Study Finds Plant-Based Diet Can Reduce Cardiovascular Death by 40%

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Vegetarian Skewers” by Geoff Peters is licensed under CC BY 2.0Hana Kahleova, M.D., Ph.D.
Director of clinical research
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Washington, DC 20016 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: In this study, my research team and I reviewed multiple clinical trials and observational studies to determine the links between diet and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. We found that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of heart attack by more than 80 percent—something no drug has ever accomplished.

We also found strong and consistent evidence that plant-based dietary patterns (with few or no animal products and rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes) can prevent and even reverse atherosclerosis and decrease other markers of CVD risk, including blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight. We found that a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by about 40 percent overall.  Continue reading

Both Vegetarian and Mediterranean Diets Beneficial for Weight Loss and Heart Health

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Vegetarian dan dan noodles” by Andrea Nguyen is licensed under CC BY 2.0Francesco Sofi, MD PhD
Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine
University of Florence, Florence, Italy; Clinical Nutrition Unit, Careggi University Hospital
Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation Italy, Onlus IRCCS
Florence, Italy 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Mediterranean and Vegetarian diets are two of the most beneficial dietary patterns for prevention of chronic degenerative diseases.

No studies have been conducted in the same group of subjects, by comparing these two dietary profiles.

Main results are that both diets have been found to be beneficial for cardiovascular prevention, in the same group of subjects at low risk of cardiovascular disease.

In particular, vegetarian diet determined a reduction of total and LDL-cholesterol, whereas Mediterranean diet resulted in lower levels of triglycerides and some inflammatory parameters

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Vegetarian Diet More Effective For Weight Loss

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD</strong> Director of Clinical Research at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Charles University in Prague

Dr. Kahleova

Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD
Director of Clinical Research at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Charles University in Prague

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The vegetarian diet was found to be almost twice as effective in reducing body weight, resulting in an average loss of 6.2kg compared to 3.2kg for the conventional diet. Using magnetic resonance imaging, we studied adipose tissue in the subjects’ thighs to see how the two different diets had affected subcutaneous, subfascial and intramuscular fat.

We found that both diets caused a similar reduction in subcutaneous fat. However, subfascial fat was only reduced in response to the vegetarian diet, and intramuscular fat was more greatly reduced by the vegetarian diet.

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Diet of Plant Protein Associated With Reduced Mortality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Mingyang Song Sc.D, research fellow
Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit and Division of Gastroenterology MGH and Department of Nutrition
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Previous studies have been focused on the amount of protein intake, while little is known regarding the health effect of different food sources for protein intake. In this study, we found that high animal protein intake was associated with higher mortality, whereas high plant-based protein was associated with lower mortality. Replacement of animal protein with plant protein was associated with lower mortality. Overall, the findings support the importance of food sources for protein intake for long-term health outcomes.

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Diets Rich in Vegetables May Reduce Heart Disease Risk Through Microbiome Changes

Prof. Danilo Ercolini, PhD Department of Agricultural Sciences University of Naples Federico II Portici - ItalyMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Prof. Danilo Ercolini, PhD
Department of Agricultural Sciences
University of Naples Federico II
Portici – Italy

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Prof. Ercolini: There is a thick body of literature showing that diet can significantly impact the gut microbiota and metabolome.

In a recent study, negligible differences in gut microbiota and feca lshort-chain fatty acids (SCFA) were reported between habitual omnivores and vegans in the USA.

In addition, Mediterranean diet is a recognized healthy dietary pattern but has not previously been related to the composition of the gut microbiota and related metabolome. That’s the background in short.

Here we show how habitual vegetarian and vegan diets promote enrichment of fibre-degrading bacteria in the gut.

Subjects who consume a Mediterranean diet rich in fruit, legumes and vegetables have higher levels of fecal short chain fatty acids, regardless of the diet type.

Low adherence to the Mediterranean diet corresponds to an increase in urinary trimethylamine oxide levels, a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

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Plant-Based Vegan Diet May Improve Diabetic Neuropathy Pain, Lower Body Weight

Ulka Agarwal, M.D. California State University, East Bay Student Health and Counseling Services, Hayward, MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Ulka Agarwal, M.D.
California State University, East Bay
Student Health and Counseling Services
Hayward, CA

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Agarwal: Diabetic peripheral neuropathy affects 60 percent of patients with type 2 diabetes and can come with painful symptoms but limited treatment options. We thought a dietary intervention may help alleviate these symptoms since glycemic control plays a role in diabetes complications.

