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Food and Nutrient Intake and Nutritional Status of Finnish Vegans and Non-Vegetarians.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(2):e0148235.Plos

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Vegetarian and vegan diets have become more popular among adolescents and young adults. However, few studies have investigated the nutritional status of vegans, who may be at risk of nutritional deficiencies.

OBJECTIVE

To compare dietary intake and nutritional status of Finnish long-term vegans and non-vegetarians.

METHODS

Dietary intake and supplement use were estimated using three-day dietary records. Nutritional status was assessed by measuring biomarkers in plasma, serum, and urine samples. Vegans' (n = 22) data was compared with those of sex- and age-matched non-vegetarians (n = 19).

RESULTS

All vegans adhered strictly to their diet; however, individual variability was marked in food consumption and supplementation habits. Dietary intakes of key nutrients, vitamins B12 and D, were lower (P < 0.001) in vegans than in non-vegetarians. Nutritional biomarker measurements showed lower concentrations of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3), iodine and selenium (corrected for multiple comparisons, P < 0.001), Vegans showed more favorable fatty acid profiles (P < 0.001) as well as much higher concentrations of polyphenols such as genistein and daidzein (P < 0.001). Eicosapentaenoic acid proportions in vegans were higher than expected. The median concentration of iodine in urine was below the recommended levels in both groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Long-term consumption of a vegan diet was associated with some favorable laboratory measures but also with lowered concentrations of key nutrients compared to reference values. This study highlights the need for nutritional guidance to vegans.

Authors+Show Affiliations

School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education, University of Eastern Finland, Savonlinna, Finland.The Genomics and Biomarkers Unit, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.The Genomics and Biomarkers Unit, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.Department of Clinical Chemistry and Hematology, Helsinki University Central Hospital Laboratory, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.The Genomics and Biomarkers Unit, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.HUSLAB, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency, Helsinki, Finland.

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26840251

Citation

Elorinne, Anna-Liisa, et al. "Food and Nutrient Intake and Nutritional Status of Finnish Vegans and Non-Vegetarians." PloS One, vol. 11, no. 2, 2016, pp. e0148235.
Elorinne AL, Alfthan G, Erlund I, et al. Food and Nutrient Intake and Nutritional Status of Finnish Vegans and Non-Vegetarians. PLoS One. 2016;11(2):e0148235.
Elorinne, A. L., Alfthan, G., Erlund, I., Kivimäki, H., Paju, A., Salminen, I., Turpeinen, U., Voutilainen, S., & Laakso, J. (2016). Food and Nutrient Intake and Nutritional Status of Finnish Vegans and Non-Vegetarians. PloS One, 11(2), e0148235. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0148235
Elorinne AL, et al. Food and Nutrient Intake and Nutritional Status of Finnish Vegans and Non-Vegetarians. PLoS One. 2016;11(2):e0148235. PubMed PMID: 26840251.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Food and Nutrient Intake and Nutritional Status of Finnish Vegans and Non-Vegetarians. AU - Elorinne,Anna-Liisa, AU - Alfthan,Georg, AU - Erlund,Iris, AU - Kivimäki,Hanna, AU - Paju,Annukka, AU - Salminen,Irma, AU - Turpeinen,Ursula, AU - Voutilainen,Sari, AU - Laakso,Juha, Y1 - 2016/02/03/ PY - 2015/04/14/received PY - 2016/01/12/accepted PY - 2016/2/4/entrez PY - 2016/2/4/pubmed PY - 2016/7/28/medline SP - e0148235 EP - e0148235 JF - PloS one JO - PLoS One VL - 11 IS - 2 N2 - BACKGROUND: Vegetarian and vegan diets have become more popular among adolescents and young adults. However, few studies have investigated the nutritional status of vegans, who may be at risk of nutritional deficiencies. OBJECTIVE: To compare dietary intake and nutritional status of Finnish long-term vegans and non-vegetarians. METHODS: Dietary intake and supplement use were estimated using three-day dietary records. Nutritional status was assessed by measuring biomarkers in plasma, serum, and urine samples. Vegans' (n = 22) data was compared with those of sex- and age-matched non-vegetarians (n = 19). RESULTS: All vegans adhered strictly to their diet; however, individual variability was marked in food consumption and supplementation habits. Dietary intakes of key nutrients, vitamins B12 and D, were lower (P < 0.001) in vegans than in non-vegetarians. Nutritional biomarker measurements showed lower concentrations of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3), iodine and selenium (corrected for multiple comparisons, P < 0.001), Vegans showed more favorable fatty acid profiles (P < 0.001) as well as much higher concentrations of polyphenols such as genistein and daidzein (P < 0.001). Eicosapentaenoic acid proportions in vegans were higher than expected. The median concentration of iodine in urine was below the recommended levels in both groups. CONCLUSIONS: Long-term consumption of a vegan diet was associated with some favorable laboratory measures but also with lowered concentrations of key nutrients compared to reference values. This study highlights the need for nutritional guidance to vegans. SN - 1932-6203 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26840251/Food_and_Nutrient_Intake_and_Nutritional_Status_of_Finnish_Vegans_and_Non_Vegetarians_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -