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Health effects of vegetarian and vegan diets.
Proc Nutr Soc. 2006 Feb; 65(1):35-41.PN

Abstract

Vegetarian diets do not contain meat, poultry or fish; vegan diets further exclude dairy products and eggs. Vegetarian and vegan diets can vary widely, but the empirical evidence largely relates to the nutritional content and health effects of the average diet of well-educated vegetarians living in Western countries, together with some information on vegetarians in non-Western countries. In general, vegetarian diets provide relatively large amounts of cereals, pulses, nuts, fruits and vegetables. In terms of nutrients, vegetarian diets are usually rich in carbohydrates, n-6 fatty acids, dietary fibre, carotenoids, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E and Mg, and relatively low in protein, saturated fat, long-chain n-3 fatty acids, retinol, vitamin B(12) and Zn; vegans may have particularly low intakes of vitamin B(12) and low intakes of Ca. Cross-sectional studies of vegetarians and vegans have shown that on average they have a relatively low BMI and a low plasma cholesterol concentration; recent studies have also shown higher plasma homocysteine concentrations than in non-vegetarians. Cohort studies of vegetarians have shown a moderate reduction in mortality from IHD but little difference in other major causes of death or all-cause mortality in comparison with health-conscious non-vegetarians from the same population. Studies of cancer have not shown clear differences in cancer rates between vegetarians and non-vegetarians. More data are needed, particularly on the health of vegans and on the possible impacts on health of low intakes of long-chain n-3 fatty acids and vitamin B(12). Overall, the data suggest that the health of Western vegetarians is good and similar to that of comparable non-vegetarians.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Cancer Research UK Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford, Richard Doll Building. tim.key@ceu.ox.ac.ukNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

16441942

Citation

Key, Timothy J., et al. "Health Effects of Vegetarian and Vegan Diets." The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, vol. 65, no. 1, 2006, pp. 35-41.
Key TJ, Appleby PN, Rosell MS. Health effects of vegetarian and vegan diets. Proc Nutr Soc. 2006;65(1):35-41.
Key, T. J., Appleby, P. N., & Rosell, M. S. (2006). Health effects of vegetarian and vegan diets. The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 65(1), 35-41.
Key TJ, Appleby PN, Rosell MS. Health Effects of Vegetarian and Vegan Diets. Proc Nutr Soc. 2006;65(1):35-41. PubMed PMID: 16441942.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Health effects of vegetarian and vegan diets. AU - Key,Timothy J, AU - Appleby,Paul N, AU - Rosell,Magdalena S, PY - 2006/1/31/pubmed PY - 2006/5/23/medline PY - 2006/1/31/entrez SP - 35 EP - 41 JF - The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society JO - Proc Nutr Soc VL - 65 IS - 1 N2 - Vegetarian diets do not contain meat, poultry or fish; vegan diets further exclude dairy products and eggs. Vegetarian and vegan diets can vary widely, but the empirical evidence largely relates to the nutritional content and health effects of the average diet of well-educated vegetarians living in Western countries, together with some information on vegetarians in non-Western countries. In general, vegetarian diets provide relatively large amounts of cereals, pulses, nuts, fruits and vegetables. In terms of nutrients, vegetarian diets are usually rich in carbohydrates, n-6 fatty acids, dietary fibre, carotenoids, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E and Mg, and relatively low in protein, saturated fat, long-chain n-3 fatty acids, retinol, vitamin B(12) and Zn; vegans may have particularly low intakes of vitamin B(12) and low intakes of Ca. Cross-sectional studies of vegetarians and vegans have shown that on average they have a relatively low BMI and a low plasma cholesterol concentration; recent studies have also shown higher plasma homocysteine concentrations than in non-vegetarians. Cohort studies of vegetarians have shown a moderate reduction in mortality from IHD but little difference in other major causes of death or all-cause mortality in comparison with health-conscious non-vegetarians from the same population. Studies of cancer have not shown clear differences in cancer rates between vegetarians and non-vegetarians. More data are needed, particularly on the health of vegans and on the possible impacts on health of low intakes of long-chain n-3 fatty acids and vitamin B(12). Overall, the data suggest that the health of Western vegetarians is good and similar to that of comparable non-vegetarians. SN - 0029-6651 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/16441942/Health_effects_of_vegetarian_and_vegan_diets_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -