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Vegan vs non-vegan


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#1 oehaut

  • Location:Canada

Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:19 PM


Ok so instead of talking about this in a bunch of different thread i'll post what i've found so far on the subject here, and maybe other relevant finds could be share here.

Let's try to go with studies comparing vegan with non-vegan from a same population (not just studying one group), and with mortality rather than biomarker if possible.

Relative Weight, Weight Loss Efforts and Nutrient Intakes among Health-Conscious Vegetarian, Past Vegetarian and Nonvegetarian Women Ages 18 to 50

Objective: To compare relative weight, weight loss efforts and nutrient intakes among similarly health-conscious vegetarian, past vegetarian and nonvegetarian premenopausal women.

Methods: Demographic data, lifestyle practices and weight loss efforts (by questionnaire), body mass index (BMI;kg/m2) and dietary intake (via multiple-pass 24-hour diet recall) were compared in a convenience sample of 90 current vegetarians, 35 past vegetarians and 68 nonvegetarians.

Results: Age (31.9 ± 8.8), educational attainment, smoking status, alcohol use, physical activity and perceived health status were similar among the three groups of women. BMI did not differ by dietary pattern and averaged 23.7 ± 4.7 for all women combined. Participants had intentionally lost >= 10 pounds a mean of 2.1 times, and 39% of women perceived themselves to be overweight; again, no differences were observed among dietary groups. Dietary intakes of vegetarians and current nonvegetarians were consistent with current recommendations for macronutrient composition (<30% fat, <10% saturates). Compared to current nonvegetarians, current vegetarians had lower intakes of protein, saturated fat, cholesterol, niacin, vitamins B12 and D, and higher fiber and magnesium intakes. Vegetarians’ mean vitamin B12 and D intakes were well below recommendations.

Conclusions: Relative weight and weight loss efforts do not differ by dietary pattern among similarly health-conscious vegetarian and nonvegetarian women. The only differences in nutrient intake with potential health implications were vitamins D and B12.


(ok this is not about mortality but many vegan brings in the weight control issu so I thought this was worthful of consideration)

How does the health and well-being of young Australian vegetarian and semi-vegetarian women compare with non-vegetarians?

Objective: To compare the sociodemographic characteristics, health status and health service use of vegetarians, semi-vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

Design: In cross-sectional data analyses of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health in 2000, 9113 women (aged 22–27 years) were defined as non-vegetarians if they reported including red meat in their diet, as semi-vegetarians if they excluded red meat and as vegetarians if they excluded meat, poultry and fish from their diet.

Results: The estimated prevalence was 3% and 10% for vegetarian and semi-vegetarian young women. Compared with non-vegetarians, vegetarians and semi-vegetarians were more likely to live in urban areas and to not be married. Vegetarians and semi-vegetarians had lower body mass index (mean (95% confidence interval): 22.2 (21.7–22.7) and 23.0 (22.7–23.3) kg m− 2) than non-vegetarians (23.7 (23.6–23.8) kg m− 2) and tended to exercise more. Semi-vegetarians and vegetarians had poorer mental health, with 21–22% reporting depression compared with 15% of non-vegetarians (P < 0.001). Low iron levels and menstrual symptoms were also more common in both vegetarian groups. Vegetarian and semi-vegetarian women were more likely to consult alternative health practitioners and semi-vegetarians reported taking more prescription and non-prescription medications. Compared with non-vegetarians, semi-vegetarians were less likely and vegetarians much less likely to be taking the oral contraceptive pill.

Conclusion: The levels of physical activity and body mass indices of the vegetarian and semi-vegetarian women suggest they are healthier than non-vegetarians. However, the greater reports of menstrual problems and the poorer mental health of these young women may be of clinical significance.


This is exactly what Skotgonung was proposing.

Mortality in vegetarians and nonvegetarians: detailed findings from a collaborative analysis of 5 prospective studies.

We combined data from 5 prospective studies to compare the death rates from common diseases of vegetarians with those of nonvegetarians with similar lifestyles. A summary of these results was reported previously; we report here more details of the findings. Data for 76172 men and women were available. Vegetarians were those who did not eat any meat or fish (n = 27808). Death rate ratios at ages 16-89 y were calculated by Poisson regression and all results were adjusted for age, sex, and smoking status. A random-effects model was used to calculate pooled estimates of effect for all studies combined. There were 8330 deaths after a mean of 10.6 y of follow-up. Mortality from ischemic heart disease was 24% lower in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians (death rate ratio: 0.76; 95% CI: 0.62, 0.94; P<0.01). The lower mortality from ischemic heart disease among vegetarians was greater at younger ages and was restricted to those who had followed their current diet for >5 y. Further categorization of diets showed that, in comparison with regular meat eaters, mortality from ischemic heart disease was 20% lower in occasional meat eaters, 34% lower in people who ate fish but not meat, 34% lower in lactoovovegetarians, and 26% lower in vegans. 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.



Mortality in British vegetarians: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Oxford).

BACKGROUND: Few prospective studies have examined the mortality of vegetarians.
OBJECTIVE: We present results on mortality among vegetarians and nonvegetarians in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Oxford).
DESIGN: We used a prospective study of men and women recruited throughout the United Kingdom in the 1990s. RESULTS: Among 64,234 participants aged 20-89 y for whom diet group was known, 2965 had died before age 90 by 30 June 2007. The death rates of participants are much lower than average for the United Kingdom. The standardized mortality ratio for all causes of death was 52% (95% CI: 50%, 54%) and was identical in vegetarians and in nonvegetarians. Comparing vegetarians with meat eaters among the 47,254 participants who had no prevalent cardiovascular disease or malignant cancer at recruitment, the death rate ratios adjusted for age, sex, smoking, and alcohol consumption were 0.81 (95% CI: 0.57, 1.16) for ischemic heart disease and 1.03 (95% CI: 0.90, 1.16) for all causes of death.
CONCLUSIONS: The mortality of both the vegetarians and the nonvegetarians in this study is low compared with national rates. Within the study, mortality from circulatory diseases and all causes is not significantly different between vegetarians and meat eaters, but the study is not large enough to exclude small or moderate differences for specific causes of death, and more research on this topic is required.


As I said in the other post, it is not possible to know how would a vegan diet corrected for deficiency compared to a plant-based diet with high quality animal product would compare... but right now it does not look like a vegan diet yield superior result to a regular omnivor diet.

Edited by oehaut, 05 April 2010 - 11:23 PM.

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#2 Skötkonung Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:Västergötland, SE

Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:39 PM

I noticed in the first study, vitamin A status was not examined. This is of particular interest:

Two common single nucleotide polymorphisms in the gene encoding β-carotene 15,15'-monoxygenase alter β-carotene metabolism in female volunteers

"The key enzyme responsible for β-carotene conversion into retinal is β-carotene 15,15'-monoxygenase (BCMO1). Since it has been reported that the conversion of β-carotene into vitamin A is highly variable in up to 45% of healthy individuals, we hypothesized that genetic polymorphisms in the BCMO1 gene could contribute to the occurrence of the poor converter phenotype. Here we describe the screening of the total open reading frame of the BCMO1 coding region that led to the identification of two common nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (R267S: rs12934922; A379V: rs7501331) with variant allele frequencies of 42 and 24%, respectively. In vitro biochemical characterization of the recombinant 267S + 379V double mutant revealed a reduced catalytic activity of BCMO1 by 57% (P<0.001). Assessment of the responsiveness to a pharmacological dose of β-carotene in female volunteers confirmed that carriers of both the 379V and 267S + 379V variant alleles had a reduced ability to convert β-carotene, as indicated through reduced retinyl palmitate:β-carotene ratios in the triglyceride-rich lipoprotein fraction [–32% (P=0.005) and –69% (P=0.001), respectively] and increased fasting β-carotene concentrations [+160% (P=0.025) and +240% (P=0.041), respectively]. Our data show that there is genetic variability in β-carotene metabolism and may provide an explanation for the molecular basis of the poor converter phenotype within the population."

From a volunteer group of 62 women, the team found that 29 of them, 47 per cent, carried the genetic variation which prevented them from being able to effectively convert beta-carotene into vitamin A. From some discussion on 23ndme.com, this variant seems pretty common in people of Northern European ancestry.

The implications of this mutation genotype are that some people could go on a vegetable based diet and become deficient in vitamin A. Historically, Northern European populations have had ready access to organ meats and dairy.
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#3 oehaut Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:Canada

Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:44 PM

Just found this, which is biomarkers, but I can't seem to find anything else than the 2 others related to mortality

Physical fitness and health-related parameters in vegetarian and omnivorous students

The completeness of a vegetarian diet is often questioned. Nevertheless, the literature indicates that a well balanced vegetarian diet is often healthier since the prevalence of prosperity diseases is significantly lower in vegetarians compared to omnivores. A total of 24 vegetarian students were examined regarding food intake, several critical blood parameters, physical performance and anthropometrical measures. The vegetarian population was compared with 24 omnivorous students for the same parameters. A lower energy intake for the vegetarians compared to the non-vegetarians was found. The distribution of the three macronutrients differed significantly between the two populations. Vitamin intake was comparable and within the recommended daily intake. A similar profile was found for the mineral intake. The blood profile showed significantly lower vitamin B12 values for the vegetarians compared to the non-vegetarians but values were within the recommended limits. Physical performance and anthropometric were completely comparable between the two populations.


Not much data reported on biomarkers... but from the whole papers

When comparing results obtained by the food questionnaire with the results from the blood analysis several discrepancies were detected. From the food analysis it was found that zinc intake was too low in vegetarians as well as in non-vegetarians with lower values for the vegetarians compared to the nonvegetarians. The blood profile, however, indicates inverse results with zinc values well between the recommended concentrations for both populations and with higher values for the vegetarians compared to the nonvegetarians. Another discrepancy was found for cholesterol. Cholesterol intake was significantly higher for the non-vegetarians compared to the vegetarians, with an intake above the allowed maximum for the nonvegetarians.
Blood profiles indicate more or less similar values for vegetarians and nonvegetarians and do not indicate major differences for HDL and LDL cholesterol.


Edited by oehaut, 05 April 2010 - 11:46 PM.

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#4 oehaut Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:Canada

Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:45 PM

I noticed in the first study, vitamin A status was not examined. This is of particular interest:

Two common single nucleotide polymorphisms in the gene encoding β-carotene 15,15'-monoxygenase alter β-carotene metabolism in female volunteers

"The key enzyme responsible for β-carotene conversion into retinal is β-carotene 15,15'-monoxygenase (BCMO1). Since it has been reported that the conversion of β-carotene into vitamin A is highly variable in up to 45% of healthy individuals, we hypothesized that genetic polymorphisms in the BCMO1 gene could contribute to the occurrence of the poor converter phenotype. Here we describe the screening of the total open reading frame of the BCMO1 coding region that led to the identification of two common nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (R267S: rs12934922; A379V: rs7501331) with variant allele frequencies of 42 and 24%, respectively. In vitro biochemical characterization of the recombinant 267S + 379V double mutant revealed a reduced catalytic activity of BCMO1 by 57% (P<0.001). Assessment of the responsiveness to a pharmacological dose of β-carotene in female volunteers confirmed that carriers of both the 379V and 267S + 379V variant alleles had a reduced ability to convert β-carotene, as indicated through reduced retinyl palmitate:β-carotene ratios in the triglyceride-rich lipoprotein fraction [–32% (P=0.005) and –69% (P=0.001), respectively] and increased fasting β-carotene concentrations [+160% (P=0.025) and +240% (P=0.041), respectively]. Our data show that there is genetic variability in β-carotene metabolism and may provide an explanation for the molecular basis of the poor converter phenotype within the population."

From a volunteer group of 62 women, the team found that 29 of them, 47 per cent, carried the genetic variation which prevented them from being able to effectively convert beta-carotene into vitamin A. From some discussion on 23ndme.com, this variant seems pretty common in people of Northern European ancestry.

The implications of this mutation genotype are that some people could go on a vegetable based diet and become deficient in vitamin A. Historically, Northern European populations have had ready access to organ meats and dairy.


Nutrigenomic will give us precious informations, it seems, in the year to come.

Edited by oehaut, 05 April 2010 - 11:45 PM.

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#5 Skötkonung Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:Västergötland, SE

Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:57 PM

Chromosomal damage rate, aging, and diet.

"Chromosomal damage as measured by frequency of translocations, acentric fragments, telomere shortening, nondisjunction, chromosome loss, aneuploidy, and micronucleus formation has been shown to increase progressively with age. Using the cytokinesis-block micronucleus technique, which provides an efficient measure of chromosomal breakage and loss, we have been able to show that aging can explain at least 25% of the variation in chromosomal damage rate in lymphocytes from both males and females. We have also performed cross-sectional and placebo-controlled intervention studies to determine the relationship between the micronucleus (MN) frequency in lymphocytes and diet, and blood status for vitamins C, E, B12, and folic acid. Our studies have shown that MN frequency in the 41- to 60-year age group is significantly lower in vegetarians when compared to nonvegetarians, but the reverse was true in males aged between 20 and 40 years. This was accounted for by a deficient/low B12 status in vegetarian males; there was no difference in the MN frequency of vegetarian and nonvegetarian subjects aged between 61 and 90 years. Results from this study also showed significant negative correlations of MN frequency with folic acid and vitamin B12 but not with vitamin C or vitamin E. In separate studies on healthy men aged 50-70, we have verified the significant negative correlation between vitamin B12 status in plasma and MN frequency (r = -0.315, p = 0.013) in subjects who were not vitamin B12 deficient and observed a significant positive correlation between MN frequency and homocysteine status (r = 0.414, p = 0.0086) in those men who were not vitamin B12 and/or folate deficient. These data suggest that MN frequency is minimized when plasma B12 is above 300 pmol/L and plasma homocysteine is below 7.5 mumol/L. Double-blind placebo-controlled intervention studies conducted over four months have shown that above RDI intake of vitamin E (30 x RDI) or folic acid (10 x RDI) did not produce a significant reduction in MN frequency in men aged 50-70 years. In the latter case plasma homocysteine was reduced from a mean value of 9.33 mumol/L to 8.51 mumol/L, a level that does not correspond with minimization of MN frequency. We have also tested the hypothesis that moderate wine drinking can protect against the DNA-damaging effect of hydrogen peroxide and found that there was a strong ex vivo inhibition (> 70%) of hydrogen peroxide-induced MN frequency by plasma samples from blood collected one hour after consumption of red or white wine, as compared to plasma samples collected immediately before wine consumption (p = 0.0008). However, only samples following red wine consumption produced a significant reduction in baseline MN frequency. The above results suggest that chromosome damage can be modulated, under selected circumstances, by diverse dietary factors."
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#6 rwac Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:Dimension X
  • yes

