Studies that relate to population-based data on cancer prevalance and incidence
Serial blood samples were taken at two-hour intervals over a 24-hour period from 25 premenopausal vegetarians (12 vegans and 13 ovolactovegetarians) and from 21 omnivorous controls. All members of the former group had been on a vegetarian diet for a minimum of three years. The mean proportion of estradiol unbound to blood proteins was similar in both vegetarians (1.26%) and meat eaters (1.16%). However, the amount bound to albumin was significantly raised in vegetarians (50.1% vs.
The study assessed mortality and morbidity risks as related to nutritional status of moderate and strict vegetarians in Germany. The total cohort of 1904 self-identified persons was followed up for 11 y. Compared with national mortality rates for Federal Republic of Germany, the observed deaths for all causes were below expectation by a factor of 0.44 for men and 0.53 for women. The mortality for colon cancer was reduced [standardized mortality ration (SMR 44.1 for men and 77.9 for women]. No deaths were observed from rectal cancer.
Colorectal cancers are the most frequent cancer in Norway for men and women combined. Several theories have been suggested as etiological explanations. In this review the influence of dietary factors on the cell proliferation rate has been evaluated. A higher cell proliferation rate is statistically associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer. Foods associated with a lower cell proliferation rate match the staple foods in parts of the world were the incidence of colorectal cancer is low. Vegetarians show a low rate of cell proliferation, and low incidence of colorectal cancer.
The authors summarize the health risks and advantages of alternative nutrition-lactovegetarian, lactoovovegetarian and vegan. These dietary patterns involve risk in particular during pregnancy, lactation and for the growing organism. Veganism excluding all foods of animal origin involves the greatest risk. General nutritional principles for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, oncological diseases and diabetes are fully met by the vegetarian diet. Vegetarians and vegans have low risk factors of atherosclerosis and conversely higher levels of antisclerotic substances.
Populations of vegetarians living in affluent countries appear to enjoy unusually good health, characterized by low rates of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and total mortality.
The Oxford Vegetarian Study is a prospective study of 6000 vegetarians and 5000 nonvegetarian control subjects recruited in the United Kingdom between 1980 and 1984. Cross-sectional analyses of study data showed that vegans had lower total- and LDL-cholesterol concentrations than did meat eaters; vegetarians and fish eaters had intermediate and similar values. Meat and cheese consumption were positively associated, and dietary fiber intake was inversely associated, with total-cholesterol concentration in both men and women.
It is the position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada that appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Approximately 2.5% of adults in the United States and 4% of adults in Canada follow vegetarian diets. A vegetarian diet is defined as one that does not include meat, fish, or fowl. Interest in vegetarianism appears to be increasing, with many restaurants and college foodservices offering vegetarian meals routinely.
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