Previous work studying vegetarians has often found that they have lower blood pressure (BP). Reasons may include their lower BMI and higher intake levels of fruit and vegetables. Here we seek to extend this evidence in a geographically diverse population containing vegans, lacto-ovo vegetarians and omnivores.
Data are analysed from a calibration sub-study of the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2) cohort who attended clinics and provided validated FFQ. Criteria were established for vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian, partial vegetarian and omnivorous dietary patterns.
Clinics were conducted at churches across the USA and Canada. Dietary data were gathered by mailed questionnaire.
Five hundred white subjects representing the AHS-2 cohort.
Covariate-adjusted regression analyses demonstrated that the vegan vegetarians had lower systolic and diastolic BP (mmHg) than omnivorous Adventists (β =−6·8, P<0·05 and β = −6·9, P<0·001). Findings for lacto-ovo vegetarians (β = −9·1, P<0·001 and β = −5·8, P<0·001) were similar. The vegetarians (mainly the vegans) were also less likely to be using antihypertensive medications. 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 (95 % CI 0·19, 0·74), 0·57 (95 % CI 0·36, 0·92) and 0·92 (95 % CI 0·50, 1·70), respectively, for vegans, lacto-ovo vegetarians and partial vegetarians. Effects were reduced after adjustment for BMI.
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.
Vegetarian diet; Blood pressure
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US. Dietary factors account for at least 30% of all cancers in Western countries. Since people do not consume individual foods but rather combinations of them, the assessment of dietary patterns may offer valuable information when determining associations between diet and cancer risk.
We examined the association between dietary patterns (non-vegetarians, lacto, pesco, vegan, and semi-vegetarian) and the overall cancer incidence among 69,120 participants of the Adventist Health Study-2. Cancer cases were identified by matching to cancer registries. Cox-proportional hazard regression analysis was performed to estimate hazard ratios, with “attained age” as the time variable.
2,939 incident cancer cases were identified. The multivariate HR of overall cancer risk among vegetarians compared to non-vegetarians was statistically significant (HR=0.92; 95%CI: 0.85, 0.99) for both genders combined. Also, a statistically significant association was found between vegetarian diet and cancers of the gastrointestinal tract (HR=0.76; 95%CI: 0.63, 0.90). When analyzing the association of specific vegetarian dietary patterns, vegan diets showed statistically significant protection for overall cancer incidence (HR=0.84; 95%CI: 0.72, 0.99) in both genders combined and for female-specific cancers (HR=0.66; 95%CI: 0.47, 0.92). Lacto-ovo-vegetarians appeared to be associated with decreased risk of cancers of the gastrointestinal system (HR=0.75; 95%CI: 0.60, 0.92).
Vegetarian diets seem to confer protection against cancer.
Vegan diet seems to confer lower risk for overall and female-specific cancer compared to other dietary patterns. The lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets seem to confer protection from cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.
cancer; vegetarian dietary patterns; diet; vegan; lacto-ovo-vegetarians
The objective of the study was to examine whether reasons to adopt vegetarian lifestyle differ significantly among generations. Using a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ), we identified that 4% of the participants were vegans, 25% lacto-ovo-vegetarians, 4% pesco-vegetarians and 67% non-vegetarian. Younger people significantly agreed more with the moral reason and with the environmental reason. People ages 41–60 significantly agreed more with the health reason. There are significant differences across generations as to why people choose to live a vegetarian lifestyle.
vegetarians; vegetarian diets; dietary patterns; Adventists; attitude; beliefs
Background: Prostate-specific antigen test and digital rectal examination are considered important screening methods for early detection of prostate cancer. However, the utilization of prostate cancer screening varies widely and there is limited knowledge of the predictors of utilization.
Methods: Self-reported prostate cancer screening utilization within the last 2 years was investigated among 11,162 black and non-black North American Seventh-day Adventist men, aged 50-75 years, with different dietary patterns and lifestyle characteristics.
Results: Blacks were more likely to screen for prostate cancer than non-blacks (Odds Ratio (OR)=1.38 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.20-1.57).
Those with a vegetarian diet, especially vegans, were less likely to follow screening guidelines, particularly among non-Blacks: vegans (OR=0.47, 0.39-0.58), lacto-ovo-vegetarians (OR=0.75, 0.66-0.86), and pesco-vegetarians (OR=0.74, 0.60-0.91) compared to non-vegetarians after adjusting for age, BMI, marital status, education, income, and family history of cancer. Trends for dietary patterns remained unchanged after stratification on age, family history of cancer, education, personal income, marital status, and BMI.
Among black men, diet patterns showed no significant associations with utilization of prostate cancer screening, although vegans tended to underutilize screening compared to non-vegetarians (OR=0.70, 0.44-1.10).
Conclusions: Vegetarians, especially non-black vegans, are less likely to follow recommended prostate cancer screening guidelines. The effect of diet was attenuated, and not statistically significant, among black men.
Impact: Since only about 60% of US men follow prostate cancer screening guidelines, it is important to study reasons for non-compliance in order to increase utilization of preventive measures against prostate cancer.
PSA; digital rectal exam; prostate cancer screening; lifestyle predictors; dietary pattern; vegetarian; vegan; black men.
The physical health status of vegetarians has been extensively reported, but there is limited research regarding the mental health status of vegetarians, particularly with regard to mood. Vegetarian diets exclude fish, the major dietary source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), critical regulators of brain cell structure and function. Omnivorous diets low in EPA and DHA are linked to impaired mood states in observational and experimental studies.
We examined associations between mood state and polyunsaturated fatty acid intake as a result of adherence to a vegetarian or omnivorous diet in a cross-sectional study of 138 healthy Seventh Day Adventist men and women residing in the Southwest. Participants completed a quantitative food frequency questionnaire, Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS), and Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaires.
Vegetarians (VEG:n = 60) reported significantly less negative emotion than omnivores (OMN:n = 78) as measured by both mean total DASS and POMS scores (8.32 ± 0.88 vs 17.51 ± 1.88, p = .000 and 0.10 ± 1.99 vs 15.33 ± 3.10, p = .007, respectively). VEG reported significantly lower mean intakes of EPA (p < .001), DHA (p < .001), as well as the omega-6 fatty acid, arachidonic acid (AA; p < .001), and reported higher mean intakes of shorter-chain α-linolenic acid (p < .001) and linoleic acid (p < .001) than OMN. Mean total DASS and POMS scores were positively related to mean intakes of EPA (p < 0.05), DHA (p < 0.05), and AA (p < 0.05), and inversely related to intakes of ALA (p < 0.05), and LA (p < 0.05), indicating that participants with low intakes of EPA, DHA, and AA and high intakes of ALA and LA had better mood.
The vegetarian diet profile does not appear to adversely affect mood despite low intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.
Background and aims
Accumulating epidemiological and clinical studies have sug gested that vitamin D insufficiency may be associated with hypertension. Blacks tend to have lower vitamin D levels than Whites, but it is unclear whether this difference explains the higher blood pressure (BP) observed in Blacks in a population with healthy lifestyle practices.
Methods and results
We examined cross-sectional data in the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2), a cohort of non-smoking, mostly non-drinking men and women following a range of diets from vegan to non-vegetarian. Each participant provided dietary, demographic, lifestyle and medical history data. Measurements of weight, height, waist circumference, percent body fat and blood pressure and fasting blood samples were obtained from a randomly selected non-diabetic sample of 284 Blacks and 284 Whites aged 30–95 years. Multiple regression analyses were used to assess independent relationships between blood pressure and 25(OH)D levels. Levels of 25(OH)D were inversely associated with systolic BP in Whites after control for age, gender, BMI, and use of BP-lowering medications (β-coefficient −0.23 [95% CI, −0.43, −0.03; p = 0.02]). This relationship was not seen in Blacks (β-coefficient 0.08 [95% CI, −0.14, 0.30; p = 0.4]). Results were similar when controlling for waist circumference or percentage body fat instead of BMI. No relationship between serum 25(OH)D and diastolic BP was seen.
Systolic BP is inversely associated with 25(OH)D levels in Whites but not in Blacks. Vitamin D may not be a major contributor to the White-Black differential in BP.
Serum hydroxyvitamin D; Blood pressure; Diet; Ethnic groups
Diets eliminating animal products have rarely been associated with hypothyroidism but may protect against autoimmune disease. Thus, we investigated whether risk of hypothyroidism was associated with vegetarian compared to omnivorous dietary patterns. The Adventist Health Study-2 was conducted among church members in North America who provided data in a self-administered questionnaire. Hypothyroidism was queried at baseline in 2002 and at follow-up to 2008. Diet was examined as a determinant of prevalent (n = 4237 of 65,981 [6.4%]) and incident cases (1184 of 41,212 [2.9%]) in multivariate logistic regression models, controlled for demographics and salt use. In the prevalence study, in addition to demographic characterstics, overweight and obesity increased the odds (OR 1.32, 95% CI: 1.22–1.42 and 1.78, 95% CI: 1.64–1.93, respectively). Vegan versus omnivorous diets tended to be associated with reduced risk (OR 0.89, 95% CI: 0.78–1.01, not statistically significant) while a lacto-ovo diet was associated with increased risk (OR 1.09, 95% CI: 1.01–1.18). In the incidence study, female gender, white ethnicity, higher education and BMI were predictors of hypothyroidism. Following a vegan diet tended to be protective (OR 0.78, 95% CI: 0.59–1.03, not statistically significant). In conclusion, a vegan diet tended to be associated with lower, not higher, risk of hypothyroid disease.
vegan; hypothyroidism; diet; prevalence; incidence
Inflammation is a common pathophysiological pathway for a number of chronic diseases, and is strongly influenced by sociodemographic factors and lifestyle. Less is known about factors that may influence the inflammatory response in individuals of distinct ethnic backgrounds. Therefore, this study examined the relationship between ethnicity and blood levels of inflammatory markers in a sample of non-smoking church-goers.
