Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Vegetarian Diets Health Effects / Vegetarian : Vegan : Health : Mortality


There are several reason for many people being vegetarian. For their religious view, health concern, or sometimes their care for animals. Being Vegetarian means not including meat, poultry or fish on their menu. Other vegetarian exclude dairy products and eggs. Vegetarian and vegan diets can vary widely, but the empirical evidence largely relates to the nutritional content and health effects of the average diet of well-educated vegetarians living in Western countries, together with some information on vegetarians in non-Western countries. These are some reviews from journals about the health effects of vegan diets.


In general, vegetarian diets provide relatively large amounts of cereals, pulses, nuts, fruits and vegetables. In terms of nutrients, vegetarian diets are usually rich in n-6 fatty acids, dietary fibre, carotenoids, carbohydrates, , folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E and Mg, and relatively low in protein, saturated fat, long-chain n-3 fatty acids, retinol, vitamin B(12) and Zn; vegans may have particularly low intakes of vitamin B(12) and low intakes of Ca. Cross-sectional studies of vegetarians and vegans have shown that on average they have a relatively low BMI and a low plasma cholesterol concentration; recent studies have also shown higher plasma homocysteine concentrations than in non-vegetarians.



Very high homocysteine levels in the blood can damage the lining of the arteries. In addition, high homocysteine levels may make blood clot more easily than it should. This can increase the risk of blood vessel blockages. A clot inside your blood vessel is called a thrombus which can travel in the bloodsteam and get stuck in your lungs (called a pulmonary embolism), in your brain (which can cause a stroke) or in your heart (which can cause a heart attack.)

In several studies, Vegetarians have shown a moderate reduction in mortality from Ischemic Heart Disease but little difference in other major causes of death or all-cause mortality in comparison with health-conscious non-vegetarians from the same population.

Vegetarian diets, particularly vegan diets, are associated with lower BMD, (bone mineral density) which is one of osteoporosis cause., but the magnitude of the association is clinically insignificant.

Resources :
http://journals.cambridge.org/production/action/cjoGetFulltext?fulltextid=814552
http://lib.bioinfo.pl/meid:101681

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