To get started with the pilot, we put 17 adults on a low-fat vegan diet for 20 weeks and prescribed weekly nutrition classes. We found significant improvements in pain, measured by the Short Form McGill Pain questionnaire, the Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument physical assessment, and through electrochemical skin conductance in the foot. The participants also lost an average of 14 pounds.

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Healthy Vegetarian Diet May Reduce Risk of Colon Cancer

Michael J. Orlich, MD, PhD Program Director, Preventive Medicine Residency Loma Linda University Co-Investigator, Adventist Health StudiesMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Michael J. Orlich, MD, PhD
Program Director, Preventive Medicine Residency
Loma Linda University
Co-Investigator, Adventist Health Studies

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Orlich: Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States.  Screening efforts such as colonoscopies have helped save many lives by detecting pre-cancerous polyps and removing them.  However, it is even better to prevent cancers from forming in the first place.  We call this primary prevention.  Diet is a potentially important approach to reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer.  In this analysis, we compared those eating different categories of vegetarian dietary patterns to those eating a non-vegetarian diet.  About half of our study population was classified as non-vegetarian, which we defined as eating meat at least weekly.  The other half of our population we called vegetarian and further divided them into four different vegetarian groups:  semi-vegetarians ate meat but less than once per week; pesco-vegetarians ate fish but avoided other meats; lacto-ovo-vegetarians avoided meat but ate eggs and/or dairy products; and vegans avoided all meats, eggs, and dairy.  All vegetarians together had on average a 22% relative reduction in the risk of developing colorectal cancer, compared to non-vegetarians, after carefully adjusting for many other factors.  Pesco-vegetarians in particular had a much lower risk compared to non-vegetarians. Continue reading

Vegetarian Protein Sufficient For Appetite Control and Weight Loss

dr alex johnstoneMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Alex Johnstone PhD

Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health
Aberdeen

 

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?
Response:

  • Previous work has indicated that high-protein (30% of diet as protein) meat-based weight loss diets are highly satiating, and reduce the free food intake over a four-week period (1,2).
  • There is limited data on assessing the effect of different types of protein on appetite in weight loss studies (3). Previously, a mixed meat source of protein was used in our high protein diets, but this approach has been criticised both from a policy and public health perspective because of potential negative side effects, especially on gut health (4).
  • There is acceptance that vegetable based weight loss diet may offer protection from diseases (5).
  • It may be that alternative vegetable sources of protein could be satiating, and yet maintain a healthy gut during weight loss, and we set up a study to test this, using soya (plant) protein
  1. Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Nieuwenhuizen A, Tomé D, Soenen S, Westerterp KR. Annu Rev Nutr 2009; 29:21-41.
  2. Johnstone AM, Horgan GW, Murison SD, Bremner DM, Lobley GE. Am J Clin Nutr 2008; 87(1):44-55.
  3. Due A, Toubro S, Skov AR, Astrup A.. Int J Obes Rel Metab Disord 2004; 28(10):1283-90.
  4. Russell WR, Gratz SW, Duncan SH, Holtrop G, Ince J, Scobbie L, Duncan G, Johnstone AM, Lobley GE, Wallace RJ, et al.. Am J Clin Nutr 2011; 93(5):1062-1072.
  5. Clifton P. Brit J Nutr 2012; 108:122–129.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?
Response:

  • Over the two weeks, subjects lost similar amounts of weight, on average 2.41 and 2.27 kg on the vegetarian high-protein weight loss and meat based high-protein weight loss diets respectively, with similar reduction in fat-mass and preservation of fat-free mass, due to the high protein component.
  • The vegetarian high-protein weight loss had a similar impact on appetite and motivation to eat as the meat based high-protein weight loss diet.
  • Blood biomarkers improved with weight loss for both high protein diets (plasma cholesterol, low density lipoproteins (LDL), high density lipoproteins (HDL), triglycerides and glucose)
  • There was a greater reduction in total cholesterol with the plant based diet for cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. This finding could be attributed to the composition of vegetarian source of protein (soya), (i.e. fibre, phytochemicals, and other micro and macro nutrients).

