—but it’s no longer the norm. The average BMI in this country is now 28.8…
A flexitarian is a “flexible vegetarian,” who in this study is defined as someone who eats meat once or twice a month, but is basically vegetarian… even the flexitarians are overweight… even the vegetarians are overweight… they are a significantly healthier weight than those who eat meat even only a few times a month…
only the vegans are, on average, a healthy weight. And that’s like a 40-pound spread between vegans and meat-eaters, which is pretty dramatic.
But maybe it’s not their diet; maybe vegans just tend to exercise more? No. They carefully measured activity levels, and if anything, the vegans in this study exercised less than the meat-eaters. Lazy vegans! But still, on average, 40 pounds lighter.”
From a journal of the American Diabetes Association: “Mean BMI was lowest in vegans (23.6 kg/m2) and incrementally higher in lacto-ovo vegetarians (25.7 kg/m2), pesco-vegetarians (26.3 kg/m2), semi-vegetarians (27.3 kg/m2), and nonvegetarians (28.8 kg/m2)…
The 5-unit BMI difference between vegans and nonvegetarians indicates a substantial potential of vegetarianism to protect against obesity.”
Reference: “Type of vegetarian diet, body weight, and prevalence of type 2 diabetes”, Diabetes Care, 2009 May;32(5):791-6; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671114/ and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19351712
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Regards weightloss the Journal of General Internal Medicine reports on a study that: “Vegetarian diets appeared to have significant benefits on weight reduction compared to non-vegetarian diets.”
Reference: “Vegetarian Diets and Weight Reduction: a Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials”, J Gen Intern Med. 2016 Jan;31(1):109-16; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26138004
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Regards obesity & weight management a 2014 report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states: “Observational studies have shown that body mass indexes of vegetarians are lower than those of nonvegetarians and that caloric intake of vegetarians is typically lower than that of nonvegetarians, suggesting that a vegetarian diet could be an approach for weight management…
Vegetarian diets should be recommended for weight management; however, care should be taken to optimize food intake to provide adequate intakes of nutrients of concern when energy restriction is used in conjunction with a vegetarian dietary pattern.
At any caloric amount, vegetarians should optimize intakes of vitamin B12, zinc, and protein; and both vegetarians and nonvegetarians need to increase intakes of calcium, magnesium, fiber, and vitamins A, C, and E”
Reference: “Nutritional adequacy of plant-based diets for weight management: observations from the NHANES”, Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul;100 Suppl 1:365S-8S; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24871478
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International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders: “Fish-eaters, vegetarians and especially vegans had lower BMI than meat-eaters. Differences in macronutrient intakes accounted for about half the difference in mean BMI between vegans and meat-eaters. High protein and low fibre intakes were the factors most strongly associated with increasing BMI.”
Reference: “Diet and body mass index in 38000 EPIC-Oxford meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans”, Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord., 2003 Jun;27(6):728-34; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12833118
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Regards weight management a 2019 report concluded: “Plant-based diets, especially when rich in healthier plant foods, are associated with less weight gain over 4-y intervals. This supports current recommendations to increase intake of healthy plant foods, and reducing intake of less-healthy plant foods and animal foods, for improved health outcomes.”
Reference: “Changes in intake of plant-based diets and weight change: results from 3 prospective cohort studies”, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, nqz049; https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/ajcn/nqz049/5498644
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Science Journal Reports on the Association of Plant-based Diets with Less Inflammation & Improvements in Fibromyalgia & Arthritis.
Regards inflammation a 2013 report in Nutrition Reviews states: “biomarkers of inflammation were almost all meat-based or “Western” patterns… meat-based or “Western-like” patterns tended to be positively associated with [increased] biomarkers of inflammation, predominantly C-reactive protein, while vegetable- and fruit-based or “healthy” patterns tended to be inversely associated [meaning lower rates of inflammation]…”
Reference: “Dietary pattern analysis and biomarkers of low-grade inflammation: a systematic literature review”, Nutr Rev. 2013 Aug;71(8):511-27; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23865797
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Regards a biomarker for inflammation, C-reactive protein (CRP), a 2017 report in Public Health Nutrition states: “Vegetarian diets contain various anti-inflammatory components… The meta-analysis provides evidence that vegetarianism is associated with lower serum concentrations of hs-CRP when individuals follow a vegetarian diet for at least 2 years… A vegetarian diet might be a useful approach to manage inflammaging in the long term.”
Reference: “Association of vegetarian diet with inflammatory biomarkers: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies”, Public Health Nutr. 2017 Oct;20(15):2713-2721; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28836492
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Regards inflammation the journal of Complementary Therapies in Medicine reports:
“This brief lifestyle intervention, including a vegan diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and various legumes, nuts and seeds, significantly improved health risk factors and reduced systemic inflammation as measured by circulating CRP… It is likely that the vegetable and high fiber content of a vegan diet reduces CRP in the presences of obesity… Additionally, those participants who had a vegan diet prior to the intervention had the lowest CRP risk coming into the program.”
Reference: “C-reactive protein response to a vegan lifestyle intervention”, Complement Ther Med. 2015 Feb;23(1):32-7; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25637150
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Regards inflammation and chronic osteoarthritis the Arthritis journal reports:
“This paper synthesizes the literature that supports the idea in which the Western diet and inactivity are proinflammatory, whereas a plant-based diet and activity are anti-inflammatory, and that low-grade inflammation and oxidative stress underlying osteoarthritis often coexist with lifestyle-related risk factors and conditions…
Healthy living can be exploited to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and related pain and disability and improve patients’ overall health… reducing the need for medications and surgery…”
Reference: “Prescribing Optimal Nutrition and Physical Activity as “First-Line” Interventions for Best Practice Management of Chronic Low-Grade Inflammation Associated with Osteoarthritis: Evidence Synthesis”, Arthritis, Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 560634, 28 pages; at https://www.hindawi.com/journals/arthritis/2012/560634/
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Regards inflammation, fibromyalgia and arthritis, notes from a study testing a vegan “living food” diet, as published by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences:
“We have performed a number of studies including dietary interventions and cross-sectional studies on subjects consuming uncooked vegan food called living food (LF) and clarified the changes in several parameters related to health risk factors.
LF consists of germinated seeds, cereals, sprouts, vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts. Some items are fermented and contain a lot of lactobacilli. The diet is rich in fiber. It has very little sodium, and it contains no cholesterol. Food items like berries and wheat grass juice are rich in antioxidants such as carotenoids and flavonoids.
The subjects eating living food show increased levels of carotenoids and vitamins C and E and lowered cholesterol concentration in their sera. Urinary excretion of sodium is only a fraction of the omnivorous controls. Also urinary output of phenol and p-cresol is lowered as are several fecal enzyme levels which are considered harmful.
The rheumatoid arthritis patients eating the LF diet reported amelioration of their pain, swelling of joints and morning stiffness which all got worse after finishing LF diet. The composite indices of objective measures showed also improvement of the rheumatoid arthritis patients during the intervention…
Rheumatoid patients subjectively benefited from the vegan diet which was also seen in serum parameters and fecal analyses…
The fibromyalgic subjects eating LF lost weight compared to their omnivorous controls. The results on their joint stiffness and pain… their quality of sleep… all improved.
It appears that the adoption of vegan diet exemplified by the living food leads to a lessening of several health risk factors to cardiovascular diseases and cancer.”
Reference: “Vegan diet in physiological health promotion”, Acta Physiologica Hungarica*, 1999;86(3-4):171-80; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10943644
* “A Periodical of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences” the site is http://akademiai.com/loi/036
From a related report in Toxicology journal, on the benefits of vegan living food (LF) diet: “The shift of fibromyalgic subjects to LF resulted in a decrease of their joint stiffness and pain as well as an improvement of their self-experienced health.
The rheumatoid arthritis patients eating the LF diet also reported similar positive responses and the objective measures supported this finding. The improvement of rheumatoid arthritis was significantly correlated with the day-to-day fluctuation of subjective symptoms.
In conclusion the rheumatoid patients subjectively benefited from the vegan diet rich in antioxidants, lactobacilli and fibre, and this was also seen in objective measures.”
Reference: “Antioxidants in vegan diet and rheumatic disorders”, Toxicology, 2000 Nov 30;155(1-3):45-53; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11156742
Another related reports states: “It can be concluded that vegan diet had beneficial effects on fibromyalgia symptoms at least in the short run.” The study ran for 3 months. Reference: “Vegan diet alleviates fibromyalgia symptoms”, Scand J Rheumatol. 2000;29(5):308-13; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11093597
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In favour of veganism for reducing hyperthyroidism – relating to Graves’ disease – a 2015 report in Public Health Nutrition journal concludes: “Exclusion of all animal foods was associated with half the prevalence of hyperthyroidism compared with omnivorous diets.”
The study was of 65981 people.
Reference: “Prevalence of hyperthyroidism according to type of vegetarian diet” Public Health Nutr. 2015 Jun;18(8):1482-7; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25263477
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Regards hypothyroidism Nutrients journal reported in 2013: “In conclusion, a vegan diet tended to be associated with lower, not higher, risk of hypothyroid disease … In the incidence study … a vegan diet tended to be protective” with an odds ratio (OR) of 0.78; a 22% lower incidence.
The study was done on a pool of 65,981 people.
The OR for being overweight was 1.32 and for obesity 1.78; 78% more hypothyroidism.
A lacto-ovo diet was associated with increased risk with an OR of 1.09; a 9% higher rate.
Reference: “Vegan Diets and Hypothyroidism”, Nutrients. 2013 Nov; 5(11): 4642–4652; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3847753/
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Regards autoimmune thyroid disease (relating to Hashimoto’s disease and hypothyroidism) Nutrients journal reports a study regards “dietary habits and their influence in the development of autoimmune thyroid disease …”
The results were favorable to plant-based diets as they are associated with the lower presence of the antithyroid antibodies.
“The aim of this study was to analyse the association of dietary factors and plasma thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO-Ab) and/or thyroglobulin antibodies (Tg-Ab).”
Findings from the study of 1881 people: “The results indicate that the dietary group with frequent consumption of animal fats and butter is associated with positive [more] plasma TPO-Ab and/or Tg-Ab (p = 0.01).
The dietary group with frequent consumption of vegetables as well as the dietary group with high consumption of dried fruit, nuts, and muesli are associated with negative findings of TPO-Ab and/or Tg-Ab (p = 0.048 and p = 0.02, respectively).
We showed that the anti-inflammatory dietary groups are associated with the negative findings of plasma TPO-Ab and/or Tg-Ab.”
Reference: “Dietary Factors Associated with Plasma Thyroid Peroxidase and Thyroglobulin Antibodies.” Nutrients. 2017 Oct 28;9(11); https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29143786
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Science Journal Reports on the Association of Plant-based Diets with Improved Microbiota & Gut Health.
Regards diverticular disease, the British Medical Journal reports a 2011 study of more than 60,000 people. It concluded: “Consuming a vegetarian diet and a high intake of dietary fibre were both associated with a lower risk of admission to hospital or death from diverticular disease.”
Specifically: “vegetarians had a 31% lower risk (relative risk 0.69, 95% confidence interval 0.55 to 0.86) of diverticular disease compared with meat eaters … There was also an inverse association with dietary fibre intake; participants in the highest fifth (≥25.5 g/day for women and ≥26.1 g/day for men) had a 41% lower risk (0.59, 0.46 to 0.78; P<0.001 trend) compared with those in the lowest fifth (<14 g/day for both women and men).”
Reference: “Diet and risk of diverticular disease in Oxford cohort of European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC): prospective study of British vegetarians and non-vegetarians.” British Medical Journal, 2011 Jul 19;343:d4131; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21771850
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Regards gallstone disease (GSD), a 2019 report in Nutrients journal reports: “Vegetarian diet was associated with a decreased risk of symptomatic GSD compared with nonvegetarian diet in women (hazard ratio [HR], 0.52; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.28⁻0.96) … In women, nonvegetarians with hypercholesterolemia had 3.8 times the risk of GSD compared with vegetarians with normal cholesterol … A vegetarian diet may therefore protect against GSD independent of baseline hypercholesterolemia. A nonvegetarian diet and hypercholesterolemia may have an additive effect in increasing GSD risk in women.”
Reference: “Plant-Based Diet, Cholesterol, and Risk of Gallstone Disease: A Prospective Study.” Nutrients. 2019 Feb 4;11(2); https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30720747
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Regards gut health, inflammation and diabetes risk, a 2017 study in the journal Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome is titled “Worse inflammatory profile in omnivores than in vegetarians associates with the gut microbiota composition.”
