View Full Version : Vegans, animal products and heart disease (CVD)

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Oct 9th, 2009, 12:30 AM
I googled a little, and the top results I found were these (the quotes contains links to articles/abstracts): There were no significant differences between vegetarians and nonvegetarians in mortality from cerebrovascular disease, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, or all other causes combined.

Nut consumption, vegetarian diets, ischemic heart disease risk, and all-cause mortality: evidence from epidemiologic studies: Perhaps one of the most unexpected and novel findings in nutritional epidemiology in the past 5 y has been that nut consumption seems to protect against ischemic heart disease (IHD). Frequency and quantity of nut consumption have been documented to be higher in vegetarian than in nonvegetarian populations. Nuts also constitute an important part of other plant-based diets, such as Mediterranean and Asian diets. In a large, prospective epidemiologic study of Seventh-day Adventists in California, we found that frequency of nut consumption had a substantial and highly significant inverse association with risk of myocardial infarction and death from IHD. The Iowa Women's Health Study also documented an association between nut consumption and decreased risk of IHD. The protective effect of nuts on IHD has been found in men and women and in the elderly. Importantly, nuts have similar associations in both vegetarians and nonvegetarians. The protective effect of nut consumption on IHD is not offset by increased mortality from other causes. Moreover, frequency of nut consumption has been found to be inversely related to all-cause mortality in several population groups such as whites, blacks, and the elderly. Thus, nut consumption may not only offer protection against IHD, but also increase longevity. (http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/70/3/500S)

Multivariate analyses showed significant associations between beef consumption and fatal ischemic heart disease (IHD) in men [relative risk (RR) = 2.31 for subjects who ate beef 3 times/wk compared with vegetarians], significant protective associations between nut consumption and fatal and nonfatal IHD in both sexes (RR 0.5 for subjects who ate nuts 5 times/wk compared with those who ate nuts <1 time/wk), and reduced risk of IHD in subjects preferring whole-grain to white bread. The lifetime risk of IHD was reduced by 31% in those who consumed nuts frequently and by 37% in male vegetarians compared with nonvegetarians. Cancers of the colon and prostate were significantly more likely in nonvegetarians (RR of 1.88 and 1.54, respectively), and frequent beef consumers also had higher risk of bladder cancer. Intake of legumes was negatively associated with risk of colon cancer in nonvegetarians and risk of pancreatic cancer. Higher consumption of all fruit or dried fruit was associated with lower risks of lung, prostate, and pancreatic cancers. Cross-sectional data suggest vegetarian Seventh-day Adventists have lower risks of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and arthritis than nonvegetarians. Thus, among Seventh-day Adventists, vegetarians are healthier than nonvegetarians but this cannot be ascribed only to the absence of meat. (http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/70/3/532S?RESULTFORMAT=3D1&hits=3D10&F=)

All these quotes are from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which also have these articles (http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/70/3/633S).

As a side note, even an article that claims that "being a vegan really isn't much better than being a meat eater" should be very interesting for all those who believe that being a meat eater is much better than being a vegan, eg. due to the lower B12 levels that is associated with lower homocysteine levels and (according to some sources) an increased, and not decreased heart disease risk. This all depends, of course, on which sources you have been looking at, since the possible link between B12/homocysteine levels and heart disease has been a hot topic for a number of years.

Oct 27th, 2009, 01:47 AM
I don't understand how vegans could have a 57 percent less chance of getting heart disease, which is the number one killer, and that not show in article two's data. Something smells fishy...

Jun 24th, 2010, 07:07 PM
Obesity is more common in non-vegans than in vegans.

I'd been struggling to lose the last 10 pounds I needed to, to be in the good range for me, while I was lacto-ovo veggie. I'd lose a couple of pounds, but consistently gain them back when I'd give in to temptation. I was addicted - I don't think that's too strong a word - to cheese. I'd have insane cravings for it, and eat more even though I was full. I know with better willpower I maybe could have lost the weight, but I guess when the cravings were there I'd place more importance on satisfying them than on losing those 10 pounds. 10 pounds isn't that much, I might say to myself...

Well, then I went vegan, after watching Earthlings. I remember after watching half of it, I had to stop, I was too upset. I had nothing prepared for supper, so I popped a frozen veggie lasagna in the microwave. I thought to myself, this is probably the last time I'll be able to enjoy this. But then when I was eating it, I found I couldn't enjoy it; it didn't even really taste good to me anymore. I couldn't shake the facts off; I knew what had transpired to bring me this food stuffed with mozza and sour cream. The next day I finished the documentary, and I said to myself, "Never again." I've been vegan since.