In a cross-sectional investigation, 508 men and women (>35 years old, 62% White, 38% Black) participated in the Biopsy-chosocial Religion and Health substudy of the Adventist Health Study 2. The contribution of socioeconomic status (education level and difficulty meeting expenses for basic needs) and health covariates (exercise, vegetarian or other type of diet, body mass index, and presence of inflammatory conditions) toward serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) was assessed with linear regression models. Levels of interleukin-10 (IL-10), an anti-inflammatory marker, were also assessed.
Blacks showed higher levels of CRP and IL-6 than Whites. Controlling for socio-demographic and health variables attenuated the ethnic difference in CRP while IL-6 levels remained higher in Blacks than in Whites (β=.118; 95% confidence interval=.014–.206; P=.025). Ethnic differences in IL-10 and TNF-α were not found. Vegetarian diet was associated with lower CRP levels while exercise frequency was associated with higher IL-10 levels.
Higher susceptibility of Blacks to inflammatory diseases may reflect higher IL-6, which could be important in assessing health disparities among Blacks and Whites. Vegetarian diet and exercise may counteract effects of disparities.
Inflammatory Markers; Ethnicity; Health Behavior; Adventists
Vegans and to a lesser extent vegetarians have low average circulating concentrations of vitamin B12; however, the relation between factors such as age or time on these diets and vitamin B12 concentrations is not clear. The objectives were to investigate differences in serum vitamin B12 and folate concentrations between omnivores, vegetarians and vegans and to ascertain whether vitamin B12 concentrations differed by age and time on the diet.
A cross-sectional analysis involving 689 men (226 omnivores, 231 vegetarians and 232 vegans) from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Oxford cohort.
Mean serum vitamin B12 was highest among omnivores (281, 95% CI: 270-292 pmol/l), intermediate in vegetarians (182, 95% CI: 175-189 pmol/l), and lowest in vegans (122, 95% CI: 117-127 pmol/l). Fifty-two percent of vegans, 7% of vegetarians and one omnivore were classified as vitamin B12 deficient (defined as serum vitamin B12 < 118 pmol/l). There was no significant association between age or duration of adherence to a vegetarian or a vegan diet and serum vitamin B12. In contrast, folate concentrations were highest among vegans, intermediate in vegetarians, and lowest in omnivores, but only two men (both omnivores) were categorised as folate deficient (defined as serum folate < 6.3 nmol/l).
Vegans have lower vitamin B12 concentrations, but higher folate concentrations, than vegetarians and omnivores. Half of the vegans were categorised as vitamin B12 deficient and would be expected to have a higher risk of developing clinical symptoms related to vitamin B12 deficiency.
vitamin B12; folate; vegetarian; vegan
Low-carbohydrate diets may be useful for weight loss. Diets high in vegetable proteins and oils may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The main objective was to determine the longer term effect of a diet that was both low-carbohydrate and plant-based on weight loss and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).
Design, setting, participants
A parallel design study of 39 overweight hyperlipidaemic men and postmenopausal women conducted at a Canadian university-affiliated hospital nutrition research centre from April 2005 to November 2006.
Participants were advised to consume either a low-carbohydrate vegan diet or a high-carbohydrate lacto-ovo vegetarian diet for 6 months after completing 1-month metabolic (all foods provided) versions of these diets. The prescribed macronutrient intakes for the low-carbohydrate and high-carbohydrate diets were: 26% and 58% of energy from carbohydrate, 31% and 16% from protein and 43% and 25% from fat, respectively.
Change in body weight.
23 participants (50% test, 68% control) completed the 6-month ad libitum study. The approximate 4 kg weight loss on the metabolic study was increased to −6.9 kg on low-carbohydrate and −5.8 kg on high-carbohydrate 6-month ad libitum treatments (treatment difference (95% CI) −1.1 kg (−2.1 to 0.0), p=0.047). The relative LDL-C and triglyceride reductions were also greater on the low-carbohydrate treatment (treatment difference (95% CI) −0.49 mmol/L (−0.70 to −0.28), p<0.001 and −0.34 mmol/L (−0.57 to −0.11), p=0.005, respectively), as were the total cholesterol:HDL-C and apolipoprotein B:A1 ratios (−0.57 (−0.83, −0.32), p<0.001 and −0.05 (−0.09, −0.02), p=0.003, respectively).
A self-selected low-carbohydrate vegan diet, containing increased protein and fat from gluten and soy products, nuts and vegetable oils, had lipid lowering advantages over a high-carbohydrate, low-fat weight loss diet, thus improving heart disease risk factors.
clinicaltrials.gov (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/), #NCT00256516.
Weight Loss; Diet; Hyperlipidemia
Few population-based studies of vegetarians have been published. Thus we compared self-reported vegetarians to non-vegetarians in a representative sample of British Columbia (BC) adults, weighted to reflect the BC population.