Posted 06 April 2010 - 12:14 AM

Our studies have shown that MN frequency in the 41- to 60-year age group is significantly lower in vegetarians when compared to nonvegetarians, but the reverse was true in males aged between 20 and 40 years. This was accounted for by a deficient/low B12 status in vegetarian males;


This is not very clear to me.
So Chromosomal damage (proportional to MN frequency) is lower in older vegetarians, but higher in younger vegetarians ? How would this work?
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#7 Alex Libman Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:New Jersey, USA

Posted 06 April 2010 - 01:51 AM

I don't advocate just any kind of vegan diet, I advocate a diet focused on water, legumes, fresh vegetables, whole grains, and wise use of supplements; while avoiding acidic foods (including coffee, tea, and alcohol), processed foods (including oils and juices), sweets, most artificial additives (including sweeteners), unfermented soy, and "carb junk" (including potatoes, refined flour, white rice, most fruits, honey, etc). Beans, pea soup, buckwheat and other "super-grains", multi-whole-grain protein-enriched home-baked bread, and THC-free hemp are major staples, with water the only beverage, while most variety comes from vegetables.

Also, people tend to become vegan / vegetarian for different reasons, and it would make sense to me that falling for the "animal rights" delusion would correlate with the "poorer mental health" and not the diet itself. People who change their diet for reasons of alleged compassion are also more likely to have experienced health problems beforehand - "your own suffering makes you more aware of the suffering of other animals", blah, blah, blah. So those are very good reasons to avoid the correlation==causation fallacy and look further.
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#8 oehaut Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:Canada

Posted 06 April 2010 - 11:43 AM

I don't advocate just any kind of vegan diet, I advocate a diet focused on water, legumes, fresh vegetables, whole grains, and wise use of supplements;


This is what all meat eater advocate here too, only you add some oragnic grass-fed meat, and depending on who you ask, some grains or not.

while avoiding acidic foods (including coffee, tea, and alcohol),


There is no strong scientific basis that acidic food pose any problem to health, and considering the large amount of evidence in favor of coffee and tea, I don't think you should keep from these.

processed foods (including oils and juices), sweets, most artificial additives (including sweeteners), unfermented soy, and "carb junk" (including potatoes, refined flour, white rice, most fruits, honey, etc). Beans, pea soup, buckwheat and other "super-grains", multi-whole-grain protein-enriched home-baked bread, and THC-free hemp are major staples, with water the only beverage, while most variety comes from vegetables.


I perfectly agree with this, as everyone on this forum will also i'm sure, althought THC has some health benefits I think. Search the forum.


Also, people tend to become vegan / vegetarian for different reasons, and it would make sense to me that falling for the "animal rights" delusion would correlate with the "poorer mental health" and not the diet itself. People who change their diet for reasons of alleged compassion are also more likely to have experienced health problems beforehand - "your own suffering makes you more aware of the suffering of other animals", blah, blah, blah. So those are very good reasons to avoid the correlation==causation fallacy and look further.


Yup, I was not implying any causation, and your point could be right. But the fact that vegan are usually low in EFAs and Vit B could also be a very important factor for their mental health.

Edited by oehaut, 06 April 2010 - 11:44 AM.

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#9 Alex Libman Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:New Jersey, USA

Posted 06 April 2010 - 02:19 PM

This is what all meat eater advocate here too, only you add some oragnic grass-fed meat, and depending on who you ask, some grains or not.


Name one nutrient that originates in the bodies of other animals (not counting bacteria, as in B-12) that human beings can't acquire from nature without passing it through an animal's body first?


There is no strong scientific basis that acidic food pose any problem to health, and considering the large amount of evidence in favor of coffee and tea, I don't think you should keep from these.


As for tea being harmless - try drinking nothing but strong tea for a few days and you'll feel the harm for yourself. With good foods you just don't have to worry about moderation, which is humanly very difficult to achieve.

A lot of plants contain micro-nutrients that our body can make good use of, but not all of them are studied equally. Our ancestors evolved for millions of years without brewing any hot beverages. It just doesn't make sense to me that a plant that needs to be dehydrated, processed, preserved, scolded with hot water, and then filtered out would have greater health benefits than portions of other plants / herbs that are edible fresh and can be locally grown. My money is on something like parsley kicking tea's butt!


I perfectly agree with this, as everyone on this forum will also i'm sure, althought THC has some health benefits I think. Search the forum.


The psychoactive effect is a definite negative as far as I'm concerned. I'm a big fan of legalization, but I personally only value marijuana for its agricultural super-efficiency and awesome nutritional content.


Yup, I was not implying any causation, and your point could be right. But the fact that vegan are usually low in EFAs and Vit B could also be a very important factor for their mental health.


Not the vegans who eat lots of the foods I've mentioned and take good supplements. Essential fats don't come from animal's bodies, they come through them - you get better fats from plants, and if you want them in high amounts you can add more olives and avocados to your diet. The same can be said about any nutrient - the only benefit animal bodies bring is accumulating those plant-based nutrients in greater concentrations, but the same thing can be done cleaner and cheaper in a lab without adding all the bad things animal bodies contain.
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#10 oehaut Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:Canada

Posted 06 April 2010 - 02:48 PM

Name one nutrient that originates in the bodies of other animals (not counting bacteria, as in B-12) that human beings can't acquire from nature without passing it through an animal's body first?


I told you already that carnosine, carnitine and taurine are all low in vegan that don't supplement... and these nutrients have a fair amount of research showing they are bebeficial for many aspect of health. Carnosine, carnitine and taurine come mostly exclusively from animal source. That is, you have to consume animal food to get enough of it, otherwise you must supplement.

As for tea being harmless - try drinking nothing but strong tea for a few days and you'll feel the harm for yourself. With good foods you just don't have to worry about moderation, which is humanly very difficult to achieve.


Any food eaten in excess can brings problem, so moderation is always an issu, as it is with tea. Do you have any evidence that drink in moderation, tea can be harmful? I think you are going to have a very, very hard time finding this.

A lot of plants contain micro-nutrients that our body can make good use of, but not all of them are studied equally. Our ancestors evolved for millions of years without brewing any hot beverages. It just doesn't make sense to me that a plant that needs to be dehydrated, processed, preserved, scolded with hot water, and then filtered out would have greater health benefits than portions of other plants / herbs that are edible fresh and can be locally grown. My money is on something like parsley kicking tea's butt!


Some natural form of processing actually make the beneficial component of plants more bioactive and bioavailable. I don't know with tea, but there is way enough research showing it brings health benefits so that I don't need to worry about the fact that it was process to some point before I consume it.

Not the vegans who eat lots of the foods I've mentioned and take good supplements. Essential fats don't come from animal's bodies, they come through them - you get better fats from plants, and if you want them in high amounts you can add more olives and avocados to your diet. The same can be said about any nutrient - the only benefit animal bodies bring is accumulating those plant-based nutrients in greater concentrations, but the same thing can be done cleaner and cheaper in a lab without adding all the bad things animal bodies contain.


The first part is right, but how many vegan eats alguea? Olive and advocados are not gonna give you any substantial omega-3 fatty acid. EFA and DHA are often suboptimal in vegan. Usually, the vegetal form, such as ALA, is badly converted by the human, and getting it from an animal source is just way easier.

Edited by oehaut, 06 April 2010 - 02:51 PM.

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#11 Skötkonung Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:Västergötland, SE

Posted 06 April 2010 - 06:46 PM

Name one nutrient that originates in the bodies of other animals (not counting bacteria, as in B-12) that human beings can't acquire from nature without passing it through an animal's body first?

Many animal forms of nutrients have higher bio-availability. Like was mentioned previously in this thread, many people are unable to process vitamin A from beta-carotene. For these people, a plant based diet would result in sub-optimal levels of vitamin A. Meat also plays an important role in regulating glycation. As oehaut mentioned, vegans / vegetarians have low levels of many EFAs, taurine, little to no carnosine, carnitine, alpha liopic acid, etc. As a result, they have a much higher rate of glycation. If you care about anti-aging at all, you should care about glycation.

As for tea being harmless - try drinking nothing but strong tea for a few days and you'll feel the harm for yourself. With good foods you just don't have to worry about moderation, which is humanly very difficult to achieve.

Ridiculous! Everything must be taken in moderation. You can die from drinking too much water. There is evidence suggesting that regular green tea drinkers have lower chances of heart disease and developing certain types of cancer. Tea drinkers have longer telomeres. All of these should be important when considering a lifestyle for anti-aging.

A lot of plants contain micro-nutrients that our body can make good use of, but not all of them are studied equally. Our ancestors evolved for millions of years without brewing any hot beverages. It just doesn't make sense to me that a plant that needs to be dehydrated, processed, preserved, scolded with hot water, and then filtered out would have greater health benefits than portions of other plants / herbs that are edible fresh and can be locally grown. My money is on something like parsley kicking tea's butt!

Our ancestors also evolved eating a lot of meat, especially in the last 150,000 years. By the time pre-modern humans and their analogues, Neanderthals, had come along, we were top predators essentially acting as non-obligate carnivores. Even H. Erectus skeletons shows evidence of hypervitaminosis A from eating the livers of predator species - PMID 7038513. By your reasoning, we should all be eating a meat based diet, with little to no neolithic foods (grains, legumes, large fruits, etc).

Not the vegans who eat lots of the foods I've mentioned and take good supplements. Essential fats don't come from animal's bodies, they come through them - you get better fats from plants, and if you want them in high amounts you can add more olives and avocados to your diet. The same can be said about any nutrient - the only benefit animal bodies bring is accumulating those plant-based nutrients in greater concentrations, but the same thing can be done cleaner and cheaper in a lab without adding all the bad things animal bodies contain.

I'd rather get my EPA / DHA from Fish that eat algae then go eat algae myself. I would rather get EPA / DHA from a grass fed cow that has already done the work of converting ALA in plants. Humans are notoriously bad at creating EPA / DHA from ALA. Plus the phytoestrogens in flax are now showing a possible cancer inducing effect on reproductive tissues. I think if humans evolved to get these substances directly from plants, our digestive systems would look more like a gorilla, fish, or ruminant. Sadly it does not.

Edited by Skotkonung, 06 April 2010 - 07:00 PM.

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#12 prophets Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:US

Posted 06 April 2010 - 07:19 PM

honestly, i don't know why we keep having these vegetarian vs. omnivore threads. i was going to post a couple studies, but it's become a pointless argument. let the people who want to eat vegetarian have a vegetarian thread and discuss why and how to eat optimally there. let the vegan people have their own thread. let the paleo people have their own thread.

to each his own. outside of the methionine restriction data, the evidence really hasn't changed enough in the last year, to justify all these threads.
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#13 Alex Libman Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:New Jersey, USA

Posted 06 April 2010 - 07:35 PM

First of all, a reminder: I don't advocate a 100% vegan diet for anyone except people like myself - overweight, family history of heart problems / cancer, and very poor portion control when it comes to meat.


I told you already that carnosine, carnitine and taurine are all low in vegan that don't supplement... and these nutrients have a fair amount of research showing they are bebeficial for many aspect of health. Carnosine, carnitine and taurine come mostly exclusively from animal source. That is, you have to consume animal food to get enough of it, otherwise you must supplement.


None of those are essential, though I agree they may be beneficial if taken as supplements. Carnitine is present in foods like tempeh, avocado, wheat, etc - as well as the complete amino acid supplement all vegans should be taking anyway. Carnosine consists of two amino acids both of which are produced by the body and thus are not essential in the human diet. Studies on added benefits of supplemental carnosine all involve doses that would be very unwise to obtain from meat, so meat consumption is not really an advantage.

Just because something has some beneficial properties doesn't mean it is a part of an ideal diet - you have to weigh the pros and cons in context of all alternatives. The benefits of animal corpse consumption are outweighed by their drawbacks, and you would get greater benefits getting your calories from plants instead, which have far greater anti-aging properties and much fewer drawbacks. Meat is like smoking - most people don't have the willpower to only smoke half a cigarette every other day, so it's best to avoid it altogether so that the cravings go away.


Any food eaten in excess can brings problem,


My diet does not involve any natural foods (i.e. not supplements) that are harmful in excess. You will simply not want to eat too much vegetables, beans, etc. Animal products, acidic foods, processed foods, and sweets, on the other hand, are addictive. Furthermore, they seem to be mutually addictive - drinking tea makes me crave sweets, eating too much "carb junk" (ex. apples) makes me crave meat (probably because my body realizes that it's not getting a high enough percentage of protein), drinking a coke makes me crave a hamburger, etc.


so moderation is always an issu, as it is with tea. Do you have any evidence that drink in moderation, tea can be harmful? I think you are going to have a very, very hard time finding this.


Even lead paint is fine in moderation, but it doesn't mean it's good for you. Hot beverages increase the risk of throat cancer (and, take it from a northerner, they don't really warm you up the way some hearty pea soup will). The human body evolved to drink water and nothing but water to cleanse itself, and mixing it with anything else puts added strain on the kidneys and other organs, leaving your body more polluted as the result. Some quality teas are also seriously overpriced - dollar for dollar you would be getting more nutrition with more exotic vegetables in your salad or some berries instead.


The first part is right, but how many vegan eats alguea? Olive and advocados are not gonna give you any substantial omega-3 fatty acid. EFA and DHA are often suboptimal in vegan. Usually, the vegetal form, such as ALA, is badly converted by the human, and getting it from an animal source is just way easier.


