Vegetarian Diets:

Study Shows Vegetarian Populations Have Lower Rates of Hypertension, Berkow & Barnard 2005, Nutrition Reviews: A scientific review shows that high blood pressure can be reduced with diet changes, especially a vegetarian diet. The report analyzes the results of published studies and concludes that vegetarian populations have lower rates of hypertension, "the silent killer."

Vitamin B12: Are You Getting It? Jack Norris 2003, Vegan Outreach: All vegans should meet the RDA for vitamin B12 of 2.4 micrograms per day, and it is best to get this vitamin from a variety of reliable sources.

The Oxford Vegetarian Study: An Overview, Appleby et al. 1999, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 70, 525S: A 16-year study of 6000 vegetarians and 5000 non-vegetarians in the UK found that the vegetarians generally had lower LDL cholesterol levels and lower death rates for each of the mortality endpoints studied.

Vegetarian Diet: Panacea for Modern Lifestyle Diseases?, Segasothy & Phillips 1999, Q J Med, 92, 531: The many health-related effects of vegetarian diets are reviewed, such as the cholesterol-lowering effects, the decreased risk for coronary heart disease, the improvement of the condition of heart patients, and the decreased risk of colon and breast cancers.

Health Implications of Mediterranean Diets in Light of Contemporary Knowledge II , Kushi et al. 1995, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 61, 1416S: Evidence strongly suggests that a high intake of plant-based foods, and a low intake of animal products contributes to the excellent health of Mediterranean populations. The high consumption of red meat in Western diets is associated with increased risks of heart disease, some cancers, and urinary calcium losses likely to contribute to osteoporosis.

Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Free-Living Men: Comparison of Two Prudent Diets, Kestin et al. 1989, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 50, 280: The results of two, fat-modified diets, a lactoovovegetarian one rich in plant-based foods, and another in which 60% of the plant protein was replaced with protein from lean meat, were compared. While both diets lowered cholesterol and blood pressure relative to a high-fat diet, the vegetarian diet had a significantly greater cholesterol-lowering effect than the prudent non-vegetarian diet.

Animal Product Consumption and Mortality ... in Seventh-Day Adventists, Snowdon 1988, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 48, 739: A study of 27,529 Seventh-day Adventist adults over a 20-year period revealed that the consumption of specific animal products (meat, eggs, milk) was associated with mortality, heart disease, cancer, and/or diabetes.


Soy Foods:

Cholesterol Lowering Effect of Soy Protein in Normocholesterolemic and Hypercholesterolemic Men, Wong et al. 1998, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 68, 1385S: A two-part study of 13 men with high cholesterol levels and 13 men with normal cholesterol levels found that a 5-week diet high in soy protein significantly decreased the LDL cholesterol levels in both groups. This effect was independent of the body weight or age of each subject.

Decreased Serum Total Cholesterol Is Associated with High Intake of Soy Products in Japanese Men and Women, Nagata et al. 1998, Journal of Nutrition, 128, 209: The relation between increased soy intake and significantly decreased serum total cholesterol level was confirmed in a study of 1242 men and 3596 women in Japan. Control and adjustments for age, physical activity, and other dietary habits did not change the results.

A Long-term Metabolic Study to Assess the Nutritional Value of and Immunological Tolerance to Two Soy Protein Concentrates in Adult Humans, Beer et al. 1989, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 50, 997: An 11-week study of seventeen young adult men consuming soy proteins as their sole source of dietary nitrogen concludes that these proteins can be consumed effectively as the sole source of protein for nutritional maintenance, and with excellent tolerance.

Long-term Intake of Soy Protein Improves Blood Lipid Profiles ... in Hypercholesterolemic, Post-menopausal Women, Baum et al. 1998, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 68, 545: A six-month study of 66 post-menopausal women with high cholesterol levels involved either putting them on a diet rich in isolated soy protein, or a diet rich in nonfat dairy protein (the control group). Relative to the control group, those on the soy protein diet showed a significant decrease in LDL cholesterol levels and an increase in HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol).

Biological Effects of a Diet of Soy Protein Rich in Isoflavones on the Menstrual Cycle of Premenopausal Women, Cassidy et al. 1994, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 60, 333: A study of the hormonal effects on six women of a diet high in isoflavone-rich soy protein indicated similar effects to pharmaceutical treatment designed to lower breast cancer risk. These responses to a diet rich in soy protein may partly explain the lower incidence of breast cancer among Chinese and Japanese women who consume significant amounts of soy.

Depression of Plasma Cholesterol in Men by Consumption of Baked Products Containing Soy Protein, Potter et al., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 58, 501: The effects of soy protein intake on the cholesterol levels of 26 men with above normal cholesterol levels were studied. It was found that, in conjunction with a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, a high intake of isolated soy protein lowered LDL cholesterol levels significantly more than such a diet with nonfat dairy in place of the soy.

A Long-term Metabolic Balance Study in Young Men to Assess the Nutritional Quality of an Isolated Soy Protein and Beef Proteins, Young et al. 1984, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 39, 8: An 84-day metabolic balance experiment was conducted in two groups of young men. One group's sole source of protein intake was isolated soy protein, while the other group consumed beef protein. It was found that there was no deterioration in protein nutritional status for those consuming only soy protein. The nutritional quality of isolated soy protein is high, and it may serve as the sole source for adults.

Hypocholesterolemic Effect of Substituting Soybean Protein for Animal Protein in the Diet of Healthy Young Women, Carroll et al. 1978, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 31, 1312: A 78-day study of 10 healthy women, half of whom were put on a plant and soy-based diet, and half of whom were on a conventional diet, was undertaken to investigate the effects on plasma cholesterol levels. The resulting plasma cholesterol levels of those on the plant-based diet were significantly lower than those on the conventional diet, even though both diets were similar with respect to carbohydrate, fat, and sterol composition.


Bone Health:

Dietary Factors and the Incidence of Hip Fracture in Middle-aged Norwegians, Meyer et al. 1997, American Journal of Epidemiology, 145, 117: The dietary habits of 19,752 Norwegian women and 20,035 Norwegian men were followed for an average of 11.4 years. An elevated risk of fracture was found in women with a high intake of protein from nondairy animal sources (meat, fish, and eggs) when calcium intake was low.

Protein Consumption and Bone Fractures in Women, Feskanich et al. 1996, American Journal of Epidemiology, 143, 472: A 12-year study of 85,900 women indicated that the consumption of animal protein was associated with an increased risk of fracture. In contrast, no such association was found for the consumption of vegetable protein.

Vegetarian Lifestyle and Bone Mineral Density, Marsh et al. 1988, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 48, 837: A study of 1600 lactoovovegetarian and non-vegetarian post-menopausal women confirms the theory that the amount and type of protein consumed affects bone mineral loss after menopause. By 80 years of age, the non-vegetarians had approximately twice the reduction of bone mineral density compared to the vegetarians.

Calcium Utilization: Effect of Varying Level and Source of Dietary Protein, Zemel 1988, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 48, 880: It is found that, given a constant calcium intake, a twofold increase in dietary protein high in sulfur amino acids (such as that found in animal products) produces a 50% increase in urinary calcium loss. In contrast, a diet rich in soy protein does not promote calcium loss.


Meat and/or Dairy & Cancer:

Dietary Factors and the Risk of Gastric Cancer in Mexico City, Ward & Lopez-Carrillo 1999, American Journal of Epidemiology, 149, 925: A study of 220 gastric cancer patients in Mexico city along with a control group from the same area indicated an approximately threefold increased risk of gastric cancer for frequent consumption of both fresh and processed meat. An increased risk of cancer was also found to be associated with frequent consumption of dairy products and fish.

Colorectal Cancer: Molecules and Populations, Potter 1999, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 91, 916: The molecular biology and the epidemiology of colorectal cancer are examined with an eye toward understanding their interrelationship. Epidemiological work shows that meat consumption, among other things, results in an increased risk of colorectal cancer. On the biological level, meat appears to be a source of specific blood-borne carcinogens.

Eating Patterns and Risk of Colon Cancer, Slattery et al. 1998, American Journal of Epidemiology, 148, 4: A study of 1,993 colon cancer patients, along with a control group of 2,410, showed a correlation between the typical "Western" diet and colon cancer. Furthermore, those who substituted low-fat animal products were found to have only a slightly reduced risk of colon cancer.

Dietary Risk Factors for Colon Cancer in a Low-risk Population, Singh & Fraser 1998, American Journal of Epidemiology, 148, 761: A six-year study of 32,051 members of the Adventist Health Study identified both red meat and white meat consumption as important dietary risk factors for colon cancer.

Cancer Risk of Heterocyclic Amines in Cooked Foods, Layton et al. 1995, Carcinogenesis, 16, 39: Carcinogenic chemicals known as heterocyclic amines are produced when meat and fish are cooked under normal conditions. An evaluation indicates that the consumption of meat and fish products contributes to human cancer risk.

A Prospective Study of Dietary Fat and Risk of Prostate Cancer, Giovannucci et al. 1993, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 85, 1571: The dietary habits of 51529 men, age 40 to 75, were examined to understand the relationship between prostate cancer and dietary fat. There was a clear correlation between an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer and the intake of animal fat, but not vegetable fat.

Diet and Plasma Androgens in Postmenopausal Vegetarian and Omnivorous Women and Postmenopausal Women with Breast Cancer, Adlercreutz et al. 1989, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 49, 433: A study of 27 postmenopausal women revealed that the omnivores had elevated levels of androstenedione and testosterone relative to the vegetarians, and that the women with breast cancer had the highest levels of androstenedione and testosterone.


Meat, Eggs, and/or Dairy & Heart Disease:

Dietary Determinants of Ischaemic Heart Disease in Health Conscious Individuals, Mann et al. 1997, Heart, 78, 450: The physical condition and diets of nearly 11,000 health-conscious men and women, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, were followed for an average of 13.3 years to investigate dietary determinants of ischaemic heart disease. It was found that saturated animal fat and cholesterol are the primary contributors to ischaemic heart disease.

Heart Disease in British Vegetarians, Burr & Butland 1988, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 48, 830: A study of 10896 individuals with a special interest in health foods revealed that death due to ischemic heart disease, over the 10 to 12 years followed, was significantly lower in the vegetarians than in the non-vegetarians.

Meat Consumption and Fatal Ischemic Heart Disease, Snowdon et al. 1984, Preventive Medicine, 13(5), 490: The connection between the meat-consumption habits of 25153 Seventh-day Adventists and fatal ischemic heart disease was assessed over a 20-year period. Meat consumption was positively associated with this disease in both the men and the women. Furthermore, meat consumption by the men between the ages of 45 and 64 gave them a threefold greater risk of the disease compared to vegetarian men of comparable age.

Effect of Cholesterol-Lowering Diet on Mortality From Coronary Heart Disease and Other Causes, Turpeinen 1979, Circulation, 59,1: A study conducted in two hospitals over a 12-year period involved replacing dairy fats by vegetable oils to evaluate the effects on mortality from coronary heart disease. A substantial reduction of deaths due to coronary heart disease resulted.

A Perspective View of Dieting to Lower the Blood Cholesterol, Whyte & Havenstein 1976, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 29, 784: This study, intended as a guide for physicians and patients concerned with dietary change to lower blood cholesterol, indicates that major dietary contributors to increased blood cholesterol include double servings of meat, one egg per day, and butter. In contrast, cholesterol-lowering fats include polyunsaturated oils and margarines.

Coronary Heart Disease Among Seventh Day Adventists with Differing Dietary Habits, Phillips et al. 1978, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 31, S191: A 6-year study of 24044 Seventh-day Adventists revealed that the non-vegetarian males between the ages of 34 and 64 had a threefold greater risk of fatal coronary heart disease than the vegetarian males of comparable age.


Meat & High Blood Pressure (Hypertension):

Study Shows Vegetarian Populations Have Lower Rates of Hypertension, Berkow & Barnard 2005, Nutrition Reviews: A scientific review shows that high blood pressure can be reduced with diet changes, especially a vegetarian diet. The report analyzes the results of published studies and concludes that vegetarian populations have lower rates of hypertension, "the silent killer."

Blood Pressure and Blood Lipids Among Vegetarian, Semi-vegetarian, and Non-vegetarian African Americans, Melby et al. 1994, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 59, 103: Blood pressure and blood lipid levels were measured and compared for 3 groups of Seventh-day Adventist African-American adults, including vegetarians, "semi-vegetarians" (1 to 3 servings of meat per week), and non-vegetarians. The vegetarian group had the least cases of hypertension and the lowest serum cholesterol.

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