I was more concerned with getting the proper nutrition than with losing weight. I didn't expect any significant changes in my weight, because I wasn't aiming for that. I felt like I was eating a lot, and I was always satisfied, never went hungry. A couple of months later, I step on a scale, and the result shocked me: I'd lost about 10 pounds! I lost it without trying, without cravings and deprivation, and while eating all kinds of delicious food! :D

I think part of it is what happens, when we switch from foods like dairy to fiber and nutrient rich foods, is that we get satisfied on less calories, still feeling like we're eating the same amount of actual food. That causes us to reach a new "balance" weight. My weight seems to hover around 135 on a lacto-ovo diet; it would probably be more like the 145s or so if I ate meat (pure speculation; I've not had meat in almost 9 years). On a vegan diet my body seems to like the mid-120s, which is what it healthy for me.

Mar 2nd, 2011, 08:08 PM
I would rather trust the American Heart disease than some new study. I was told by someone on another forum that new studies prove that saturated fats from animals do not cause heart disease and why would I have to watch my saturated fats. I am not eating animal foods anyway but I commented to someone else that she should not eat sat fats in her diet. The response by others were that you dont even need to be concerned about it because of the new studies. Bs, I say. They are so fast to jump on my diet. It is proven that sat fats cause an increase in cholesterol. Also I was told to watch the documentary "Fat Head". They also make fun of Dr. Oz saying he is some weirdo and that his wife is a vegetarian and that is why he is pushing vegetarian meals and recommends veg diets. I was surprised at that opinion. Isn't he a heart surgeon or something. Wouldn't he know what is best for heart health? Then I get the preeching about how I need to go back to eating animal products because humans have been eating meat for millions of years and changing my diet is not natural and I will suffer for it. Over time I believe if we continue to not eat animal products we will evolve not not need any nutrients from any animal foods.

Mar 3rd, 2011, 06:48 PM
I think they would need to be more precise as to what this new study is and it's origins. Just stating that there is a 'new study' isn't good enough............I doubt this 'new study' exists.

Mar 6th, 2011, 12:32 AM
There are several, but I am not saying they are valid. I will post the link to them. I am just surprised to read this.

Here is an article. I am searching for the reported studies. I would never believe it.

Mar 6th, 2011, 10:56 AM
Yes, it would be interesting to see the actual studies.

Mar 7th, 2011, 09:48 AM
Is that an actual REUTERS newsfeed?

Hard to imagine the poor quality of it. "Some study fails to links saturated fat and heart disease" - no mention, what study, who performed it, etc., etc.
Of course, one could use the source and date to find out more, but is that not supposed to be the value added of Reuters to put such information?

BTW, I am always wary of such claims. The very important 'Nurses health study' that is one of the cornerstones of American nutrition, also failed to provide a link between consuming animal products and heart disease, obesity, diabetes etc., simply because in the test group, there is no significant group that does _not_ consume animal products. So while the China study clearly showed a strong correlation, if you do not have any subjects that do not consume animal products, you will be hard pressed to show that it has benefits, if you compare those who consume 70% of rubbish with those who consume 80% of rubbish....

Best regards,

Mar 7th, 2011, 01:47 PM
Is that an actual REUTERS newsfeed?

Hard to imagine the poor quality of it. "Some study fails to links saturated fat and heart disease" - no mention, what study, who performed it, etc., etc.
Of course, one could use the source and date to find out more, but is that not supposed to be the value added of Reuters to put such information?

That's exactly what I was thinking Andy.

Mar 7th, 2011, 03:39 PM
That's p2 of the Reuters report - p1 is here http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/02/04/us-fat-heart-idUSTRE61341020100204?pageNumber=1

It's a meta-analysis, i.e. an analysis of existing published studies rather than a new study, but nonetheless it's just one analysis, and one that may have limitations.

Mar 7th, 2011, 07:15 PM
Thanks Harpy! :)

It all sounds a bit vague to me. Relying on people's recollections of their diet as part of the study is most unreliable....................as many people like to believe they eat more healthily than they do.

Mar 8th, 2011, 03:31 PM
Not exactly a peer reviewed study is it? I'd be very wary of what you glean from the media. Let's not forget that according to the Daily Wail, cycling is a major cause of heart attacks http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1360091/Heart-attacks-Cycling-work-biggest-causes.html

Mar 8th, 2011, 03:59 PM
Well, the Reuters report isn't peer-reviewed but I'm fairly sure the original study will have been. Here's an abstract:


...and you can download the whole article free from the link on the right hand side of the page.

As I say, it's just one study, and even if it turned out to be correct, I'm not sure it's that much of a problem, is it? I mean, (a) it wouldn't mean meat's good for you in other respects and (b) even if it weren't bad for you we know there are plenty of other reasons for not eating it.