There are plenty of plant sources of omega-3 and other essential fatty acids. Most vegans become very familiar with the various sea vegetables and even start thinking of them as an essential food-group, along with herbs, seeds, sprouts, fermented products, and extracts. Variety becomes a sport of sorts, especially when vegans cohabitate and develop a culture and cuisine of their own - you start hearing of dishes like "15 seed trail mix", "21 bean soup", "30 berry fruit salad", etc, with numbers of ingredients in green vegetable salads often reaching astronomic proportions - way better idle munching than popcorn. Posted Image

Edited by Alex Libman, 06 April 2010 - 07:48 PM.

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#14 Skötkonung Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:Västergötland, SE

Posted 06 April 2010 - 07:59 PM

Just because something has some beneficial properties doesn't mean it is a part of an ideal diet - you have to weigh the pros and cons in context of all alternatives. The benefits of animal corpse consumption are outweighed by their drawbacks, and you would get greater benefits getting your calories from plants instead, which have far greater anti-aging properties and much fewer drawbacks. Meat is like smoking - most people don't have the willpower to only smoke half a cigarette every other day, so it's best to avoid it altogether so that the cravings go away.

Said like a true vegan ;) Where do I begin?

Lots of cultures eat meat only diets and have no problems with excessive obesity, cancer, or CVD, i.e the Inuit, Masai, etc. There may even be something called the metabolic advantage on a low-carbohydrate, meat based diet that allows one to consume more calories than an equivalent carbohydrate based diet. Furthermore, as you continue to ignore, all long lived cultures consume some meat, with some of the longest lived countries (those that are Scandinavian) eating a high fat, high meat diet. Fat, unlike carbohydrate, has no insulin response and is more satiating. I personally get less hungry when I eat meat and I consume less total calories. Conversely, as carbohydrate consumption has increased in the USA and fat consumption has decreased (NHANES data), people have gotten more obese.

Just because you have problems controlling what you eat, evidence by your self admitted obesity, it doesn't mean you need to project that on others -- let alone use your anecdotal experience as a reason why anyone should not eat meat. How would you like it if I did the same to you? I eat a lot of meat, I eat locally, I eat organically, and I have very low body fat and enjoy excellent fitness. I do not get excessively hungry. Your vegan diet has wasted your lean mass and caused insulin resistance. Not so nice when it is the other way around, is it?

But I digress: If you you could produce sufficient carnosine, carnitine, taurine endogenously to achieve optimal health, why do vegans have the much higher plasma advanced glycation end products of someone with diabetes? How do you know you can get enough of these substances (or precursor elements) from plants to cause sufficient bio-availability? You don't, there isn't a study out there showing such data. All you have is speculation, which doesn't count for much around here.

You speak of anti-aging properties of plants (I agree there are some) and the negative aspects of consuming any meat (I obviously do not agree), but I find it interesting that in every one of your posts you cannot even link to one peer-reviewed study or journal to substantiate your point. You must be living in your own little world, completely narrated by Colin T Campbell.

Edited by Skotkonung, 06 April 2010 - 08:37 PM.

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#15 prophets Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:US

Posted 06 April 2010 - 08:07 PM

Meat is like smoking - most people don't have the willpower to only smoke half a cigarette every other day, so it's best to avoid it altogether so that the cravings go away.


you are living on another planet, IDK where this kind of stuff comes from.... poultry and fish are healthy, period !
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#16 oehaut Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:Canada

Posted 06 April 2010 - 08:33 PM

honestly, i don't know why we keep having these vegetarian vs. omnivore threads. i was going to post a couple studies, but it's become a pointless argument. let the people who want to eat vegetarian have a vegetarian thread and discuss why and how to eat optimally there. let the vegan people have their own thread. let the paleo people have their own thread.

to each his own. outside of the methionine restriction data, the evidence really hasn't changed enough in the last year, to justify all these threads.


You are right prophet, and i'm sorry to bring this around again. Personally, I only wanted a place to share the evidence so we can discuss them, after searching the forum I had find no thread where studies comparing directly the two were shared and analyzed.

As it is, I see no solid evidence for being 100% vegan, and i'm always hoping i'm missing some evidence that would make me evolve.

Still, I think that it would be important to settle the question, and not just let people have their own, because there has to be one of the two that is the best, and I really wish I know. There are so many people running around claiming 'this diet is superior' and then 'no this one is' so well.... i'm trying to figure out ;)
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#17 Mind Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:Wausau, WI
  • yes

Posted 06 April 2010 - 08:47 PM

I marked this thread "recommended" specifically because of the peer-reviewed references. It would be nice if posters continued to focus on the "best evidence" available, and shy away from opinion. We have many opinionated threads already.
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#18 Application Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:Chicago

Posted 06 April 2010 - 09:15 PM

Thanks for starting this thread Oehaut. Its better than how we were having this discussion as side topics in other threads.

My last statement on this subject was:

Though many cultures eat mostly plant based food, as in less than 10% animal products, I think its hard to argue that a 100% vegan diet is the natural diet- extreme diets are not all that practical except maybe in wealthy societies. Also less than 1% of the population currently eats purely vegan. This means there is a lack of large scale research verifying whether the apparent reductions in many aging markers and disease risk translate into longevity. However its not unreasonable to hypothesize, that if a diet improves numerous markers of aging as well as reduces rates of major killer diseases such as cancer and heart disease, that it could increase lifespan.


In doing some research, I came across one other population study that I do not think has been mentioned:

Dietary and Lifestyle Determinants of Mortality among German Vegetarians

JENNY CHANG-CLAUDE and RAINER FRENTZEL-BEYME
Division of Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Centre Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, D-6900 Heidelberg, Germany

Reprint requests: Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, z.H. Dr. Jenny Chang-Claude, Abteilung Epidemiologie, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, D-6900 Heidelberg, Germany

Lifestyle characteristics of a cohort of 1904 Germans adhering mainly to a vegetarian duet were examined in reladon to their mortality after 11 years of follow-up. Poisson regression modelling was performed to consider the simultaneous effects of different variables on mortality from all causes, cancer (ICD 140–208) and cardiovascular diseases (ICD 390–459). Compared to a low level of self-reported physical activity, those with a medium or high level of activity experienced only half the mortality from all causes and from cardiovascular diseases. Physical activity showed no beneficial effect for cancer mortality in this cohort. The body mass index (BMI) was an independent risk factor for mortality among men but essentially unrelated to mortality among women. Those in the middle third of the BMI distribution experienced the lowest mortality. A negative association between BMI and cancer mortality lost statistical significance when the first 5 years of follow-up were deleted, suggesting that a lower BMI was a consequence of prevalent disease. Both the duration of vegetarianism and the vegetarian status (strict versus moderate) showed a moderate effect on all cause and cancer mortality. A longer duration of vegetarianism (20 years) was associated with a lower risk, pointing to a real protective effect of this lifestyle. A lower risk of death among moderate vegetarians suggests that sound nutritional planning may be more important than absolute avoidance of meat.


