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Vegetarians at lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke


Are you a vegeterian? Do you know vegetarians could be at lower risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and a stroke, because they experience a 36 percent lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome than non-vegetarians?

Metabolic syndrome, defined as exhibiting at least three out of five total risk factors, viz: high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, high glucose levels, elevated triglycerides, and an unhealthy waist circumference, can be a precursor to heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

New scientific facts from a research in from Loma Linda University and published in the journal Diabetes Care, show that as a vegetarian, you may be at lower risk of developing these conditions if you have a metabolic syndrome.

The Loma Linda University study found that while 25 percent of vegetarians had metabolic syndrome, the number significantly rises to 37 percent for semi-vegetarians and 39 percent for non-vegetarians. The results hold up when adjusted for factors such as age, gender, race, physical activity, calories consumed, smoking, and alcohol intake.

Leader of the study noted that the result was indication that lifestyle factors such as diet can be important in the prevention of metabolic syndrome. The work shows that diet improves many of the main cardiovascular risk factors that are part of metabolic syndrome.

The study examined more than 700 adults randomly sampled from Loma Linda University’s Adventist Health Study 2, a long-term study of the lifestyle and health of almost 100,000 Seventh-day Adventist Christians across the United States and Canada.

Thirty-five percent of the subjects in this smaller sub-study were vegetarian. On average, the vegetarians and semi-vegetarians were three years older than non-vegetarians. Despite their slightly older age, vegetarians had lower triglycerides, glucose levels, blood pressure, waist circumference, and body mass index (BMI). Semi-vegetarians also had a significantly lower BMI and waist circumference compared to those who ate meat more regularly.


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