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Vegetarians in the U.S. made up 0.9% of the adult population in 1994-8 (Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Sep;78(3 Suppl):626S-632S). They weigh less, eat more fruits and vegetables, and less animal and saturated fats.  Vegetarian diet can be very healthy and most vegetarians are health conscious.  In fact, research finds that, on average, vegetarian live considerably longer than the average population, although a good portion of this advantage is not related to avoiding meat consumption, but to lower rates of smoking, etc.  

However, a fair number of vegetarians fail to get adequate amounts of certain nutrients.  The most common shortages reported in vegetarians is vitamin B-12 followed by inadequate intakes of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and selenium.  Many vegetarians and vegans also consume far too much salt.  However, even with the short-comings, vegetarian diets do very well.  Also, these short-comings are easily overcome with supplements, alternative sources for omega-3s, and the avoidance of salt.  Don't forget to exercise.

Meat: Low Intake Adds Up to 3.6 Years in Meta-Analysis of 6 Studies: Review of the 6 studies found the following trends: 1) a very low meat intake was associated with a significant decrease in risk of death in 4 studies, a non-significant decrease in risk of death in the fifth study, and virtually no association in the sixth study; 2) 2 of the studies in which a low meat intake significantly decreased mortality risk also indicated that a longer duration (>/= 2 decades) of adherence to this diet contributed to a significant decrease in mortality risk and a significant 3.6-year increase in life expectancy; and 3) the protective effect of a very low meat intake seems to attenuate after the ninth decade. Does low meat consumption increase life expectancy in humans? Singh PN, Sabate J, Fraser GE. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Sep;78(3 Suppl):526S-532S

Diabetic Kidney Disease Helped by Replacing Beef and Pork: Replacement of red meat in the diet with chicken reduces the urinary albumin excretion rate (UAER) and serum cholesterol in microalbuminuric type 2 diabetes patients, even in this crossover controlled trial of 17 type 2 diabetes patients with macroalbuminuria (24-h UAER > or = 200 microg/min). Withdrawal of red meat from the usual diet reduces albuminuria and improves serum fatty acid profile in type 2 diabetes patients with macroalbuminuria. de Mello VD, et al. Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil. Am J Clin Nutr 2006 May;83(5):1032-8.

Live Longer: Oxford Vegetarian Study is a prospective study of 6,000 vegetarians and 5,000 non-vegetarian control subjects recruited in the United Kingdom between 1980 and 1984. Controls were meat-eating friends or relatives of the vegetarians. Cross-sectional analyses of study data showed that vegans had lower total- and LDL-cholesterol concentrations than did meat eaters; vegetarians and fish eaters had intermediate and similar values. Meat and cheese consumption were positively associated, and dietary fiber intake was inversely associated, with total-cholesterol concentration in both men and women. After 12 years of follow-up, all-cause mortality in the whole cohort was roughly half that in the population of England and Wales (standardized mortality ratio, 0.46). After adjusting for smoking, body mass index, and social class, death rates were lower in non-meat-eaters than in meat eaters for each of the mortality endpoints studied [relative risks 0.80 for all causes of death, 0.72 for ischemic heart disease, and 0.61 for all malignant neoplasms]. Mortality from ischemic heart disease was also positively associated with estimated intakes of total animal fat, saturated animal fat, and dietary cholesterol. : Am J Clin Nutr 1999 Sep;70(3 Suppl):525S-531S.

Longer Life Might Not Be Lack of Meat: In two studies involving 21,000 between 16 and 89 year of age at recruitment, including more than 8,000 vegetarians, a comparison using Standardized Mortality Ratios for all causes of death found that participants were significantly below the reference level of 100 in both studies: 52 based on 1,131 deaths in the Oxford Vegetarian Study and 59 based on 2,346 deaths in the Health Food Shoppers Study. For all causes of death, the Death Rate Ratios for vegetarians compared with non-vegetarians was close to one in both studies: 1.01 in the Oxford Vegetarian Study, 1.03 in the Health Food Shoppers Study. British vegetarians have low mortality compared with the general population. Their death rates are similar to those of comparable non-vegetarians, suggesting that much of this benefit may be attributed to non-dietary lifestyle factors such as a low prevalence of smoking and a generally high socio-economic status, or to aspects of the diet other than the avoidance of meat and fish. Public Health Nutr 2002 Feb;5(1):29-36; Public Health Nutr 2000;5(1):29-36