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#19 Jay Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:New York

Posted 06 April 2010 - 09:57 PM

I noticed in the first study, vitamin A status was not examined. This is of particular interest:

Two common single nucleotide polymorphisms in the gene encoding β-carotene 15,15'-monoxygenase alter β-carotene metabolism in female volunteers

"The key enzyme responsible for β-carotene conversion into retinal is β-carotene 15,15'-monoxygenase (BCMO1). Since it has been reported that the conversion of β-carotene into vitamin A is highly variable in up to 45% of healthy individuals, we hypothesized that genetic polymorphisms in the BCMO1 gene could contribute to the occurrence of the poor converter phenotype. Here we describe the screening of the total open reading frame of the BCMO1 coding region that led to the identification of two common nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (R267S: rs12934922; A379V: rs7501331) with variant allele frequencies of 42 and 24%, respectively. In vitro biochemical characterization of the recombinant 267S + 379V double mutant revealed a reduced catalytic activity of BCMO1 by 57% (P<0.001). Assessment of the responsiveness to a pharmacological dose of β-carotene in female volunteers confirmed that carriers of both the 379V and 267S + 379V variant alleles had a reduced ability to convert β-carotene, as indicated through reduced retinyl palmitate:β-carotene ratios in the triglyceride-rich lipoprotein fraction [–32% (P=0.005) and –69% (P=0.001), respectively] and increased fasting β-carotene concentrations [+160% (P=0.025) and +240% (P=0.041), respectively]. Our data show that there is genetic variability in β-carotene metabolism and may provide an explanation for the molecular basis of the poor converter phenotype within the population."

From a volunteer group of 62 women, the team found that 29 of them, 47 per cent, carried the genetic variation which prevented them from being able to effectively convert beta-carotene into vitamin A. From some discussion on 23ndme.com, this variant seems pretty common in people of Northern European ancestry.

The implications of this mutation genotype are that some people could go on a vegetable based diet and become deficient in vitamin A. Historically, Northern European populations have had ready access to organ meats and dairy.


One inference that can be drawn from this data is that this genotype is not well adapted to an all-vegetarian diet. However, there are other possible explanations. One that seems plausible to me is that vitamin D is required, to a varying extent in varying populations, to covert carotenes to retinol, with the implication that these people only need more vitamin D and not pre-formed retinol. This alternate hypothesis comports with our ever-increasing knowledge of the interrelationships between the fat soluble vitamins. For example, vitamin D is instrumental in the conversion of vitamin K1 to K2. See here.

Edited by Jay, 06 April 2010 - 09:58 PM.

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#20 oehaut Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:Canada

Posted 07 April 2010 - 01:27 AM

In doing some research, I came across one other population study that I do not think has been mentioned:

Dietary and Lifestyle Determinants of Mortality among German Vegetarians

JENNY CHANG-CLAUDE and RAINER FRENTZEL-BEYME
Division of Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Centre Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, D-6900 Heidelberg, Germany

Reprint requests: Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, z.H. Dr. Jenny Chang-Claude, Abteilung Epidemiologie, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, D-6900 Heidelberg, Germany

Lifestyle characteristics of a cohort of 1904 Germans adhering mainly to a vegetarian duet were examined in reladon to their mortality after 11 years of follow-up. Poisson regression modelling was performed to consider the simultaneous effects of different variables on mortality from all causes, cancer (ICD 140–208) and cardiovascular diseases (ICD 390–459). Compared to a low level of self-reported physical activity, those with a medium or high level of activity experienced only half the mortality from all causes and from cardiovascular diseases. Physical activity showed no beneficial effect for cancer mortality in this cohort. The body mass index (BMI) was an independent risk factor for mortality among men but essentially unrelated to mortality among women. Those in the middle third of the BMI distribution experienced the lowest mortality. A negative association between BMI and cancer mortality lost statistical significance when the first 5 years of follow-up were deleted, suggesting that a lower BMI was a consequence of prevalent disease. Both the duration of vegetarianism and the vegetarian status (strict versus moderate) showed a moderate effect on all cause and cancer mortality. A longer duration of vegetarianism (20 years) was associated with a lower risk, pointing to a real protective effect of this lifestyle. A lower risk of death among moderate vegetarians suggests that sound nutritional planning may be more important than absolute avoidance of meat.


Thanks for the reference Application

But one question : lower mortality compared to who? While doing the research, I had found this paper, but not posted it because it did not compare vegan vs non-vegan. As much as possible, I'd like a comparison of mortality in vegan vs non-vegan, but it appears that the 2 studies I posted are the only one of this kind.

Also, the last quote of your study is rather interesting, and goes in the same line that I've repeated since the beggining : a plant-based diet, with high quality animal food, might be the best one.

A lower risk of death among moderate vegetarians suggests that sound nutritional planning may be more important than absolute avoidance of meat


Edited by oehaut, 07 April 2010 - 01:30 AM.

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#21 e Volution Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:spaceship earth

Posted 07 April 2010 - 01:42 AM

Alex Libman, if you look at most posts in this thread (in fact all of them before you posted) you will see this is an evidence based discussion. You have provided no evidence to backup any of your claims, to the contrary many of your claims have been easily countered by contrary evidence. We are not 100% on what the ideal diet may be, so it is unwise to suggest you know the answer. If you do then you have evidence that members of this forum have not seen, in which case you should provide it to support your position.

prophets, that is probably a good idea (why don't you start an In Appreciation of Omnivory thread) ;)
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#22 Application Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:Chicago

Posted 07 April 2010 - 02:06 AM

Your welcome. I thought it relevant because it assesses degree of vegetarianism as one of the variables. Like I said before, because of the low rate of veganism (under 1% with infinitesimal number of subjects staying vegan over long periods) combined with confounding factors Alex Libman alluded to, this question cannot be easily assessed through population studies. In addition to the confounder Alex mentioned of veganism as a symptom of mental disturbance, there are also many sub groups of vegans such as raw vegans and fruictarians who's diets have risks and benefits different from the theoretical 'supplementing vegan' we want to evaluate.

In doing some research, I came across one other population study that I do not think has been mentioned:

Dietary and Lifestyle Determinants of Mortality among German Vegetarians

JENNY CHANG-CLAUDE and RAINER FRENTZEL-BEYME
Division of Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Centre Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, D-6900 Heidelberg, Germany

Reprint requests: Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, z.H. Dr. Jenny Chang-Claude, Abteilung Epidemiologie, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, D-6900 Heidelberg, Germany

Lifestyle characteristics of a cohort of 1904 Germans adhering mainly to a vegetarian duet were examined in reladon to their mortality after 11 years of follow-up. Poisson regression modelling was performed to consider the simultaneous effects of different variables on mortality from all causes, cancer (ICD 140–208) and cardiovascular diseases (ICD 390–459). Compared to a low level of self-reported physical activity, those with a medium or high level of activity experienced only half the mortality from all causes and from cardiovascular diseases. Physical activity showed no beneficial effect for cancer mortality in this cohort. The body mass index (BMI) was an independent risk factor for mortality among men but essentially unrelated to mortality among women. Those in the middle third of the BMI distribution experienced the lowest mortality. A negative association between BMI and cancer mortality lost statistical significance when the first 5 years of follow-up were deleted, suggesting that a lower BMI was a consequence of prevalent disease. Both the duration of vegetarianism and the vegetarian status (strict versus moderate) showed a moderate effect on all cause and cancer mortality. A longer duration of vegetarianism (20 years) was associated with a lower risk, pointing to a real protective effect of this lifestyle. A lower risk of death among moderate vegetarians suggests that sound nutritional planning may be more important than absolute avoidance of meat.