The conclusion: “There are differences in gut microbiota composition of individuals with distinct dietary habits, who differ according to their inflammatory and metabolic profiles. Based on the findings relative to bacteria abundances and on their recognized actions in the metabolism, we suggest that exposure to animal foods may favor an intestinal environment which could trigger systemic inflammation and insulin resistance-dependent metabolic disorders.”
Reference: Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome, 2017; 9: 62; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5557559/
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Regards inflammation and intestinal micro-flora Nutrients journal reports: “The relationship between diet and the intestinal microbial profile appears to follow a continuum, with vegans displaying a gut microbiota most distinct from that of omnivores, but not always significantly different from that of vegetarians. The vegan gut profile appears to be unique in several characteristics, including a reduced abundance of pathobionts and a greater abundance of protective species. Reduced levels of inflammation may be the key feature linking the vegan gut microbiota with protective health effects…”
Reference: “The Health Advantage of a Vegan Diet: Exploring the Gut Microbiota Connection”, Nutrients, 2014 Nov; 6(11): 4822–4838; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4245565/
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Science Journal Reports on the Association of Plant-based Diets with Less Occurrence of Cataracts.
Regards cataracts a study of 27,670 people in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports: “There was a strong relation between cataract risk and diet group, with a progressive decrease in risk of cataract in high meat eaters to low meat eaters, fish eaters (participants who ate fish but not meat), vegetarians, and vegans… Vegetarians were at lower risk of cataract than were meat eaters…”
The incidence rate ratios, as compared with high-meat eaters (≥100 g meat/d), were as follows:
– 0.96 for moderate meat eaters (50-99 g meat/d)
– 0.85 for low meat eaters (<50 g meat/d)
– 0.79 for fish eaters
– 0.70 for vegetarians
– 0.60 for vegans
Reference: “Diet, vegetarianism, and cataract risk”, Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 May;93(5):1128-35; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21430115
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Science Journal Reports Comparing & Showing Plant-based Diets Have Superior Nutritional Quality.
A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association examined: “the relationship between prototype popular diets and diet quality as measured by the healthy eating index (HEI), consumption patterns, and body mass index (BMI).
The prototype diets included vegetarian (no meat, poultry, or fish on day of survey) and non-vegetarian.
The nonvegetarian group was further subdivided into low carbohydrate (less than 30% of energy from carbohydrate), medium (30% to 55%), and high (greater than 55% of energy)…
10,014 adults, aged 19 years and older… were included in the analyses of extant data…
Review of the literature suggests that weight loss is independent of diet composition. Energy restriction is the key variable associated with weight reduction in the short term…
Findings include: “Diets that are high in carbohydrate and low to moderate in fat tend to be lower in energy. The lowest energy intakes were observed for those on a vegetarian diet. The diet quality as measured by HEI was highest for the high carbohydrate groups and lowest for the low carbohydrate groups. The BMIs were significantly lower for men and women on the high carbohydrate diet; the highest BMIs were noted for those on a low carbohydrate diet.”
Reference: “Popular diets: correlation to health, nutrition, and obesity”, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2001 Apr;101(4):411-20; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11320946
For many more science reports on the health and lifespan benefits associated with diets high in good carbohydrates, follow that link.
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A study published in Nutrition Journal compares the diets of omnivores and vegetarians: “Two dietary pattern analysis methods, the Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010) and the Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) were calculated and analysed in function of the nutrient intake…
The HEI and MDS were significantly higher for the vegetarians (HEI = 53.8.1 ± 11.2; MDS = 4.3 ± 1.3) compared to the omnivorous subjects (HEI = 46.4 ± 15.3; MDS = 3.8 ± 1.4)…
Our results indicate a more nutrient dense pattern, closer to the current dietary recommendations for the vegetarians compared to the omnivorous subjects.”
Reference: “Dietary pattern analysis: a comparison between matched vegetarian and omnivorous subjects”, Nutrition Journal, 2013 Jun 13;12:82; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23758767
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From Nutrients journal, a report titled: “Comparison of nutritional quality of the vegan, vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian and omnivorous diet.”