Five Study Meta-Analysis, 9% Lower Mortality: A meta-analysis of mortality in five prospective studies of populations containing large numbers of vegetarians include: the Adventist Mortality Study and the Adventist Health Study by Loma Linda University, the Health Food Shoppers Study and the Oxford Vegetarian Study by Oxford, and the Heidelberg Study by Jenny Chang-Claude in Germany. Altogether, data were available for a total of 76,172 persons, including 27,808 vegetarians, of whom 8,330 died before the age of ninety after an average of 10.6 years of follow-up. After adjusting for age, sex, smoking habits and education, vegetarians were found to have a 25 per cent reduction in mortality from ischemic heart disease (the most common cause of death in the western world) and a 9% lower all-cause mortality compared with non-vegetarians, both results being highly statistically significant. There was no evidence, however, to suggest a lower mortality rate for colorectal, breast or prostate cancer (mortality ratios 1.00, 1.02 and 0.89 respectively for vegetarians compared with non-vegetarians) or, indeed, for any of the other common causes of death studied. Paul Appleby, International Vegetarian Union, 1998

Vegetarian or Health Conscious Diets and Exercise Markedly Increase Longevity: In a 21-year follow-up of 1,225 vegetarians and 679 health-conscious persons in Germany, standardized mortality ratios for all-cause mortality was well below 100: 59 [95% confidence interval, 54-64], predominantly due to a deficit of deaths from circulatory diseases. Vegetarian compared with nonvegetarian diet had no effect on overall mortality [RR 1.10], whereas moderate and high physical activity significantly reduced risk of death (RR 0.62), adjusted for age, sex, smoking, alcohol intake, body mass index, and educational level. Vegetarian diet was associated with a reduced RR of 0.70 (95% CI, 0.41-1.18) for ischemic heart disease, which could partly be related to avoidance of meat. Lifestyle determinants and mortality in German vegetarians and health-conscious persons: results of a 21-year follow-up. Chang-Claude J, Hermann S, et al. German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Apr;14(4):963-8.

Eggs, Cheese Bad: Vegetarians and vegans had a 17% lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease in the Oxford Vegetarian Study. The most striking results from the analysis were the strong positive and highly significant associations between increasing consumption of animal fats and ischemic heart disease mortality, the death rates being roughly three times greater among participants in the highest third of intake compared with the lowest third of intake for each of total animal fat, saturated animal fat, and dietary cholesterol. Consumption of eggs and cheese were also positively associated with ischemic heart disease mortality, but no protective effects were noted for dietary fiber, fish or alcohol consumption, as might have been expected from findings in other studies. Mann JI, Appleby PN, Key TJ, Thorogood M. Heart 1997;78:450-455.

Vegan Diet Common: 7% of English are vegetarian. Appetite 2001 Aug;37(1):15-26

Vegetarians No Less Depressed, No Healthier in Swede Teens: No reported difference between low-meat consumers and omnivores in study of 2041 teens with respect to alcohol use, smoking, weight, or amount of exercise. Female low-meat consumers more frequently used smokeless tobacco, reported having more sick days during the last year, attached less importance to "being healthy," and had been depressed more often than female omnivores. Male low-meat consumers reported, to a greater extent than male omnivores, having been tired without reason, having often had headaches and having been depressed. Female low-meat consumers had parents with a higher average level of education than did female omnivores and more often spent time with friends after school. Vegetarianism or low-meat consumption is mainly a female phenomenon among adolescents in this study. Umea U. Lifestyle-related characteristics of young low-meat consumers and omnivores in Sweden and Norway. Larsson CL, Klock KS, Nordrehaug Astrom A, Haugejorden O, Johansson G. J Adolesc Health 2002 Aug;31(2):190-8

No Difference Between Meat vs. Ovolacto on Weight Training: 21 men in resistance training for 12 weeks averaging 65yo. Increase strength no different and vastus lateralis muscle mass increase non-significantly favored meat. Kansas State U. Am J Clin Nutr 2002 Sep;76(3):511-7

Vegan Diet Helps Diabetic Neuropathy: A low-fat, whole-food vegan diet, coupled with daily walking exercise, leads to rapid remission of neuropathic pain in the majority of type 2 diabetics. Favorable impact of a vegan diet with exercise on hemorheology: implications for control of diabetic neuropathy. McCarty MF. Med Hypotheses 2002 Jun;58(6):476-86

Vegetarian Diet Helps Atopic Dermatitis: open-trial study was carried out in twenty patients with atopic dermatitis. An improvement of dermatitis was evaluated by SCORAD index and serological and immunological parameters were monitored. After a two-month treatment, the severity of dermatitis was strikingly inhibited, as assessed by SCORAD index and serological parameters including LDH5 activity and a number of peripheral eosinophils. A sharp reduction in eosinophils and neutrophils was observed prior to improvement in the skin inflammation. In addition, PGE2 production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells was reduced by this treatment. In contrast, serum IgE levels did not change. Japan, T Tanaka, Osaka, J Physiol Anthropol Appl Human Sci 2001 Nov;20(6):353-61

Taoists are Vegans and Buddhists lacto-vegetarians: Vegetarianism was a significant predictor of lower risk of ischemic heart disease based on ECG and symptoms (for probable IHD 10% vs 31%). J Amer Coll Nutr 19:622, 2000

Vegetable Protein As Good As Meat for Muscles: data suggest that increases in muscle strength and size were not influenced by the predominant source of protein consumed by older men with adequate total protein intake. Am J Clin Nutr 2002 Sep;76(3):511-7

Vegan Diet Helps Fibromyagia: 18 pts shifted to a low salt, uncooked vegan diet and 15 stayed omnivorous. Urine sodium dropped 2/3s. Pain, joint stiffness, sleep quality improved dramatically. Cholesterol and weight also showed sizable decreases. Scand J Rheumatol 2000;29(5):308-13

Vegetarian Diet Little Benefit Fibromyalgia: Bangladesh open study of 78 patients. Those randomized to amitriptyline did much better with only slight decreased pain with vegetarian. Bangladesh Med Res Counc Bull 2000 Aug;26(2):41-7

Kidney Stones: Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian Diet Better than Meat or Mixed Diet for Uric Acid: 15% of stones are uric acid stones. 10 healthy males ate a self-selected diet, a typical American meat diet, a diet lower in meat with fruits and vegetables emphasized, and a ovo-lacto vegetarian diet. The risk of uric acid crystallization was highest with the first two, due to the high urinary uric acid excretion and the acidic urinary pH. The relative supersaturation with uric acid and risk of stone formation declined by 85% on the lower meat diet and by 93% on the vegetarian diet. The effect of a vegetarian and different omnivorous diets on urinary risk factors for uric acid stone formation. Siener R, Hesse A. Eur J Nutr. 2003 Dec;42(6):332-7

No Difference in Dental Erosion in Kids: A British study of 418 children random selection found that 10% were vegetarian. 48% of the children had moderate dental erosion, but there was no significant different between the vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Int J Paediatr Dent 2001 May;11(3):184-92

Vegans High Homocysteine, Low B-12: Ann Nutr Metab 2000;44(3):135-8

Vegan B-12 Deficiency Highly Predictive of High Homocysteine: J Nutrition 2/02, Taiwan. Plasma levels of 90 women, half vegetarian, studied. Other research shows homocysteine over 15 micromol/l has 70% incr risk cardiovasc disease v less than 10 micromol. Vegetarians higher homocysteine (11.2 v 8.64) although may not be true in U.S. according to Loma Linda researcher.

Vegans Hyperhomocysteinemia: Frequency of hyperhomocysteinemia was 53% in the vegans group, 28% in vegetarians vs. 5% in omnivores. In conditions of lower methionine intake (reduced content in plant proteins), the remethylation pathway of homocysteine metabolism prevails and it is vitamin B12 and folate-dependent. The intake of vitamin B12 is equal to zero in vegans; vegetarians consume 124% of the RDA vs. 383% in omnivores. Serum vitamin levels are significantly lower in subjects consuming alternative nutrition with deficiency observed in 24% of vegetarians, 78% of vegans vs. 0% in omnivores. Serum folate levels are within the reference range in all groups. Scand J Clin Lab Invest 2000 Dec;60(8):657-64

Asian Indian Males in U.S. Frequent B-12 Deficient: results show that hyperhomocysteinemia is strikingly common in apparently healthy, young Asian Indian men. The cause appears to be cobalamin deficiency, which affected more than half of the Indian men, may be largely subclinical, is underestimated by homocysteine levels alone which were not always abnormal, and is probably largely dietary in origin. Folate deficiency is rare. In the study 59% males and 23% females deficient and many of the males were physicians in training. Am J Hematol 2002 Jun;70(2):107-14

Vegetarian B-12 Deficiency Extremely Common in Elderly Chinese: A study of 199 Hong Kong females 55yo+ found 42% deficient and 32% more borderline. recommend that older vegetarians should be given vitamin B(12) supplements routinely. Am J Hematol 2002 Jul;70(3):186-90

Vegetarian B-12 Deficiency Extremely Common in German Study: 174 adults studied. In subjects who did not consume vitamins, low holotranscobalamin II (< 35 pmol/L) was found in 11% of the omnivores, 77% of the LV-LOV group, and 92% of the vegans. Elevated methylmalonic acid (> 271 nmol/L) was found in 5% of the omnivores, 68% of the LV-LOV group, and 83% of the vegans. Hyperhomocysteinemia (> 12 micromol/L) was present in 16% of the omnivores, 38% of the LV-LOV group, and 67% of the vegans. Vitamin B-12 status, particularly holotranscobalamin II and methylmalonic acid concentrations, and hyperhomocysteinemia in vegetarians. Herrmann W, Schorr H, Obeid R, Geisel J. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jul;78(1):131-6

Diet in 8 Countries, Animal Fat Bad for Schizophrenia, Fish OK: Study found that 97% of the variance in patient recovery between countries could be attributed to dietary variations with high total fat intake and high intake of land animal and bird fat especially (p=.0002). There is a favorable recovery linkage, although not as strong, linked to a higher intake of fats from fish, seafood, and vegetables (p>.10). Used data from 8 national centers participating in WHO international 2-year f/u study. Incidence of schizophrenia similar in all countries. Christiansen, Denmark, Acta Psychia Scand 88;78:587

Meat May Increase Dementia: A small 7th Day Adventist study of 272 individuals found that vegans and vegetarians were less likely than "heavy" meat eaters to develop dementia. RR 2.18 and 2.99 when past meat consumption was taken into consideration. Giem, Neuroepidemiology Ď93;12:28

?Meat Role in Brazilian-Japanese Dementia: Small study reports higher meat intake and wonders if diet might be playing a role. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 2002 Feb;56(1):71-5

Sporadic Jacob-Creuzfeldt Dementia Meat Related: A case-control study conducted in 1981-1983 to evaluate possible dietary and other sources of the disease (similar to Mad Cow Disease in humans), 26 cases were ascertained in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, 23 of which were obtained from accumulated records of the Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies of the National Institutes of Health. Controls included 18 family members and 22 hospital-matched individuals (total sample size, 66). An increased consumption among patients was found for roast pork, ham, hot dogs (p less than 0.05), roast lamb, pork chops, smoked pork, and scrapple (p less than 0.1). An excess consumption of rare meat (p < 0.01) and raw oysters/clams (p < 0.1) was also reported among the patients. Liver consumption, among organ foods, was greater (p < 0.1) among the cases. Am J Epidemiol 1985 Sep;122(3):443-51