Questionnaires, 24-hr recalls and anthropometric measures were completed during in-person interviews with 1817 community-dwelling residents, 19–84 years, recruited using a population-based health registry. Vegetarian status was self-defined. ANOVA with age as a covariate was used to analyze continuous variables, and chi-square was used for categorical variables. Supplement intakes were compared using the Mann-Whitney test.
Approximately 6% (n = 106) stated that they were vegetarian, and most did not adhere rigidly to a flesh-free diet. Vegetarians were more likely female (71% vs. 49%), single, of low-income status, and tended to be younger. Female vegetarians had lower BMI than non-vegetarians (23.1 ± 0.7 (mean ± SE) vs. 25.7 ± 0.2 kg/m2), and also had lower waist circumference (75.0 ± 1.5 vs. 79.8 ± 0.5 cm). Male vegetarians and non-vegetarians had similar BMI (25.9 ± 0.8 vs. 26.7 ± 0.2 kg/m2) and waist circumference (92.5 ± 2.3 vs. 91.7 ± 0.4 cm). Female vegetarians were more physically active (69% vs. 42% active ≥4/wk) while male vegetarians were more likely to use nutritive supplements (71% vs. 51%). Energy intakes were similar, but vegetarians reported higher % energy as carbohydrate (56% vs. 50%), and lower % protein (men only; 13% vs. 17%) or % fat (women only; 27% vs. 33%). Vegetarians had higher fiber, magnesium and potassium intakes. For several other nutrients, differences by vegetarian status differed by gender. The prevalence of inadequate magnesium intake (% below Estimated Average Requirement) was lower in vegetarians than non-vegetarians (15% vs. 34%). Female vegetarians also had a lower prevalence of inadequate thiamin, folate, vitamin B6 and C intakes. Vegetarians were more likely than non-vegetarians to consider various health conditions and food/nutrition concerns when choosing foods.
In this population-based study, evidence was obtained to indicate that vegetarians appear more 'health conscious' than non-vegetarians, although specific differences were not always consistent by gender. Additional population-based studies are required to determine if the observed gender differences exist in other populations.
Diet; vegetarian; Health behavior; Food habits; Health attitudes and behaviors.
The association of vegetarian status with the risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS) is not clear. In Asia, Buddhists often have vegetarian behavior for religious rather than for health reasons. We hypothesize that the vegetarian in Buddhism is associated with better metabolic profiles, lower risk for the MetS and insulin resistance (IR).
We enrolled 391 female vegetarians (∼80% lacto-ovo-vegetarians) and 315 non-vegetarians from health-checkup clinics at a Buddhist hospital in Taiwan.
The vegetarian status was associated with lower body mass index, smaller waist circumference, lower total cholesterol, lower low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), and lower HDL-C in multivariate linear regression analyses. Despite having lower HDL-C level, the vegetarians had significantly lower total cholesterol/HDL-C and LDL-C/HDL-C ratios. After adjusting the other covariates, the risks for the MetS were lower for ovo-lacto-vegetarians of 1–11 years and >11 years respectively by 54% (odds ratio [OR] = 0.46, 95%C.I.:0.26–0.79) and 57% (OR = 0.43, 95%C.I.:0.23–0.76) compared to non-vegetarians by the IDF criteria. Likewise, they were lower respectively by 45% (OR = 0.55, 95%C.I.:0.32–0.92) and 42% (OR = 0.58, 95%C.I.:0.33–0.997), for the MetS by the modified NCEP criteria. In the subgroup of non-diabetic subjects, the vegetarians also had lower risk for IR by HOMA compared to the non-vegetarians (OR = 0.71, 95%C.I.:0.48–1.06).
The vegetarian behavior, mainly lacto-ovo-vegetarian, related to Buddhism, although not meant for its health effects, is associated with reduced risk for the MetS and IR and may potentially provide metabolic and cardiovascular protective effects in women.
Vegetarian diets have been shown to improve glucose metabolism and reduce risk for diabetes in Westerners but whether Chinese vegetarian diets have the same benefits is unknown.
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.
Vegetarians had higher intakes of carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, magnesium, total and non-heme iron, folate, vitamin A, and lower intakes of saturated fat, cholesterol, and vitamin B12. Besides avoiding meat and fish, vegetarians had higher intakes of soy products, vegetables, whole grains, but similar intakes of dairy and fruits, compared with omnivores. 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. Polytomous logistic regression adjusting for age, body mass index, family history of diabetes, education, leisure time physical activity, smoking and alcohol, showed that this vegetarian diet was negatively associated with diabetes and IFG in men (OR for diabetes: 0.49, 95% CI: 0.28–0.89; OR for IFG: 0.66, 95% CI: 0.46–0.95); in pre-menopausal women (OR for diabetes: 0.26, 95% CI: 0.06–1.21; OR for IFG: 0.60, 95% CI: 0.35–1.04); and in menopausal women (OR for diabetes: 0.25, 95% CI: 0.15–0.42; OR for IFG: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.56–0.95).
We found a strong protective association between Taiwanese vegetarian diet and diabetes/IFG, after controlling for various potential confounders and risk factors.