Excerpts: “Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI-2010) and the Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) were calculated as indicators for diet quality…
The vegan diet received the highest index values and the omnivorous the lowest for HEI-2010 and MDS.”
Reference: “Comparison of nutritional quality of the vegan, vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian and omnivorous diet”, Nutrients, 2014 Mar 24;6(3):1318-32; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24667136
For more quotes and links to science reports on the frequency of nutritional deficiencies in the general population, plus comparisons of plant-based versus omnivore diets, click that link for this site’s page.
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A report titled “Antioxidant status in long-term adherents to a strict uncooked vegan diet” concludes: “The present data indicate that the “living food diet” provides significantly more dietary antioxidants than does the cooked, omnivorous diet, and that the long-term adherents to this diet have a better antioxidant status than do omnivorous control subjects.”
Specifically: “The calculated dietary antioxidant intakes by the vegans, expressed as percentages of the US recommended dietary allowances, were as follows”:
– 305% of vitamin C
– 247% of vitamin A
– 313% of vitamin E
– 92% of zinc
– 120% of copper
– 49% of selenium.
“Compared with the omnivores, the vegans had significantly higher blood concentrations of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as higher erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity. These differences were also seen in pairs who were using no antioxidant supplements…”
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1995 Dec;62(6):1221-7; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7491884
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The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics published a report in 2013 titled “Nutrient profiles of vegetarian and nonvegetarian dietary patterns.”
From the results section: “Nonvegetarians had the lowest intakes of plant proteins, fiber, beta carotene, and magnesium compared with those following vegetarian dietary patterns, and the highest intakes of saturated, trans, arachidonic, and docosahexaenoic fatty acids...
Mean body mass index was highest in nonvegetarians (mean=28.7…) and lowest in strict vegetarians (mean=24.0…).”
It was a cross-sectional study of 71,751 subjects.
Reference: “Nutrient profiles of vegetarian and nonvegetarian dietary patterns”, Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2013 Dec;113(12):1610-9; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23988511
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Regards “Antioxidant status in vegetarians versus omnivores” Nutrition journal reports: “vegetarians consume many carbohydrate-rich plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, cereals, pulses, and nuts. As a consequence, their diet contains more antioxidant vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene) and copper than that of omnivores.”
Reference: “Antioxidant status in vegetarians versus omnivores”, Nutrition, 2000 Feb;16(2):111-9; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10696634
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A study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association reports: “Mean intakes of fiber, vitamins A, C, and E, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, calcium, magnesium, and iron were HIGHER for all vegetarians than for all nonvegetarians…
These findings suggest that vegetarian diets are nutrient dense, consistent with dietary guidelines, and could be recommended for weight management without compromising diet quality.”
(capitalised emphasis added)
Reference: “A vegetarian dietary pattern as a nutrient-dense approach to weight management: an analysis of the national health and nutrition examination survey 1999-2004,” J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Jun;111(6):819-27; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21616194/
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A 2014 article in The Atlantic titled “Science Compared Every Diet, and the Winner Is Real Food.”
Excerpts: “Researchers asked if one diet could be crowned best in terms of health outcomes. If diet is a set of rigid principles, the answer is a decisive no. In terms of broader guidelines, it’s a decisive yes…
Scientific publisher Annual Reviews asked Katz to compare the medical evidence for and against every mainstream diet…
Katz and Yale colleague Stephanie Meller published their findings in the current  issue of the journal in a paper titled, “Can We Say What Diet Is Best for Health?” In it, they compare the major diets of the day…
A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention…
Among the salient points of proven health benefits the researchers note, nutritionally-replete plant-based diets are supported by a wide array of favorable health outcomes, including fewer cancers and less heart disease. These diets ideally included not just fruits and vegetables, but whole grains, nuts, and seeds…
If you focus on real food, nutrients tend to take care of themselves…
Exaggerated emphasis on a single nutrient or food is inadvisable…
“The evidence that with knowledge already at our disposal, we could eliminate 80 percent of chronic disease is the basis for everything I do,” Katz said. Just as he was finishing his residency in internal medicine in 1993, influential research in the Journal of the American Medical Association (“Actual Causes of Death in the United States”) put diet on a short list of the lifestyle factors blamed for half of deaths in 1990. “Here we are more than 20 years later and we’ve made just about no progress.”…
in a notable blow to some interpretations of the Paleo diet, Katz and Meller wrote, “if Paleolithic eating is loosely interpreted to mean a diet based mostly on meat, no meaningful interpretation of health effects is possible.” They note that the composition of most meat in today’s food supply is not similar to that of mammoth meat, and that most plants available during the Stone Age are today extinct…”
Reference for the study: “Can We Say What Diet Is Best for Health?”, Annual Review of Public Health, Vol. 35:83-103; http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-032013-182351
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Nutrients journal reported in 2019 on a study comparing the health status of vegan (VGR), vegetarian (VER) and omnivore (OR) diets amongst endurance runners: “Significant differences (p < 0.05) were determined for the following findings:
(i) body weight for VER and VGR was less than for OR,
(ii) VGR had highest food choice scores, and
(iii) VGR reported the lowest prevalences of allergies.