Macrobiotic Diet in Children Causes Mental Impairment: Study of children macrobiotic for 1st six years found the children didnít do as well on testing as omnivores when 10-16 years old and on regular diet. Lower fluid intelligence on psychological testing thought due to lack of B-12. Am J Clin Nutr 2000 Sep;72(3):762-9

Vegans Inadequate Protein, Low Methionine: Czech study found vegans with only 56% of minimum protein intake and deficit in methionine and 16% had hypoproteinemia. Also low glutathione in RBCs which requires methionine. Cas Lek Cesk 1999 Aug 30;138(17):528-31. 2-4g/d nori (dried laver) can provide enough B-12. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) 1995 Dec;41(6):587-94. Nori and chlorella seaweed with B-12 and vegans eating these twice the B-12 as other vegans and in nl range. J Nutr 1995 Oct;125(10):2511-5

Vegan Diet Low in Selenium: Two studies have found this. Glutathione perioxidase is selenium dependent. Am J Clin Nutr 1995 Dec;62(6):1221-7

Vegans Need Selenium: Selenium is high in beef, the primary source in US diet. Vegans have lower than average intake. Am J Clin Nutr 2002 Jul;76(1):100-6. Dietary intake and nutritional status of young vegans and omnivores in Sweden. Larsson CL, Johansson GK. Studied 30 teen vegans. No difference in serum iron of vegetarians vs. omnivores, although there is a low intake B-12, D, B-2, calcium, and selenium. Two with low serum B-12. In Irish adults, meat/meat products (30%), bread and rolls (24%), fish/fish products (approximately 11%), and milk and yoghurt (9%) were the main contributors to mean daily Se intake. Eur J Clin Nutr 2002 May;56(5):402-8 Selenium intakes in 18-64-y-old Irish adults. Murphy J, Hannon EM, Kiely M, Flynn A, Cashman KD.

Vegetarian Diet Results in Massive Decrease in Cholesterol: People with high cholesterol may lower their levels by a surprising one-third with a vegetarian diet that combines a variety of trendy heart-healthy foods, including plenty of soy, 1 ounce daily of almonds and soluble fiber, a study found. Whether most people would stick with such a diet is another matter, since it involves daily okra, eggplant and Metamucil, among other things. Kendall, U Toronto. The diet is based on a low-fat vegetarian regimen that emphasizes foods shown individually to be beneficial ó soy, soluble fiber, plant sterols and almonds. Sources of soluble fiber include oats, barley, legumes, eggplant, okra and Metamucil. Some brands of margarine are high in plant sterols.

Vegetarians Tend to be Low in Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fish, seafood, and fish oil are easy sources of large amounts of omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids EPA and DHA used by the body and the brain for cell membrane flexibility.  There is even a little EPA and DHA in range-fed cattle. Clinical studies suggest that tissue levels of long-chain n-3 fatty acids are depressed in vegetarians, particularly in vegans. n-3 Fatty acids have numerous physiologic benefits, including potent cardioprotective effects. These effects have been demonstrated for ALA as well as EPA and DHA, although the response is generally less for ALA than for EPA and DHA. Conversion of ALA by the body to the more active longer-chain metabolites is inefficient: < 5-10% for EPA and 2-5% for DHA. Achieving optimal essential fatty acid status in vegetarians: current knowledge and practical implications. Davis BC, Kris-Etherton PM. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Sep;78(3 Suppl):640S-646S. Ed: Vegetarians need to get sizeable amounts of ALA in their diets.  Flax seed (inexpensive) and flax oil are very high while nuts, canola oil, and other sources have some. One alternative is DHA capsules made from plankton, the same source that fish get it from.  While these capsules are much more expensive than fish oil, they are still inexpensive compared to medicines for depression.

