• Vegan Diet Outperforms Usual Diabetic Diet - Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center found that a low-fat, unrefined vegan diet reduced fasting glucose by 54 points on average, compared to less than half this amount on the conventional diabetic diet. Weight loss in the course of the three-month study fell 15.4 pounds compared to 8.4 pounds.
• Beta Carotene-Rich Vegetables Protect Against Heart Disease - Vegetables and fruits high in beta-carotene can reduce the risk of heart disease by about half in people with clogged coronary arteries. In a report to the American Heart Association, researchers followed 333 male doctors who had coronary artery disease. After six years of study, the men who took beta carotene supplements had 10 heart attacks compared to 17 in the placebo group.
• Carotene-Rich Vegetables Protect Against Lung Cancer - A Chicago study found that regular consumption of foods containing beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, protected against lung cancer. Over a period of 19 years, a group of 1,954 men at a Western Electric plant were monitored, and those who regularly consumed carrots, dark green lettuce, spinach, broccoli, kale, Chinese cabbage, peaches, apricots, and other carotene-rich foods had significantly lower lung cancer rates than controls.
• Cruciferous Vegetables Protect Against Polyps - In Norway, researchers examined the colons of 155 people in their fifties who had no signs of colon cancer. Half had polyps growing in the colon; the half with no polyps ate more cruciferous vegetables. The less cruciferous vegetables consumed, the greater the risk for polyps and the larger and more abnormal the polyps, a common precursor to colon cancer.
• Green Vegetables Protect Against Female Cancers - European scientists reported that green vegetables were highly protective against ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer.
• Vegetables Beneficial for Stroke - Women who eat plenty of vegetables and fruits have a 54 percent lower rate of stroke than women with vitamin-poor diets, according to researchers at the American Heart Association’s annual epidemiology meeting in Santa Fe.
• Vegetables Help Relieve Malnutrition - Orange and yellow vegetables high in vitamin A could help save the lives of millions of malnourished children. In a study of 15,000 underfed preschool children in India, researchers found that those given dietary supplements were twice as likely to live as those who did not receive the vitamin A. As in many developing countries, those who died did so largely from chronic diarrhea.
• Vegetables Stimulate Natural Immunity - Retinoids (foods and substances high in vitamin A) and carotenoids (foods and substances high in beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A) can stimulate some human immune responses, including heightened anti-tumor cell activity, increased natural killer cell response, and activated lymphocytes.
• Vegetables Decrease Risk of Bladder Cancer - In a case-control study in Hawaii, researchers reported a decreased risk for bladder cancer among women who consumed vegetables and fruits high in vitamin C, such as broccoli, cabbage, and oranges, and among men who consumed dark green vegetables such as watercress, broccoli, and spinach.
• Arthritis Treated with Vegetarian Diet - Twelve of 20 patients aged 35 to 68 put on a strict vegetarian diet for four months reported some improvement in rheumatoid arthritis, including less pain and better functional capacity, in a Swedish experiment. The diet excluded meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products, strong spices, preservatives, alcohol, tea and coffee. Refined sugar, corn flour and salt were not used or used sparingly.
• Asthma Patients Improve on Vegetarian Diet - Twenty-five patients with bronchial asthma who were put on a strict vegetarian diet showed 71 percent improvement within four months and 92 percent improvement after one year. The experimental diet avoided meat, dairy food, eggs, and fish, as well as sugar, chocolate, salt, and other foods.
• Vegetarians Have Less Toxins in Breast Milk - An analysis of 17 pesticides, toxins, and other chemical substances in the breast milk of vegetarian and nonvegetarian mothers found that except for polychlorinated biphenyls (which were about equal) “the highest vegetarian value was lower than the lowest value obtained in the [nonvegetarian] sample. . . [T]he mean vegetarian levels were only one or two percent as high as the average levels in the United States.”
• Vegetarian Athletes More Fit Than Those Eating Animal Food - In New Haven, Conn., Irving Fisher devised tests to measure diet and endurance of Yale athletes eating animal food, vegetarian athletes (from the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan), and vegetarians who were sedentary. The tests included holding the arms outstretched as long as possible, deep knee bends until exhaustion, and repeated leg raises. The vegetarians excelled in all three tests, and the sedentary vegetarians generally exhibited stronger endurance than the athletic meat-eaters.
• Vegetarians Have 50% Less Gallstones - Vegetarian women had half as many gallstones as women eating the standard modern diet in a study of over 700 women, aged 40 to 69, over several years. Researchers at Oxford University in England concluded that nonvegetarians had nearly twice the risk of developing gallstones and suggested that this was probably the result of the vegetarian women eating more fiber and less fat. “[T]hese data suggest that some dietary factor associated with vegetarianism affords a strong, independent protective effect against this common condition and results in appreciable morbidity in middle aged and elderly women.”
• Kidney Stones Less in Vegetarians - In a study designed to measure the effect of a low animal protein diet on the risk of urinary stone disease, researchers in Britain reported that a nation-wide survey of vegetarians in the U.K. showed that the prevalence of kidney stone formation was 40 to 60 percent of the general population. “The findings support the hypothesis that a diet low in animal protein reduces the risk of urinary stone formation,” the scientists concluded.
• Heart Disease Reversed on a Vegetarian Diet - Dietary and lifestyle changes alone can prevent or reverse hardening of the arteries. In the first random case-control clinical trial to determine whether patients outside the hospital can be motivated to make and sustain comprehensive lifestyle changes, 82 percent of patients with heart disease who were put on a low-fat, vegetarian diet, who exercised, and who were given stress-management training including yoga and meditation had a measurable widening of arteries. In contrast, those who observed the moderate American Heart Association diet and received customary care such as drugs and surgery had an increase in blockages.
• Vegetarians Have Less Osteoporosis - A Michigan State study found that by age 65, the average woman who ate meat had lost one-third of her skeletal structure. Meanwhile, vegetarian woman of comparable age had less than half the bone loss and were more active, less likely to break bones, maintained erect postures, and healed bones more quickly.
• Vegetarians Have Normal Vitamin B-12 - In a study of 36 men and women in Israel who were not eating animal food, researchers found that B-12 levels were normal and none of the subjects had any hematologic evidence of deficiency, though four had neurologic complaints. Red blood cell folate levels, complete blood count, including hemoglobin and mean corpuscular volume, were similar in subjects and controls.
The 36 subjects had been following their way of eating from five to 35 years and participated in various vegetarian communities and study groups. Eleven subjects had not been eating animal food for 20 years or more.
The researchers speculated that sources of B-12 in their diet could come from microorganisms in legumes, from sea algae, and from “the possibility of intestinal absorption of vitamin B-12 that is synthesized in the gut.”
• U.S. Government Upholds Vegetarian Diet - The latest edition of the U.S. Government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans endorses a vegetarian diet as a healthful alternative for the first time. "Vegetarian diets are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines and can meet Recommended Dietary Allowances for nutrients." The guidelines, issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture every five years, noted that getting enough protein is no cause for concern so long as the variety and amounts of foods consumed are adequate. This marks the first time the U.S. Government has endorsed vegetarian diets as a healthy alternative.
• Vegetarians Have 30% Less Mortality from Chronic Disease - In a review of the effects of a vegetarian lifestyle on health, German scientists found that a meatless diet had a positive effect on various risk factors for coronary artery disease, including lower average body weight, lower total and LDL cholesterol levels, and lower blood pressure. “Vegetarians have roughly 30 percent reduction in overall mortality,” the scientists concluded. “The prevalence of bronchial, colon, and breast cancer is also lower.”
• 12-Day Vegetarian Trial Produces Quick Benefits - In a study of the effects of a vegetarian diet on cardiac risk factors, 500 men and women who participated in an intensive 12-day live-in program had average cholesterol reductions of 11 percent, lowered blood pressure of 6 percent, and a weight loss of 2.5 kilograms for men and 1 kilogram for women. “A strict, very low-fat vegetarian diet free from all animal products combined with lifestyle changes that include exercise and weight loss is an effective way to lower serum cholesterol and blood pressure,” the researchers concluded.
• Seventh Day Adventist Vegetarians Show Normal B-12 and Iron Levels - In a study of vegetarians and nonvegetarians within the Seventh-Day Adventist church, New Zealand nutritionists found that both groups had comparable body mass indexes, vitamin B-12 levels, haemoglobin concentrations, and blood lipid levels. Both groups, the researchers concluded, “appear likely to enjoy a lower risk of nutrition related chronic degenerative disease than the average New Zealander and have a satisfactory iron and vitamin B-12 status.”
• Vegetarian Diet Pyramid - A Vegetarian Diet Pyramid was introduced by nutrition scientists and medical experts from Cornell University and Harvard University in 1998. The Vegetarian Diet Pyramid emphasizes a well-balanced vegetarian diet based on whole grains and other plant foods but also includes egg whites and dairy products.
• 20 Percent of Teenagers Armed - 72 Percent Eat Poorly Nearly 1 in every 5 teenagers in the U.S. carries a weapon and 1 in 10 has attempted suicide, according to a study made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
• Violence and Hypoglycemia in Rural Peru - Described as the “meanest and most unlikable people on earth,” the majority of the Qolla Indians in Peru engage in murder, rape, arson, fighting and stealing and other criminal behavior. In one village of over a thousand, researchers found that over 50 percent of household heads were directly or indirectly involved with violent death and murder. Dr. Ralph Bolton tested the blood sugar of all males in the village and found that over 50 percent were clinically hypoglycemic. To keep their blood sugar levels up, the Qolla frequently drank alcohol and chewed coca.
• Vitamin B-6 Foods Protect Against Heart Attack - A diet high in vitamin B-6 and folate, two B vitamins found in grains, vegetables, and fruits, could reduce by nearly one half women's risk of a heart attack, according to Harvard researchers. In a study of 80,000 nurses, the scientists found the first direct link between these vitamins and coronary heart disease. Previous studies in men and women found that folate and B-6 reduced homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood associated with heart attack risk, and protected against narrowing of the arteries. Dr. Eric Rimm, the lead researcher, concluded that eating whole grains, vegetables, and other foods high in these nutrients was as important as quitting smoking, reducing high cholesterol, and controlling blood pressure in preventing the nation's number one cause of death.
• Vitamin B-12 Levels Normal in Vegans - A nutritional analysis of the dietary intake of a group of six vegan children aged 7 to 14 found no cases of vitamin B-12 deficiency. The vegan children had been living on a vegan diet high in brown rice for from 4 to 10 years. On average, 2-4 grams of nori containing B-12 were consumed daily. Other factors, including red blood cell count, hematocrit, and hemoglobin, also were normal. "Not a single case of symptoms due to B-12 deficiency was found," the scientists concluded.
• Nori as a Source of Vitamin B-12 - Nori (prophyra tenera) contains significant amounts of Vitamin B-12, according to Japanese researchers. Even after storage in a frozen state for 11 months, the ability to retain B-12 remained.
• Seaweeds and Vitamin B-12 - In a study of the vitamin B-12 status of long-time vegans, Finnish nutritionists reported that vegans who ate nori and/or chlorella seaweeds had B-12 concentrations in their blood twice as high as those not eating seaweeds. "We conclude that some seaweeds consumed in large amounts can supply adequate amounts of bioavailable vitamin B-12," the researchers stated.
• Small Intestine Manufactures Vitamin B-12 - The body naturally synthesizes large amounts of vitamin B-12 in the colon, as well as smaller amounts in the saliva and throughout other parts of the digestive tract, in healthy people.
• Animal Foods Low in Vitamin B-12 - Animal foods commonly believed to be high in B-12 may actually be low or deficient. In lab tests commissioned by nutrition researcher Sylvia Ruth Gray in 1989 and 1990, no identifiable B-12 was found in beef liver, Swiss cheese, and chicken breast and only 2.19 mcg in beef heart. In the 1960s, similar tests showed these foods contained 122, 1.71, .5, and 14.2 mcg respectively. In contrast, macrobiotic/vegetarian foods measured higher than the animal foods. Sea vegetables measured up to 9 mcg, tempeh to 4 mcg, and miso to .7. Gray attributed the sharp decline in B-12 levels to environmental pollution and modern chemical agriculture, especially the depletion of cobalt in soils which promotes B-12 synthesis.
• Sunlight Reduces Risk of Breast Cancer - In a study of 133 breast-cancer patients and controls, researchers at the North California Cancer Center found that exposure to sunlight reduced the risk of the cancer 30 to 40 percent or more. Vitamin D, a nutrient made by the skin during exposure to sunlight, was cited as the protective factor.
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