Thanks for the reference Application

But one question : lower mortality compared to who? While doing the research, I had found this paper, but not posted it because it did not compare vegan vs non-vegan. As much as possible, I'd like a comparison of mortality in vegan vs non-vegan, but it appears that the 2 studies I posted are the only one of this kind.

Also, the last quote of your study is rather interesting, and goes in the same line that I've repeated since the beggining : a plant-based diet, with high quality animal food, might be the best one.

A lower risk of death among moderate vegetarians suggests that sound nutritional planning may be more important than absolute avoidance of meat


Edited by Application, 07 April 2010 - 02:15 AM.

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#23 Application Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:Chicago

Posted 07 April 2010 - 02:31 AM

But one question : lower mortality compared to who?


My read is that the entire group of subjects were all some degree of vegetarian (lacto ovo, pesca, vegan etc) and researchers correlated a number of variables including exercise, degree of vegetarianism, length of time as vegetarians, and BMI to mortality.

Edited by Application, 07 April 2010 - 03:02 AM.

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#24 Skötkonung Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:Västergötland, SE

Posted 07 April 2010 - 03:12 AM

One inference that can be drawn from this data is that this genotype is not well adapted to an all-vegetarian diet. However, there are other possible explanations. One that seems plausible to me is that vitamin D is required, to a varying extent in varying populations, to covert carotenes to retinol, with the implication that these people only need more vitamin D and not pre-formed retinol. This alternate hypothesis comports with our ever-increasing knowledge of the interrelationships between the fat soluble vitamins. For example, vitamin D is instrumental in the conversion of vitamin K1 to K2. See here.


Interesting. My understanding is that the mutation causes a decreased production of BCMO1, the key enzyme responsible for converting beta-carotene to retinyl palmitate. I wasn't able to find any information regarding the involvement of vitamin D.

This study, for instance, discusses a patient with a lack of BCMO1:
Loss-of-Function Mutation in Carotenoid 15,15'-Monooxygenase Identified in a Patient with Hypercarotenemia and Hypovitaminosis A
"The enzyme carotenoid 15,15'-monooxygenase (CMO1) catalyzes the first step in the conversion of dietary provitamin A carotenoids to vitamin A in the small intestine. Plant carotenoids are an important dietary source of vitamin A (retinol) and the sole source of vitamin A for vegetarians. Vitamin A is essential for normal embryonic development as well as normal physiological functions in children and adults. Here, we describe one heterozygous T170M missense mutation in the CMO1 gene in a subject with hypercarotenemia and mild hypovitaminosis A. The replacement of a highly conserved threonine with methionine results in a 90% reduction in enzyme activity when analyzed in vitro using purified recombinant enzymes. The Michaelis-Menten constant (Km) for the mutated enzyme is normal. Ample amounts of carotenoids are present in plasma of persons consuming a normal Western diet, suggesting that the enzyme is saturated with substrate under normal conditions. Therefore, we propose that haploinsufficiency of the CMO1 enzyme may cause symptoms of hypercarotenemia and hypovitaminosis A in individuals consuming a carotenoid-containing and vitamin A-deficient diet."

This same effect was reproduced by creating this mutation in mice:

β-Carotene conversion products and their effects on adipose tissue
"Recent epidemiological data suggest that β-carotene may be protective against metabolic diseases in which adipose tissue plays a key role. Adipose tissue constitutes the major β-carotene storage tissue and its functions have been shown to be modulated in response to β-carotene breakdown products, especially retinal produced after cleavage by β-carotene 15,15′-monooxygenase (BCMO1), and retinoic acid arising from oxidation of retinal. However, the possibility exists that β-carotene in its intact form can also affect adipocyte function. Development of a knock out model and identification of a loss-of-function mutation have pointed out BCMO1 as being probably the sole enzyme responsible for provitamin A conversion into retinal in mammals. The utilisation of BCMO1−/−mice should provide insights on β-carotene effect on its own in the future. In humans, intervention studies have highlighted the huge interindividual variation of β-carotene conversion efficiency, possibly due to genetic polymorphisms, which might impact on response to β-carotene. This brief review discusses the processes involved in β-carotene conversion and the effect of cleavage products on body fat and adipose tissue function."



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#25 Skötkonung Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:Västergötland, SE

Posted 07 April 2010 - 03:25 AM

I would like to see a study where vegetarians and omnivores are placed on iso-caloric diets with equal amounts of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. The only difference being meat and dairy versus grains, legumes, plant oils as a primary fat / protein source.

It is known that many vegetarians / vegans consume more vegetables / fruits and thus have a higher antioxidant status:
Antioxidant status in vegetarians versus omnivores
"Every day, vegetarians consume many carbohydrate-rich plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, cereals, pulses, and nuts. As a consequence, their diet contains more antioxidant vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin E, and β-carotene) and copper than that of omnivores. Intake of zinc is generally comparable to that by omnivores. However, the bioavailability of zinc in vegetarian diets is generally lower than that of omnivores. Dietary intake of selenium is variable in both groups and depends on the selenium content of the soil. Measurements of antioxidant body levels in vegetarians show that a vegetarian diet maintains higher antioxidant vitamin status (vitamin C, vitamin E, β-carotene) but variable antioxidant trace element status as compared with an omnivorous diet. To evaluate the antioxidative potential of a vegetarian diet versus an omnivorous diet, more studies are needed in which the total antioxidant capacity is determined rather than the status of a single antioxidant nutrient."\\

This could be a confounding factor in evaluating life and health span of vegetarians versus omnivores.

Edited by Skotkonung, 07 April 2010 - 03:25 AM.

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#26 wydell Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

Posted 07 April 2010 - 03:48 AM

I always assumed that many vegetarians eat low quality vegetarian food - white bread, potato chips, pasta, cake etc. . . There are probably different types of vegetarians and it's hard to generalize about them as a group. I would guess that more healthy vegetarians tend to be those like Seventh Day Adventists, which have been studied to some extent. I know that does not address your desire for a high vegetable, fruit, and nut diet comparison with and without meat. I am just making a side comment.



I would like to see a study where vegetarians and omnivores are placed on iso-caloric diets with equal amounts of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. The only difference being meat and dairy versus grains, legumes, plant oils as a primary fat / protein source.