In the experiment, 25 volunteers ate either a standard low-fat diet or the Portfolio approach, while researchers watched the effects on their LDL cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart disease, and HDL, which lowers it. After a month, LDL levels fell 12 percent in those on the standard diet and 35 percent in those on the Portfolio diet. However, HDL levels were unchanged in people on the Portfolio diet. AHA meeting 3/6/03 AP


Helps Rheumatiod Arthritis: Single blind study of 53 pts for one year with half on vegan for 3 months then ovolacto for 9 month showed definite benefit tho some non-responders. Am J Clin Nutr 1999 Sep;70(3 Suppl):594S-600S.

Vegan Diet Helps Arthritis: J Altern Complement Med 2002 Feb;8(1):71-5. 24 mod-severe RA pt, single blind, 4 weeks low fat vegan found improvement in all measures of arthritis except morning stiffness. Some modest decr in sed rate, RH factor.

Vegan Diet without Gluten Helps RA Arthritis: Orv Hetil 2001 Nov 18;142(46):2581-5, Carolinska Inst, Sweden. 66 pt random assigned. 40% clear improvement on vegan diet vs. 4% on healthy control diet x 1yr. IgG against gliadin and beta-lactoglobulin both decr in vegan group. No x-ray changes.

Vegan Diet Helps Sacroileitis: 33yo with refractory HLA-27 B positive case. Relief in three days, back to meat at 6 weeks and relapse and against totally symptom free back on vegan. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd 2001 Aug;8(4):228-

Vegetarian Low Arachidonic Plus Fish Oil Best for Rheumatoid Arthritis: 68 RA pt DB crossover 8 month each diet with two month washout. Arachidonic acid found almost exclusively in meat. Humans can manufacture from linoleic acid. In Low Arachidonic Acid AID patients, as compared to Western Diet WD patients, fish oil led to a significant reduction in the numbers of tender (28% vs 11%) and swollen (34% vs 22%) joints ( P<0.01). Compared to baseline levels, higher enrichment of eicosapentaenoic acid in erythrocyte lipids (244% vs 217%) and lower formation of leukotriene B(4) (34% vs 8%, P>0.01), 11-dehydro-thromboxane B(2) (15% vs 10%, P<0.05), and prostaglandin metabolites (21% vs 16%, P<0.003) were found in AID patients, especially when fish oil was given. Anti-inflammatory effects of a low arachidonic acid diet and fish oil in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Adam O, Beringer C, Kless T, Lemmen C, Adam A, Wiseman M, Adam P, Klimmek R, Forth W. Rheumatol Int 2003 Jan;23(1):27-36; Munich

Lower Weight

Vegan Diet Good for Weight Loss: Vegans lower BMI. Unfortunately, 10 of 25 vegans with macrocytosis and low B-12. Am J Clin Nutr 1999 Sep;70(3 Suppl):586S-593S

Vegans Lower BP Due to Lower BMI: English study of 11004 found 14% meat-eaters vs 7% vegans with self-reported HBP. Most of difference attributable to BMI. Hypertension and blood pressure among meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans in EPIC-Oxford. Appleby PN, Davey GK, Key TJ. Public Health Nutr 2002 Oct;5(5):645-54

7th Day Adventist Vegetarians Less Diabetes, HBP, Arthritis: vegetarian Seventh-day Adventists have lower risks of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and arthritis than non-vegetarians. Thus, among Seventh-day Adventists, vegetarians are healthier than non-vegetarians but this cannot be ascribed only to the absence of meat. Am J Clin Nutr 1999 Sep;70(3 Suppl):532S-538S. 25,698 adult Seventh-day Adventists identified in 1960. During 21 years of follow-up, the risk of diabetes as an underlying cause of death in Adventists was approximately one-half the risk for all US Whites. Within the male Adventist population, vegetarians had a substantially lower risk than non-vegetarians of diabetes as an underlying or contributing cause of death. Within both the male and female Adventist populations, the prevalence of self-reported diabetes also was lower in vegetarians than in non-vegetarians. The associations observed between diabetes and meat consumption were apparently not due to confounding by over- or under-weight, other selected dietary factors, or physical activity. Am J Public Health 1985 May;75(5):507-12