There was no association (p > 0.05) between diet and mental health, medication intake, smoking habits, supplement intake, and healthcare utilization. These findings support the notion that adhering to vegetarian kinds of diet, in particular to a vegan diet, is associated with a good health status and, thus, at least an equal alternative to an omnivorous diet for endurance runners.”
Reference: “Health Status of Female and Male Vegetarian and Vegan Endurance Runners Compared to Omnivores—Results from the NURMI Study (Step 2)”, Nutrients. 2019 Jan; 11(1): 29; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6356807/
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Science Journal Reports on Plant-based Diets and Good Bone Health.
Regards bone health a 2004 report in Osteoporosis International states: “from data available and given the limitations stipulated above, “vegetarians” do certainly appear to have “normal” bone mass.”
There was also mention of the “growing support for a beneficial effect of fruit and vegetable intake on bone…”
Reference: “Do vegetarians have a normal bone mass?” Osteoporos Int. 2004 Sep;15(9):679-88; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15258721
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Regards bone health a 2015 report in the Nutrients science journal states: “These data suggest that plant-based diets are not detrimental to bone in young adults. Moreover, diet prescriptions for bone health may vary among diet groups: increased fruit and vegetable intake for individuals with high meat intakes and increased plant protein intake for individuals who follow a vegetarian diet plan.”
Reference: “Comparison of correlates of bone mineral density in individuals adhering to lacto-ovo, vegan, or omnivore diets: a cross-sectional investigation”, Nutrients, 2015 May 11;7(5):3416-26; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25970147
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Regards bone health a 2016 report in Swiss Medical Weekly states: “Vegetarian and vegan diets contain low amounts of protein and calcium. For this reason they are supposed to cause low bone mineral density (BMD) and osteoporosis.
But this is not the case, except for vegans with a particularly low calcium intake. The absence of osteoporosis or low BMD can be explained by the low acid load of these diets.
Nutritional acid load is negatively correlated with bone mineral density (BMD) and positively with fracture risk. Low acid load is correlated with lower bone resorption and higher BMD. It is linked to high intake of potassium-rich nutrients, such as fruits and vegetables, as found in vegetarian diets.
The total nutritional acid load, which not only depends on the potassium content of the nutrition, was recently assessed in several studies on vegetarian and vegan diets and was found to be very low or absent, while the diet of Western-style omnivores produces daily 50 to 70 mEq of acid. This might be an important factor for the protection of vegetarians from osteoporosis.”
Reference: “The role of low acid load in vegetarian diet on bone health: a narrative review”, Swiss Med Wkly, 2016 Feb 22;146:w14277; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26900949
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Regards bone health a 2014 report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states: “Vegan diets are not associated with an increased fracture risk if calcium intake is adequate. Dietary factors in plant-based diets that support the development and maintenance of bone mass include calcium, vitamin D, protein, potassium, and soy isoflavones… Plant-based diets can provide adequate amounts of key nutrients for bone health.”
Reference: “Bone nutrients for vegetarians”, Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul;100 Suppl 1:469S-75S; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24898231
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European Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “In this population, fracture risk was similar for meat eaters, fish eaters and vegetarians. The higher fracture risk in the vegans appeared to be a consequence of their considerably lower mean calcium intake. An adequate calcium intake is essential for bone health, irrespective of dietary preferences…
Among subjects consuming at least 525 mg/day calcium the corresponding incidence rate ratios were 1.05 (0.90–1.21) for fish eaters, 1.02 (0.90–1.15) for vegetarians and 1.00 (0.69–1.44) for vegans.”
