Review

Vegetarian diets in children and adolescents.

A well-balanced vegetarian diet can provide for the needs of children and adolescents. However, appropriate caloric intake should be ensured and growth monitored. Particular attention should be paid to adequate protein intake and sources of essential fatty acids, iron, zinc, calcium, and vitamins B₁₂ and D. Supplementation may be required in cases of strict vegetarian diets with no intake of any animal products. Pregnant and nursing mothers should also be appropriately advised to ensure that the nutritional needs of the fetus and infant are adequately met. Recommendations are provided.

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.

Clinical practice: vegetarian infant and child nutrition.

The aim of this review is to give insight on the benefits and risks of vegetarianism, with special emphasis on vegetarian child nutrition. This eating pattern excluding meat and fish is being adopted by a growing number of people. A vegetarian diet has been shown to be associated with lower mortality of ischaemic heart disease and lower prevalence of obesity. Growth in children on a vegetarian diet including dairy has been shown to be similar to omnivorous peers.

Will the real vegetarian please stand up? An investigation of dietary restraint and eating disorder symptoms in vegetarians versus non-vegetarians.

Adherence to a vegetarian diet has been hypothesized to be a factor in the onset and maintenance of disordered eating behavior; however, evidence to support this assumption has been largely mixed. The two studies presented here sought to address the causes of inconsistent findings in previous research, including: small samples of true vegetarians, lack of appropriate operational definitions of "vegetarianism", and uncertainty about the appropriateness of existing assessments of eating behaviors for semi-vegetarians.

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.

Effects of plant-based diets on plasma lipids.

Dyslipidemia is a primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, and stroke. Current guidelines recommend diet as first-line therapy for patients with elevated plasma cholesterol concentrations. However, what constitutes an optimal dietary regimen remains a matter of controversy. Large prospective trials have demonstrated that populations following plant-based diets, particularly vegetarian and vegan diets, are at lower risk for ischemic heart disease mortality.

Four therapeutic diets: adherence and acceptability.

Many health conditions are treated, at least in part, by therapeutic diets. Although the success of any intervention depends on its acceptability to the patient, the acceptability of therapeutic diets and factors that influence it have been largely neglected in nutrition research. A working definition of acceptability is proposed and an examination and summary are provided of available data on the acceptability of common diet regimens used for medical conditions. The goal is to suggest ways to improve the success of therapeutic diets.

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