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Since appetite control and weight loss was similar in both weight loss diets, vegetarian meals are acceptable to  include in a high-protein moderate carbohydrate weight loss diet. In this context, the diets were 30% protein, 30% fat and 40% carbohydrate from energy. A diet that contains mixed sources of protein is acceptable, to feel fuller for longer during calorie restriction for weight loss.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Alternative plant sources of protein in the context of weight loss is of interest to achieve a healthy body weight but also sustainable sources for the environment. Also the role of dietary protein with carbohydrate in promoting body weight maintenance after weight loss.

Read more here about our research on sustainable protein :  http://www.abdn.ac.uk/rowett/research/strategic-partnership.php

Citation:

Research presented at the Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) in London, UK

 

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Alex Johnstone PhD, Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, & Aberdeen (2015). Vegetarian Protein Sufficient For Appetite Control and Weight Loss 

Vegan Dieters Lost the Most Weight

Brie Turner-McGrievy, Ph.D., M.S., R.D. Assistant Professor University of South Carolina; Arnold School of Public Health Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior Columbia, SC 29208MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Brie Turner-McGrievy, Ph.D., M.S., R.D.

Assistant Professor
University of South Carolina; Arnold School of Public Health
Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior
Columbia, SC 29208

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Turner-McGrievy: Several observational studies have examined differences in weight-related outcomes among individuals following vegan, vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, or omnivorous diets. These studies have found lower body weights and less weight gain over time among vegans as compared to other groups. However, no randomized controlled trials have tested the relationship between these diets and body weight. So the goal of our study was to determine the effect of varying plant-based diets on weight loss. Our study found that a similar relationship of weight loss was found among the five diet groups that has been observed in epidemiological studies, with weight loss going from greatest in the vegan group followed by vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, and omnivorous. At six months, the vegan group lost significantly more weight (-7.5 ± 4.5%) than the omnivorous (-3.1 ± 3.6%, P=0.03), semi-vegetarian (-3.2 ± 3.8%, P=0.03), and pesco-vegetarian (-3.2 ± 3.4%, P=0.03) groups. Continue reading

Vegetarian Diet and Blood Pressure Lowering Effect

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Yoko Yokoyama, Ph.D., M.P.H.
National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, Osaka, Japan,

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Yokoyama: We found consistent evidence that a vegetarian diet has a significant blood-pressure-lowering effect, and this was clear both in observational studies of individuals who had chosen vegetarian diets on their own and in intervention trials in which people were asked to make diet changes.

Our meta-analysis included 32 observational studies and 7 controlled clinical trials. In the observational studies, vegetarian diets were associated with blood pressures that were about 7 mmHg lower systolic and 5 mmHg lower diastolic. In the clinical trials, the reductions were about 5 mmHg systolic and 2 mmHg diastolic. These are pooled averages, so for some individuals, particularly those with higher body weights or higher blood pressures at the beginning, the blood-pressure-lowering effects could be much greater.

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Most Drugs Have Ingredients That Come From Animals

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kinesh Patel, Research Fellow
Wolfson Unit for Endoscopy
St Mark’s Hospital, Harrow HA1 3UJ, UK

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Patel: Most drugs prescribed in primary care have ingredients that come from
animals, but the animals they come from is not always clear and whether the
drugs are suitable for vegetarians is difficult to find out conclusively,
even after looking at information available on packets, information
leaflets and on the internet.
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Vegetarian Dietary Patterns and Mortality

MedicalResearch.com eInterview with: Michael J. Orlich, M.D.

Program Director
Preventive Medicine Residency
Loma Linda University www.lluprevmedres.org
Research Fellow, Adventist Health Studies
www.adventisthealthstudy.org

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Orlich: The main findings were these.

Vegetarians, as we defined them, had reduced risk of death during the study period compared to non-vegetarians.

This was true also for particular vegetarian diets including for vegans, lacto-ovo-vegetarians, and pesco-vegetarians.  Reduced risk was seen in particular for deaths related to disease of the heart, kidneys, and diabetes.

Findings were stronger in men than women.
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