Heart Disease and Stroke

Diet and reproductive hormones: a study of vegetarian and nonvegetarian postmenopausal women.

In comparison with matched nonvegetarian women, postmenopausal vegetarian women were found to have lower urinary levels of estriol and total estrogens, lower plasma prolactin levels, and higher plasma sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels. These differences were not explained by differences in body weight or obesity. Plasma SHBG levels were highly correlated with plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, which were also higher in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians.

The concentration of cholesterol in serum and in various serum lipoproteins in macrobiotic, vegetarian and non-vegetarian men and boys.

The concentrations of total and high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol and the ratio of HDL-cholesterol to total cholesterol have been examined in groups of non-vegetarian, semi-lactovegetarian, lactovegetarian and marcobiotic men aged 30-39 years and boys aged 6-11 years. In the men, the concentration of total cholesterol ranged from 3.8 mmol/l in the macrobiotics to 5.5 mmol/l in the non-vegetarians, while the concentration of HDL-cholesterol varied between 1.2 mmol/l and 1.4 mmol/l.

Vegetarian diet, lifestyle and blood pressure in two religious populations.

1. The association between vegetarianism and blood pressure was studied in relation to obesity, sex and aspects of lifestyle in 180 Seventh-day Adventists and 113 Mormons aged 25-44 y. 2. Volunteers completed a questionnaire, a 1-day diet record and submitted to standardized measurements of blood pressure, heart rate and body size. 3. Ninety-eight Adventist "vegetarians' were comparable to the 113 Mormon omnivores for strength of religious affiliation, consumption of alcohol, tea and coffee and use of tobacco, but were significantly less obese. 4.

Blood-pressure-lowering effect of a vegetarian diet: controlled trial in normotensive subjects.

59 healthy, omnivorous subjects aged 25-63 years were randomly allocated to a control group, which ate an omnivorous diet for 14 weeks, or to one of two experimental groups, whose members ate an omnivorous diet for the first 2 weeks and a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet for one of two 6-week experimental periods. Mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures did not change in the control group but fell significantly in both experimental groups during the vegetarian diet and rose significantly in the experimental group which reverted to the omnivorous diet.

The effects of a vegetarian diet on platelet function and fatty acids.

Nine healthy subjects taking an average mixed "Western" diet were placed on a vegetarian diet poor in arachidonic acid for four weeks. All animal and marine foods except for cows milk and milk products were excluded. Platelet aggregation responses to arachidonic acid and epinephrine increased slightly whereas responses to ADP and collagen were unchanged. Platelet thromboxane production, platelet counts, serum LDL cholesterol and triglycerides did not change but total and HDL serum cholesterol levels fell significantly.

Plasma lipids of vegetarian and nonvegetarian males: effects of egg consumption.

Mean fasting plasma total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and total triglycerides were 6, 7, and 19% lower (NS) in 36 vegetarian males compared to 18 nonvegetarian males of similar age, weight, height, alcohol consumption, and physical activity levels. None of the participants smoked. Although the vegetarian subjects were characterized by widely differing egg consumption levels, no relationships were observed between dietary or egg cholesterol intakes and plasma lipid levels.

A vegan regimen with reduced medication in the treatment of hypertension.

Twenty-nine patients who had suffered from essential hypertension for an average of 8 years, all receiving long-term medication for hypertension, were subject to therapy with vegan food for 1 year. In almost all cases medication was withdrawn or drastically reduced. There was a significant decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. A number of reported symptoms disappeared.

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