To test the hypothesis that older men who consumed a vegetarian (lacto-ovo) diet would develop a lower iron status compared with older men who consumed a beef-containing diet during a period of resistive training (RT).
Experimental, repeated measures study.
Twenty-one healthy men aged 59 to 78 years, with a BMI range of 24 to 33 kg/m2, completed the study.
All men consumed a vegetarian diet for 2 weeks (baseline). After this, the men were randomly assigned to one of two dietary groups. Eleven men consumed a beef-containing diet, and 10 men continued to consume a vegetarian diet for 12 weeks. During this time all subjects participated in RT three days per week, designated as RT1 to RT12.
Main outcome measures
Serum ferritin and serum iron concentrations, transferrin saturation, transferrin receptor, total iron binding capacity, and selected hematological variables, as well as selected nutrient intakes and estimated iron bioavailability from three-day diet records, were determined at baseline, RT5, and RT12.
A general linear model repeated-measures ANOVA was used to examine the effects of group, time, and group×time interactions for iron status and dietary data.
Total iron intake was not different between the two groups; however, the beef group had a three to four times greater intake of bioavailable iron (P<.01) than the vegetarian group. Serum iron, total iron binding capacity, transferrin saturation, and transferrin receptor were not significantly different between the beef and vegetarian groups, or changed over time with RT. Serum ferritin decreased over time in both the beef and vegetarian groups during RT (P<.01). Re-introduction of beef into the diets of the beef group increased hemoglobin concentration and hematocrit compared with the vegetarian group during the 12 weeks of RT (group×time, P<.05). These changes were within clinically normal limits.
Older men who consume a beef-containing, higher-bioavailable-iron diet, compared with a vegetarian, lower-bioavailable-iron diet, have an increased hematological profile during a 12-week period of RT. Older men who consume either a beef-containing or a vegetarian diet maintain a hematological profile within clinically normal limits during 12 weeks of RT.
The study objective was to compare dietary patterns in their relationship with metabolic risk factors (MRFs) and the metabolic syndrome (MetS).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Cross-sectional analysis of 773 subjects (mean age 60 years) from the Adventist Health Study 2 was performed. Dietary pattern was derived from a food frequency questionnaire and classified as vegetarian (35%), semi-vegetarian (16%), and nonvegetarian (49%). ANCOVA was used to determine associations between dietary pattern and MRFs (HDL, triglycerides, glucose, blood pressure, and waist circumference) while controlling for relevant cofactors. Logistic regression was used in calculating odds ratios (ORs) for MetS.
A vegetarian dietary pattern was associated with significantly lower means for all MRFs except HDL (P for trend < 0.001 for those factors) and a lower risk of having MetS (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.30–0.64, P < 0.001) when compared with a nonvegetarian dietary pattern.
A vegetarian dietary pattern is associated with a more favorable profile of MRFs and a lower risk of MetS. The relationship persists after adjusting for lifestyle and demographic factors.
The present study investigated associations between vegetarian diet and mental disorders.
Participants were drawn from the representative sample of the German Health Interview and Examination Survey and its Mental Health Supplement (GHS-MHS). Completely vegetarian (N = 54) and predominantly vegetarian (N = 190) participants were compared with non-vegetarian participants (N = 3872) and with a non-vegetarian socio-demographically matched subsample (N = 242).
Vegetarians displayed elevated prevalence rates for depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and somatoform disorders. Due to the matching procedure, the findings cannot be explained by socio-demographic characteristics of vegetarians (e.g. higher rates of females, predominant residency in urban areas, high proportion of singles). The analysis of the respective ages at adoption of a vegetarian diet and onset of a mental disorder showed that the adoption of the vegetarian diet tends to follow the onset of mental disorders.
In Western cultures vegetarian diet is associated with an elevated risk of mental disorders. However, there was no evidence for a causal role of vegetarian diet in the etiology of mental disorders.
Vegetarian diet; Psychopathology; Epidemiology
Higher protein diets are promoted for effective weight loss. Striated tissues in omnivorous diets contain high-quality protein, but limited data exist regarding their effects on bone.
To examine the effects of energy restriction–induced weight loss with higher protein omnivorous diets versus lower protein vegetarian diets on bone mineral density in overweight postmenopausal women, two randomized controlled feeding studies were conducted. In Study 1, 28 women consumed 750 kcal/day energy deficit diets with 18% energy from protein via lacto-ovo vegetarian sources (normal protein, n = 15) or 30% energy from protein with 40% of protein from lean pork (higher protein, n = 13, omnivorous) for 12 weeks. In Study 2, 54 women consumed their habitual diet (control, n = 11) or 1,250 kcal/day diets with 16% energy from nonmeat protein sources (n = 14) or 26% energy from protein, including chicken (n = 15) or beef (n = 14) for 9 weeks.
Study 1: With weight loss (normal protein −11.2%, higher protein −10.1%), bone mineral density was not significantly changed in normal protein (−0.003 ± 0.003 g/cm2, −0.3%) but decreased in higher protein (−0.0167 ± 0.004 g/cm2, −1. 4%, group-by-time p < .05). Study 2: The control, nonmeat, chicken, and beef groups lost 1.5%, 7.7%, 10.4%, and 8.1% weight and 0.0%, 0.4%, 1.1%, and 1.4% bone mineral density, respectively. The change of bone mineral density was significant for chicken and beef compared with the control (group-by-time, p < .05). Markers of calcium metabolism and bone homeostasis in blood and urine were not changed over time or differentially affected by diet.
Consumption of higher protein omnivorous diets promoted decreased bone mineral density after weight loss in overweight postmenopausal women.
Protein; Weight loss; Bone mineral density
Epidemiological studies indicate that a well balanced vegetarian diet offers several health benefits including a lower prevalence of prosperity diseases in vegetarians compared to omnivores. It was the purpose of the present study to compare nutritional and physical characteristics in matched samples of institutionalized vegetarian (V) and non-vegetarian (NV) elderly.
Twenty-two female and 7 male V (females: 84.1 ± 5.1yrs, males: 80.5 ± 7.5yrs) and 23 female and 7 male NV (females: 84.3 ± 5.0yrs, males: 80.6 ± 7.3yrs) participated. All subjects were over 65 years of age, and free of major disease or physical handicap. Dietary intake, blood profile, anthropometrics, and handgrip strength were determined.
Mean daily energy intake was 6.8 ± 2.0MJ in V females, and 8.0 ± 1.4MJ in the NV females, only the V did not reach the recommended value of 7.8 MJ. Male V and NV had a mean daily energy intake of 8.7 ± 1.6MJ and 8.7 ± 1.2MJ respectively (RDI: 8.8 MJ). Mean carbohydrate intake was significantly below the RDI in NV only (female V: 47.8 ± 7.5E%, female NV: 43.3 ± 4.6E%, male V: 48.1 ± 6.4E%, male NV: 42.3 ± 3.6E%), while protein (female V: 17.3 ± 3.4E%, female NV: 19.5 ± 3.5E%, male V: 17.8 ± 3.4E%, male NV: 21.0 ± 2.0E%), and saturated fat intake (female V: 25.4 ± 8.2 g/day, female NV: 32.2 ± 6.9 g/day, male V: 31.4 ± 12.9 g/day, male NV: 33.4 ± 4.7 g/day) were too high in both V and NV. Mean micronutrient intakes met the RDI's in all 4 groups. Mean blood concentrations for vitamin B12, folic acid, iron, and calcium were normal in all 4 groups. Mean zinc blood serum was below the reference value in all groups, whereas estimated zinc intake was in agreement with the RDI. The mean blood cholesterol concentration was above the 200 mg/dl upper limit in the V group (213 ± 40 mg/dl) and below that limit in the NV (188 ± 33 mg/dl) group. Mean BMI was 26.1 ± 4.7 kg/m2 in the female V, 26.8 ± 3.7 kg/m2 in the female NV, 23.5 ± 3.7 kg/m2 in the male V, and 25.2 ± 4.2 kg/m2 in the male NV. V and NV scored below the reference values for the handgrip strength test.
Generally, our results show a similar profile for V and NV concerning dietary intake, blood values, and physical characteristics. Attention should be paid to the intake of mono- and disaccharides and saturated fats in the diet of both V and NV. This study indicates that a vegetarian lifestyle has no negative impact on the health status at older age.
Relying on self-reported anthropometric data is often the only feasible way of studying large populations. In this context, there are no studies assessing the validity of anthropometrics in a mostly vegetarian population. The objective of this study was to evaluate the validity of self-reported anthropometrics in the Adventist Health Study 2 (AHS-2).
We selected a representative sample of 911 participants of AHS-2, a cohort of over 96,000 adult Adventists in the USA and Canada. Then we compared their measured weight and height with those self-reported at baseline. We calculated the validity of the anthropometrics as continuous variables, and as categorical variables for the definition of obesity.
On average, participants underestimated their weight by 0.20 kg, and overestimated their height by 1.57 cm resulting in underestimation of body mass index (BMI) by 0.61 kg/m2. The agreement between self-reported and measured BMI (as a continuous variable), as estimated by intraclass correlation coefficient, was 0.97. The sensitivity of self-reported BMI to detect obesity was 0.81, the specificity 0.97, the predictive positive value 0.93, the predictive negative value 0.92, and the Kappa index 0.81. The percentage of absolute agreement for each category of BMI (normoweight, overweight, and obese) was 83.4%. After multivariate analyses, predictors of differences between self-reported and measured BMI were obesity, soy consumption and the type of dietary pattern.
Self-reported anthropometric data showed high validity in a representative subsample of the AHS-2 being valid enough to be used in epidemiological studies, although it can lead to some underestimation of obesity.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
Fatty acids are important cellular constituents that may affect many metabolic processes relevant for the development of diabetes and its complications. We showed previously that vegetarian diet leads to greater increase in metabolic clearance rate of glucose (MCR) than conventional hypocaloric diet. The aim of this secondary analysis was to explore the role of changes in fatty acid composition of serum phospholipids in diet- and exercise-induced changes in MCR in subjects with type 2 diabetes (T2D).