It is known that many vegetarians / vegans consume more vegetables / fruits and thus have a higher antioxidant status:
Antioxidant status in vegetarians versus omnivores
"Every day, vegetarians consume many carbohydrate-rich plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, cereals, pulses, and nuts. As a consequence, their diet contains more antioxidant vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin E, and β-carotene) and copper than that of omnivores. Intake of zinc is generally comparable to that by omnivores. However, the bioavailability of zinc in vegetarian diets is generally lower than that of omnivores. Dietary intake of selenium is variable in both groups and depends on the selenium content of the soil. Measurements of antioxidant body levels in vegetarians show that a vegetarian diet maintains higher antioxidant vitamin status (vitamin C, vitamin E, β-carotene) but variable antioxidant trace element status as compared with an omnivorous diet. To evaluate the antioxidative potential of a vegetarian diet versus an omnivorous diet, more studies are needed in which the total antioxidant capacity is determined rather than the status of a single antioxidant nutrient."\\

This could be a confounding factor in evaluating life and health span of vegetarians versus omnivores.


Edited by wydell, 07 April 2010 - 03:49 AM.

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#27 Skötkonung Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:Västergötland, SE

Posted 07 April 2010 - 04:37 AM

I always assumed that many vegetarians eat low quality vegetarian food - white bread, potato chips, pasta, cake etc. . . There are probably different types of vegetarians and it's hard to generalize about them as a group. I would guess that more healthy vegetarians tend to be those like Seventh Day Adventists, which have been studied to some extent. I know that does not address your desire for a high vegetable, fruit, and nut diet comparison with and without meat. I am just making a side comment.


Lifestyle factors affecting fruit and vegetable consumption in the UK Women's Cohort Study
"The UK Women's Cohort Study (UKWCS) was originally set up to look at morbidity and mortality data on subjects with a wide range of dietary intakes including vegans, lacto-ovo vegetarians, non-red meat eaters and red meat eaters. The aim of the present study was to investigate factors that affect fruit and vegetable consumption within this particular cohort of women. Females of ages 35–69 years, taking part in the UK Women's Cohort Study (N=35 367), provided health and lifestyle information including a 217-item food frequency questionnaire. In multiple logistic regression, the strongest predictors of a higher reported level of fruit and vegetable consumption were being a vegetarian or vegan, taking vitamin or mineral supplements, being married, educated to A-level or degree level and belonging to a higher socio-economic group. Conversely, smokers were found to be only half as likely as non-smokers to be high fruit and vegetable consumers. These lifestyle distinctions among three levels of reported fruit and vegetable consumption are relevant to the future targeting of health promotion strategies."
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#28 prophets Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:US

Posted 07 April 2010 - 05:11 AM

i'm not a full vegetarian, but pretty close. i get my "empty" vegetarian calories from rice/oats/buckwheat, etc. no bread, no gluten/pasta
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#29 Application Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

  • Location:Chicago

Posted 07 April 2010 - 06:23 AM

I would like to see a study where vegetarians and omnivores are placed on iso-caloric diets with equal amounts of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. The only difference being meat and dairy versus grains, legumes, plant oils as a primary fat / protein source.

It is known that many vegetarians / vegans consume more vegetables / fruits and thus have a higher antioxidant status:
Antioxidant status in vegetarians versus omnivores
"Every day, vegetarians consume many carbohydrate-rich plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, cereals, pulses, and nuts. As a consequence, their diet contains more antioxidant vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin E, and β-carotene) and copper than that of omnivores. Intake of zinc is generally comparable to that by omnivores. However, the bioavailability of zinc in vegetarian diets is generally lower than that of omnivores. Dietary intake of selenium is variable in both groups and depends on the selenium content of the soil. Measurements of antioxidant body levels in vegetarians show that a vegetarian diet maintains higher antioxidant vitamin status (vitamin C, vitamin E, β-carotene) but variable antioxidant trace element status as compared with an omnivorous diet. To evaluate the antioxidative potential of a vegetarian diet versus an omnivorous diet, more studies are needed in which the total antioxidant capacity is determined rather than the status of a single antioxidant nutrient."\\

This could be a confounding factor in evaluating life and health span of vegetarians versus omnivores.


I would say that higher antioxidant status is a possible causal rather than confounding factor. Your proposed study design doesn't take into account whole grains' and legumes' considerable contributions to antioxidant levels.

In his presentation, Dr. Liu explained that because researchers have examined whole grains with the same process used to measure antioxidants in vegetables and fruits-looking for their content of "free" phenolics"-the amount and activity of antioxidants in whole grains has been vastly underestimated.

Despite the differences in fruits', vegetables' and whole grains' content of "free" and "bound" phenolics, the total antioxidant activity in all three types of whole foods is similar, according to Dr. Liu's research. His team measured the antioxidant activity of various foods, assigning each a rating based on a formula (micromoles of vitamin C equivalent per gram). Broccoli and spinach measured 80 and 81, respectively; apple and banana measured 98 and 65; and of the whole grains tested, corn measured 181, whole wheat 77, oats 75, and brown rice 56.

Dr. Liu's findings may help explain why studies have shown that populations eating diets high in fiber-rich whole grains consistently have lower risk for colon cancer, yet short-term clinical trials that have focused on fiber alone in lowering colon cancer risk, often to the point of giving subjects isolated fiber supplements, yield inconsistent results. The explanation is most likely that these studies have not taken into account the interactive effects of all the nutrients in whole grains-not just their fiber, but also their many phytonutrients. As far as whole grains are concerned, Dr. Liu believes that the key to their powerful cancer-fighting potential is precisely their wholeness. A grain of whole wheat consists of three parts-its endosperm (starch), bran and germ. When wheat-or any whole grain-is refined, its bran and germ are removed. Although these two parts make up only 15-17% of the grain's weight, they contain 83% of its phenolics. Dr. Liu says his recent findings on the antioxidant content of whole grains reinforce the message that a variety of foods should be eaten good health. "Different plant foods have different phytochemicals," he said. "These substances go to different organs, tissues and cells, where they perform different functions. What your body needs to ward off disease is this synergistic effect - this teamwork - that is produced by eating a wide variety of plant foods, including whole grains."

Reference
Liu RH. New finding may be key to ending confusion over link between fiber, colon cancer. American Institute for Cancer Research Press Release, November 3, 2004.



Antiodixant Levels of Common Foods

FOOD PORTION ANTIOXIDANT LEVEL
dried red beans 1/2 cup 13727
wild blueberries 1 cup 13427
dried red kidney bean 1/2 cup 13259
pinto beans 1/2 cup 11864
blueberries 1 cup 9019
whole cranberries 1 cup 8983
cooked artichoke hearts 1 cup 7904
blackberries 1 cup 7701
prunes 1/2 cup 7291
raspberries 1 cup 6085
strawberries 1 cup 5938
red delicious apples 1 apple 5900
granny smith apples 1 apple 5381
pecans 1 ounce 5095
sweet cherries 1 cup 4873
black plum 1 4844
cooked Russet potato 1 4649
dried black beans 1/2 cup 4181
plum 1 4118
gala apple 1 3903


Edited by Application, 07 April 2010 - 06:57 AM.

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#30 TheFountain Re: Vegan vs non-vegan

Posted 07 April 2010 - 06:30 AM

This is what all meat eater advocate here too

Except that meat does not fall under the alkaline category.

only you add some oragnic grass-fed meat

Regardless of this.

There is no strong scientific basis that acidic food pose any problem to health

There is correlative evidence that acidic foods may accelerate aging. And ray kurzweil advocates the alkaline diet, so there has to be something to it.
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