Vegetarian diets: what do we know of their effects on common chronic diseases?

A number of studies have evaluated the health of vegetarians. Others have studied the health effects of foods that are preferred or avoided by vegetarians. The purpose of this review is to look critically at the evidence on the health effects of vegetarian diets and to seek possible explanations where results appear to conflict. There is convincing evidence that vegetarians have lower rates of coronary heart disease, largely explained by low LDL cholesterol, probable lower rates of hypertension and diabetes mellitus, and lower prevalence of obesity.

mTORC1 activity as a determinant of cancer risk--rationalizing the cancer-preventive effects of adiponectin, metformin, rapamycin, and low-protein vegan diets.

Increased plasma levels of adiponectin, metformin therapy of diabetes, rapamycin administration in transplant patients, and lifelong consumption of low-protein plant-based diets have all been linked to decreased risk for various cancers. These benefits may be mediated, at least in part, by down-regulated activity of the mTORC1 complex, a key regulator of protein translation.

Vegetarian diets, low-meat diets and health: a review

OBJECTIVE:To review the epidemiological evidence for vegetarian diets, low-meat dietary patterns and their association with health status in adults. DESIGN:Published literature review focusing primarily on prospective studies and meta-analyses examining the association between vegetarian diets and health outcomes. RESULTS:Both vegetarian diets and prudent diets allowing small amounts of red meat are associated with reduced risk of diseases, particularly CHD and type 2 diabetes. There is limited evidence of an association between vegetarian diets and cancer prevention.

Vegetarian diets and the incidence of cancer in a low-risk population.

BACKGROUND:Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Dietary factors account for at least 30% of all cancers in Western countries. As people do not consume individual foods but rather combinations of them, the assessment of dietary patterns may offer valuable information when determining associations between diet and cancer risk. METHODS:We examined the association between dietary patterns (non-vegetarians, lacto, pesco, vegan, and semi-vegetarian) and the overall cancer incidence among 69,120 participants of the Adventist Health Study-2.


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