Subjects with T2D (n=74) were randomly assigned into a vegetarian group (VG, n=37) following vegetarian diet or a control group (CG, n=37) following a conventional diet. Both diets were calorie restricted (−500 kcal day–1). Participants were examined at baseline, 12 weeks of diet intervention and 24 weeks (subsequent 12 weeks of diet were combined with aerobic exercise). The fatty acid composition of serum phospholipids was measured by gas liquid chromatography. MCR was measured by hyperinsulinemic isoglycemic clamp. Visceral fat (VF) was measured by magnetic resonance imaging.
Linoleic acid (LA; 18:2n6) increased in VG (P=0.04), whereas it decreased in CG (P=0.04) in response to dietary interventions. It did not change significantly after the addition of exercise in either group (group × time P<0.001). In VG, changes in 18:2n6 correlated positively with changes in MCR (r=+0.22; P=0.04) and negatively with changes in VF (r=−0.43; P=0.01). After adjustment for changes in body mass index, the association between 18:2n6 and MCR was no longer significant. The addition of exercise resulted in greater changes of phospholipid fatty acids composition in VG than in CG.
We demonstrated that the insulin-sensitizing effect of a vegetarian diet might be related to the increased proportion of LA in serum phospholipids.
fatty acid composition of serum phospholipids; insulin resistance; linoleic acid; type 2 diabetes; vegetarian diet; visceral fat
The morbidity and mortality of the cardiovascular diseases is high in the developed countries. The lifestyle changes are capable to decrease it by 50%. The aim of the present study was to measure the parameters of some risk factors before and after a one-week NEW START rehabilitative retreat. 1,349 volunteers, 320 men, 1,029 woman, mean age 51±14.5 (SD) years participated in 30 rehabilitative retreats from 1999–2006 in the Czech Republic, using a low-fat, low-energy, lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet and exercise, in a stress-free environment. Body weight, height, BMI, blood pressure, heart rate, serum cholesterol and blood glucose were measured. Body weight decreased in 1,223 measured persons from 71.2±14.38 (SD) to 70.6±14.02 kg (p<0.0001), BMI (1,046 measured persons) from 25.1±4.60 (SD) to 24.8±4.49 (SD) kg/m2 (p<0.0001), systolic blood pressure (1,218 persons) from 129.8±23.02 (SD) to 123.8±21.52 (SD) mmHg (p<0.0001), diastolic blood pressure (1,210 persons) from 79.8±12.7 (SD) to 77.5±11.6 (SD) mmHg (p<0.0001), serum cholesterol (998 persons) from 4.86±0.95 (SD) to 4.32±0.77 (SD) mmol (p<0.0001), blood glucose (544 persons) from 4.31±1.59 (SD) to 3.88±1.33 (SD) mmol (p<0.0001). Heart rate was not significantly decreased. The parameters were lower in lacto-ovo vegetarians and Seventh-day Adventists than in controls who never observed the diet and avail the lifestyle programs. The parameters were nonsignificantly changed one year after finishing the retreat in the sample of 68 persons showing the positive effect of retreats. Our results showed, that the intake of a low-fat, low-energy diet, over the course of one week in a stress-free environment, had positive impact on the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases.
cardiovascular diseases; decrease in risk factors; rehabilitative retreats; lifestyle; lacto-ovo vegetarians; Seventh-day Adventists
The goal of the prospective Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2) was to examine the relationship between diet and risk of breast, prostate and colon cancers in Black and White participants. This paper describes the study design, recruitment methods, response rates, and characteristics of Blacks in the AHS-2, thus providing insights about effective strategies to recruit Blacks to participate in research studies.
We designed a church-based recruitment model and trained local recruiters who used various strategies to recruit participants in their churches. Participants completed a 50-page self-administered dietary and lifestyle questionnaire.
Participants are Black Seventh-day Adventists, aged 30–109 years, and members of 1,209 Black churches throughout the United States and Canada.
Approximately 48,328 Blacks from an estimated target group of over 90,000 signed up for the study and 25,087 completed the questionnaire, comprising about 26% of the larger 97,000 AHS-2-member cohort. Participants were diverse in age, geographic location, education, and income. Seventy percent were female with a median age of 59 years.
In spite of many recruitment challenges and barriers, we successfully recruited a large cohort whose data should provide some answers as to why Blacks have poorer health outcomes than several other ethnic groups, and help explain existing health disparities.
Blacks; African Americans; Cohort Study; Cancer; Recruitment; Adventists
The primary aim of this study was to assess the effects of dietary protein intake on energy restriction (ER)-induced changes in body mass and body composition. Clinical markers of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases were also measured.
54 postmenopausal women, age 58 ± 2 y, body mass index 29.6 ± 0.8 kg/m2, were assigned to one of four groups. For 9 weeks, three ER groups ate a 1000 kcal/d lacto-ovo vegetarian basal diet plus 250 kcal/d of either beef (BEEF, n = 14), chicken (CHICKEN, n = 15), or carbohydrate/fat foods (CARB (lacto-ovo), n = 14), while a control group (CON, n = 11) consumed their habitual diets.
Energy intake was lower in the ER groups compared to CON (BEEF, 1114 ± 155 kcal/d, CHO: PRO: FAT, 46:24:30 % of energy intake; CHICKEN, 1098 ± 203 kcal/d, 51:25:24; CARB 1158 ± 341 kcal/d, 59:17:24; CON, 1570 ± 633 kcal/d, 47:20:33), but did not differ among ER groups. For all ER subjects combined, body mass (−6.7 ± 2.4 kg, 9 %), fat mass (−4.6 ± 1.9 kg, 13 %), and fat-free mass (−2.1 ± 1.1 kg, 5 %) decreased. These responses did not differ among the ER groups, except for body mass (CHICKEN −7.9 ± 2.6 kga; BEEF −6.6 ± 2.7 kga,b; CARB −5.6 ± 1.8 kgb; CON −1.2 ± 1.2 kgc; values with a difference superscript differ, p < 0.05). From PRE (week 0) to POST (week 9), total and LDL cholesterol decreased ∼12%, with no differences among groups. Triacylglycerol, HDL cholesterol, C-reactive protein (CRP), glucose, insulin, leptin, and adiponectin were not changed over time or differentially affected by diet.
Overweight postmenopausal women can achieve significant weight loss and comparable short-term improvements in body composition and lipid-lipoprotein profile by consuming either a moderate-protein (25% of energy intake) poultry- or beef-containing diet or a lacto-ovo vegetarian protein (17% of energy intake) diet.
weight loss; red meat; beef; poultry; DXA; lipoprotein-lipid profile; adiponectin
Focus Area: Experiential Workshop
Not all who adhere to vegetarian, vegan, or other special diets have nutritionally sound eating habits. The clinical consequences of an insufficiently mindful vegetarian or vegan diet include many common symptoms such as anxiety, brain fog, depression, fatigue, insomnia, neuropathies, and other neurologic dysfunction. Patients with such symptoms who report having a vegetarian or vegan diet or a diet that severely restricts meat consumption require a slightly expanded differential diagnosis. The clinical challenge is to identify which patients require closer attention. This workshop introduces 7 questions for all clinicians for rapid assessment of potential dietary drivers of clinical symptoms. This approach supports patient insights on mindful eating practices including optimal food choices for optimal health.
The aim of this study was to compare the effects of calorie-restricted vegetarian and conventional diabetic diets alone and in combination with exercise on insulin resistance, visceral fat and oxidative stress markers in subjects with Type 2 diabetes.
A 24-week, randomized, open, parallel design was used. Seventy-four patients with Type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to either the experimental group (n = 37), which received a vegetarian diet, or the control group (n = 37), which received a conventional diabetic diet. Both diets were isocaloric, calorie restricted (-500 kcal/day). All meals during the study were provided. The second 12 weeks of the diet were combined with aerobic exercise. Participants were examined at baseline, 12 weeks and 24 weeks. Primary outcomes were: insulin sensitivity measured by hyperinsulinaemic isoglycaemic clamp; volume of visceral and subcutaneous fat measured by magnetic resonance imaging; and oxidative stress measured by thiobarbituric acid reactive substances. Analyses were by intention to treat.
Forty-three per cent of participants in the experimental group and 5% of participants in the control group reduced diabetes medication (P < 0.001). Body weight decreased more in the experimental group than in the control group [–6.2 kg (95% CI –6.6 to –5.3) vs. –3.2 kg (95% CI –3.7 to –2.5); interaction group × time P = 0.001]. An increase in insulin sensitivity was significantly greater in the experimental group than in the control group [30% (95% CI 24.5–39) vs. 20% (95% CI 14–25), P = 0.04]. A reduction in both visceral and subcutaneous fat was greater in the experimental group than in the control group (P = 0.007 and P = 0.02, respectively). Plasma adiponectin increased (P = 0.02) and leptin decreased (P = 0.02) in the experimental group, with no change in the control group. Vitamin C, superoxide dismutase and reduced glutathione increased in the experimental group (P = 0.002, P < 0.001 and P = 0.02, respectively). Differences between groups were greater after the addition of exercise training. Changes in insulin sensitivity and enzymatic oxidative stress markers correlated with changes in visceral fat.
A calorie-restricted vegetarian diet had greater capacity to improve insulin sensitivity compared with a conventional diabetic diet over 24 weeks. The greater loss of visceral fat and improvements in plasma concentrations of adipokines and oxidative stress markers with this diet may be responsible for the reduction of insulin resistance. The addition of exercise training further augmented the improved outcomes with the vegetarian diet.
exercise; insulin resistance; oxidative stress markers; vegetarian diet; visceral fat