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Vegetarian Diets Associated with Lower Risk of Death

kohlrabi (post)New research from Loma Linda University in Southern Calif., recently published online at the Journal of Internal Medicine, stated that eating your veggies is related to reduced death rates in a study of more than 70,000 health care participants. Vegetarian diets have long been associated with reductions in risk for several chronic diseases, including hypertension, metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus and ischemic heart disease (IHD), according to the study background.

Michael J. Orlich, M.D., of Loma Linda University in Calif., and colleagues examined all-cause and cause-specific mortality in a group of 73,308 men and women. Researchers assessed dietary patients using a questionnaire that categorized study participants into 5 groups: non-vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian (includes seafood), lacto-ovo-vegetarian (includes dairy and egg products) and vegan (excludes all animal products).

The study noted: Vegetarian groups tended to be older, more highly educated and more likely to be married, to drink less alcohol, to smoke less, to exercise more and to be thinner.

Some evidence suggests vegetarian dietary patterns may be associated with reduced mortality; and the association between vegetarianism and longevity appeared to be more direct for men with significant reductions in cardiovascular disease and mortality between vegetarians vs. non-vegetarians. In women, there were no significant reductions in these categories of mortality, the results indicated.

Study authors concluded, “These results demonstrate an overall association of vegetarian dietary patterns with lower mortality compared with the non-vegetarian dietary pattern. They also demonstrate associations with lower mortality of the pesco-vegetarian, vegan and lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets specifically compared with the non-vegetarian diet.”

How many more reasons do you need to eat more salads and tofu stir-fry?

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