In other words vegans who consume that amount have risk that is equal to the meat eaters and slightly better than the vegetarians and fish eaters. Some vegans even had the lowest incidence rates (0.69) of all groups, representing a 31% reduced incidence. Although some had the highest at 1.44.
The study covered 7,947 men and 26,749 women.
Reference: “Comparative fracture risk in vegetarians and nonvegetarians in EPIC-Oxford”, Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Dec;61(12):1400-6;
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17299475 and https://www.nature.com/articles/1602659
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Science Journal Reports on the Healthy Attitudes Regards Eating & Other Health Behaviours Among Vegans & Vegetarians.
In regards to eating disorders among other health-related behaviors, a study in the Appetite journal (2017) reports: “Vegans scored significantly lower than omnivores [on] the Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire, a measure of pathological eating behavior. They also were more likely to consider themselves “healthy” (p < 0.001) and to prepare food at home (p < 0.001). Vegans more frequently consumed fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and grains (all p < 0.001), and less frequently consumed caffeinated soft drinks (p < 0.001).
There were no significant differences between vegans and omnivores on measures of eating styles, body mass index, smoking or exercise behaviors, or problems related to alcohol consumption…
Taken together, findings suggest that ultimately, vegans do not differ much from omnivores in their eating attitudes and behaviors, and when they do, differences indicate slightly healthier attitudes and behaviors towards food. Similarly, vegans closely resembled omnivores in non-eating related health behaviors.”
Reference: “Eating and health behaviors in vegans compared to omnivores: Dispelling common myths”, Appetite, Volume 118, 1 November 2017, Pages 129-135;
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Video & Article Reports from Medical Doctors on the Health Benefits of Vegetarian & Vegan Diets.
Dr Michael Greger’s NutritionFacts.org has 2000+ video clips (most are short) based on science journal reports about: i) the impressive health benefits of plant-based eating (ie. veganism, vegetarianism); and ii) the higher rates of disease and death associated with eating red meat, dairy, chicken, eggs and fish.
Two of the more comprehensive presentations are:
1] “Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Common Diseases with Diet” (2015) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0IhZ-R1O8g
Summary: “Dr. Greger has scoured the world’s scholarly literature on clinical nutrition and developed this new presentation based on the latest in cutting edge research exploring the role diet may play in preventing, arresting, and even reversing some of our most feared causes of death and disability.”
For the text transcript see: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/food-as-medicine/
2] “Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death” (2012) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30gEiweaAVQ
Summary: “Death in America is largely a foodborne illness. Focusing on studies published just over the last year in peer-reviewed scientific medical journals, Dr. Greger offers practical advice on how best to feed ourselves and our families to prevent, treat, and even reverse many of the top 15 killers in the United States.”
For the text transcript see: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/uprooting-the-leading-causes-of-death/
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Dr T. Colin Campbell, PhD: “The data from the China Project suggest that what we have come to consider as “normal” illnesses of aging are really not normal. In fact, these findings indicate that the vast majority perhaps 80 to 90% of all cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and other forms of degenerative illness can be prevented, at least until very old age, simply by adopting a plant-based diet.”
“T. Colin Campbell, PhD has been at the forefront of nutrition research for over forty years. His legacy, the China Project, has been acknowledged as the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted. Dr. Campbell is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University.”
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Dr Joanne Kong presentation “The Power of Plant-Based Eating” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZWzNfOpbCQ
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From an article titled “7 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat” by Dr Michelle McMacken MD – summary of points: “1. You’ll reduce inflammation in your body… 2. Your blood cholesterol levels will plummet… 3. You’ll give your microbiome a makeover… 4. You’ll change how your genes work… 5. You’ll dramatically reduce your chances of getting type 2 diabetes… 6. You’ll get the right amount—and the right type—of protein… 7. You’ll make a huge impact on the health of our planet and its inhabitants…”
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Excerpts from a 2017 article titled “Vegetarian diets and health: the voice of science needs to be heard” by Professor of Nutrition, Francois Mariotti:
“Based on the scientific literature available, it is clear that a diet predominantly based on plants is associated with many health benefits for the general population…
A scientific approach offers an opportunity to separate such questions from the surrounding debates, and address them rigorously and in their entirety. To achieve this goal, approximately 100 international academics came together to produce 45 chapters of what would become ‘Vegetarian and Plant-Based Diets in Health and Disease Prevention’.