Less Asthma, Hayfever, Fewer Meds, Less Chronic Disease, Surgery & Hospitalizations, Fewer Allergies: In 1976, 27,766 Seventh-day Adventists answered questions on diet, medications, use of health services, and prevalence of disease. Approximately 55% (n = 15,228) were vegetarians. Compared with vegetarian females, non-vegetarian females reported significantly more overnight hospitalizations and surgeries during the past year and non-vegetarian males reported more overnight hospitalizations and x-rays. The average numbers of chronic diseases were 1.24 in non-vegetarian females and 1.03 in vegetarian females compared with 0.93 and 0.79 in non-vegetarian and vegetarian males, respectively. Non-vegetarian females also reported more chemical allergy (rate ratio (RR) = 1.30), asthma (RR = 1.24), drug allergy (RR = 1.17), bee sting allergy (RR = 1.17), and hayfever (RR = 1.15). Only chemical and drug allergy were more prevalent in non-vegetarian males. Medication use was increased by 70-115% in non-vegetarian females and more than doubled in nonvegetarian males. We conclude that a vegetarian diet may decrease the prevalence of chronic disease, medication use, and health service use, and thus, potentially, health care costs. Am J Clin Nutr 1994 May;59(5 Suppl):1171S-1175S Lifestyle and the use of health services. Knutsen SF.

Vegan Africans Low Auto-Immune: extreme rarity of autoimmune disorders among sub-Saharan black Africans as long as they followed their traditional quasi-vegan lifestyles, and with recent ecologic studies correlating risks for IDDM and for multiple sclerosis mortality with animal product and/or saturated fat consumption. Moreover, there is evidence that vegan or quasi-vegan diets are useful in the management of rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and possibly SLE. Author favors vegan with fish oil, bromocriptine, and Vitamin D. The favorable impact of low latitude or high altitude on autoimmune risk may be mediated by superior vitamin D status, which is associated with decreased secretion of parathyroid hormone; there are theoretical grounds for suspecting that parathyroid hormone may inhibit apoptosis in thymocytes. Androgens appear to up-regulate thymocyte apoptosis, may be largely responsible for the relative protection from autoimmunity enjoyed by men. Med Hypotheses 2001 Aug;57(2):258-75, MF McCarty, San Diego

Vegan Diet Good for DM: Patients place on low fat vegan diet lost more weight (15 vs 7#) vs. low fat non-vegan diet and 28% vs. 12% lower FBS with med reduction possible in some. Prev Med 1999 Aug;29(2):87-91

Vegetarian Diet As Good As Lovastatin: U Toronto David Jenkins JAMA 7/23/03 study 46 high cholesterol patients 1 month randomized to regular low saturated fat diet with lovastatin or special diet combined nuts (almonds), soy proteins, viscous fiber (high-fiber) foods such as oats and barely and a special margarine with plant sterols (found in leafy green vegetables and vegetable oils) or control. Lovastatin 30% decrease LDL vs. 29% decrease with diet.

Vegetarian Diets Low Gallstones: Risk factors for cholesterol gallstones in humans include obesity, aging, estrogen treatment, pregnancy and diabetes. Plasma ascorbic acid levels are reduced in these groups. Vegetarian diets, which typically have high ascorbic acid contents, protect against gallstones. Med Hypotheses 1993 Feb;40(2):81-4

Vegetarian No Difference in Gallstones in India: Body mass index, smoking, alcohol consumption, and a vegetarian/non-vegetarian diet did not influence the prevalence of gallstone disease. : J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2001 May;16(5):560-3

Vegan Osteoporosis: Bones Deficient: More osteoporosis and less bone mineral density with incr tendency to hip fx in vegans in three studies including Taiwan and Europe. Calcif Tissue Int 1997 Mar;60(3):245-9