The book looks at the subject from all analytical angles, positive and negative, and considers the whole spectrum of vegetarian diets. It discusses their overall benefits with respect to health and disease risk and also the nutritional problems that can potentially arise for those who adopt them…
One such shortcut is “just eat less meat and other animal products”. No. First, there is no “just do it” in the complex field of nutrition. Second, if you eat less of one thing, you will eat more of something else. And if you simply eat more of what now constitutes your diet, it is very unlikely that this will lead you in the right direction.
For example, a marked reduction in animal-product consumption must be accompanied by an increase in protein-rich plant foods, such as legumes.
Another shortcut is “Just eat plant-based foods”. But a diet made up of potato chips, ketchup, sodas, sugar-packed breakfast cereals and processed white bread covered with hazelnut spread is predominantly plant-based. Indeed, these foods could even be labelled “vegan”. But it’s self-evident that such a diet shouldn’t be adopted, particularly given that it will not be associated with any health benefits.
On the other hand, a diverse and predominantly plant-based diet made up of fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains and rich in raw products will be good for you…”
Regards the book “Vegetarian and Plant-Based Diets in Health and Disease Prevention” see
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Links to Other Pages on This Site:
With Hundreds of Quotes & Links to Science Journals & News Reports on the Health Benefits of Plant-based Diets, regards:
+ Nutritional Deficiencies that are common in the general population of first world nations.
+ Dozens of Science News Reports that Debunk the Paleo Diet & others about the Evolution of Human Brain Size through Plant-Based Diets.
+ Other Pages Feature Videos, Quotes & Links About How Animal Agriculture Affects Climate Change, Deforestation, Biodiversity Loss & Mass Extinction on land & via Overfishing the Oceans as well as the Increased Risks of Infectious Diseases via Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs.
For the most up-to-date list of pages refer to the menu (via the 3-line-icon).
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This set of articles were compiled for
Pages on this Site:
Quotes from news reports & science journals on how the Western omnivore diet with meat and dairy products accelerates climate-change through: i) increasing our carbon footprint of greenhouse gases; ii) deforesting & destroying wilderness that absorbs carbon and protects biodiversity; iii) creating massive pollution; and iv) wasting resources like grains, water, fuels and agricultural lands.
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Excerpts & links to medical studies, articles & reports on the links between meat consumption and increased incidences of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and early mortality (a shorter lifespan); also to reports on how cancers are increasing in young people.
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Quotes & links to articles in science, medical & health journals that report great benefits vegetarians and vegans generally have including longer lives with less of the chronic degenerative diseases like cancer, cardiovascular heart disease, diabetes and obesity as well as lower blood pressure, hypertension and blood cholesterol levels.
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Excerpts & links to articles in news media science journals about the current ‘Sixth Mass Extinction’ known also as the ‘Holocene Extinction’ or ‘Anthropocene Extinction’ as it is largely caused by human activities.
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This page contains quotes & links for studies & articles in science journals, news media & by medical doctors; on the association of drinking milk to higher rates of osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease and other illnesses.
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This page features quotes & links to articles in news media and science journals about the rise of microbes that are resistant to antibiotics; posing a grave threat to all of us; from 50% to 80% of antibiotics are (mis-)used in animal agriculture industries.
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This page features quotes & links to reports that expose how the animal agriculture industries (meat, dairy, poultry) influence government, politics, the education schooling system and news media in order to promote their interests.
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Excerpts from articles about the marine ecosystem collapse that is happening now in oceans, seas & rivers due to over-fishing and the toxic pollution in waterways from land-based animal agriculture meat-farming; worsening climate change; threatening the entire food chain.
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Articles from science journals & news reports that dispute the health claims made regards eating fish; some even find higher rates of heart disease and cancer among seafood consumers.
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A collection of quotes & links for articles by doctors, dietitians & nutrition experts who refute & rebut the negative claims made regards “the soy food debate”
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For Archives of Related Memes see:
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