Vegan Might Help Parkinsonism: Diets high in animal fat or cholesterol are associated with a substantial increase in risk for Parkinson's disease (PD); in contrast, fat of plant origin does not appear to increase risk. Whereas reported age-adjusted prevalence rates of PD tend to be relatively uniform throughout Europe and the Americas, sub-Saharan black Africans, rural Chinese, and Japanese, groups whose diets tend to be vegan or quasi-vegan, appear to enjoy substantially lower rates. Since current PD prevalence in African-Americans is little different from that in whites, environmental factors are likely to be responsible for the low PD risk in black Africans. Med Hypotheses 2001 Sep;57(3):318-23

Vegetarian Diet No Impact on Parkinsonism in India: male gender, family history of Parkinson's disease, past history of depression of up to 10-year duration and well water drinking of more than 10-year duration were significantly associated with occurrence of Parkinson's disease. Study of 377 pts and 377 controls. New Delhi, : J Neurol Sci 2001 Sep 15;190(1-2):49-55

Childhood Meat Intake Major Factor in MS in Moscow: MS patients reported a higher frequency of: 1) tonsillitis; 2) allergic reactions age 15; 3) head trauma below age 16; 4) a predominant meat vs. vegetable diet during childhood. Stratified analysis and logistic regression pointed to "meat predominance" as the most significant risk factor. Study of 177 Moscow patients. Acta Neurol Scand 1996 Dec;94(6):386-94

Meat and Dairy Associated with MS in Germany: J Clin Epidemiol 1994 Jan;47(1):43-8. German study found diet and latitude factors.

Meat, Whole Milk, and possibly Potatoes Associated with MS in Croatia: Daily consumption of different quantities of full fat unskimmed milk (OR 21.7; chi 2 42.34; LL 7.12), potatoes with lard and fresh or smoked meat (OR 20.7; chi 2 15.52; LL 2.72), and new potatoes (OR 20.7; chi 2 15.52; LL 2.72). 46 pt and 92 controls. Neuroepidemiology 1993;12(4):234-40

Rickets and Osteomalacia: More Common in Vegetarians Not Getting Enough Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency is a necessary but insufficient requirement for the genesis of vitamin D-deficiency rickets and osteomalacia. In two weighed dietary surveys of 62 cases of rickets and osteomalacia and 113 normal women and children, meat intake was much lower in children with rickets and adults with osteomalacia (RR; zero meat intake: RR 29.8 (95 % CI 4.96, 181), P<0.001). The risk did not fall further at meat intakes above 2 ounces daily. Daylight outdoor exposure considerable reduced the risk of rickets and osteomalacia (RR 0.33, P<0.001). The meat content of the omnivore Western diet may explain its high degree of protection against nutritional rickets and osteomalacia from infancy to old age in the presence of endogenous vitamin D deficiency. Meat consumption reduces the risk of nutritional rickets and osteomalacia. Dunnigan MG, et al. Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, UK. Br J Nutr 2005 Dec;94(6):983-91.

Pork, Fats Implicated in MS: Prevalence rates of multiple sclerosis (MS) in several countries and the corresponding per capita consumption of fat, beef and pork was investigated. A significant correlation was obtained between prevalence of multiple sclerosis and fat intake (r = 0.63, p less than 0.01), total meat intake (r = 0.61, p less than 0.01) and pork consumption (r = 0.87, p less than 0.001). There was no significant correlation with beef consumption. Med Hypotheses 1986 Jul;20(3):279-82

Vegan Half Appendectomy Rate: Non-meat-eaters had only half the risk of meat eaters of requiring an emergency appendectomy, and that vegans in Britain may be at risk for iodine deficiency. Oxford Study with 12 yr f/u. Am J Clin Nutr 1999 Sep;70(3 Suppl):525S-531S

Vegans Low in IGF-1: 13% lower in study of 92 vegans, 99 meat-eaters, and 107 ovo-lacto. May explain low cancer in certain countries. Oxford. The Associations of Diet with Serum Insulin-like Growth Factor I and Its Main Binding Proteins in 292 Women Meat-Eaters, Vegetarians, and Vegans. Allen NE, Appleby PN, Davey GK, Kaaks R, Rinaldi S, Key TJ. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2002 Nov;11(11):1441-8