PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Plant-based diets are better for your health – as well as for the climate

2023-05-25
(Press-News.org) Vegetarian and vegan diets are linked to lower levels of cholesterol and fats in your blood, according to an analysis of all the evidence from randomised trials published since 1982.

 

The authors of the study, which is published in the European Heart Journal [1] today (Thursday), say this means that plant-based diets can play a significant role in reducing blocked arteries, thereby lowering the risk of heart and blood vessel diseases, such as stroke and heart attacks.

 

The researchers looked at 30 randomised trials with a total of 2,372 participants, published between 1982 and 2022, that quantified the effect of vegetarian or vegan diets versus omnivorous diets on levels of all types of cholesterol (total cholesterol), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL cholesterol, often known as ‘bad’ cholesterol), triglycerides (a type of fat or ‘lipid’ found in the blood) and apoliprotein B (apoB – a protein that helps to carry fat and cholesterol in blood and is a good indicator of the total amount of bad fats and cholesterol in the body). Although previous meta-analyses have investigated this, none have been published since 2017, none have addressed the impact of continent, age, body mass index, and health status, and none have looked specifically at the effect of diet on concentrations of apoB.

 

Professor Ruth Frikke-Schmidt, Chief Physician at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark, who conducted the study together with medical student Ms Caroline Amalie Koch and Dr Emilie Westerlin Kjeldsen, also from the Rigshospitalet, said: “We found that vegetarian and vegan diets were associated with a 14% reduction in all artery-clogging lipoproteins as indicated by apoliprotein B. This corresponds to a third of the effect of taking cholesterol-lowering medications such as statins, and would result in a 7% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease in someone who maintained a plant-based diet for five years. Statin treatment is superior to plant-based diets in reducing fats and cholesterol levels. However, one regimen does not exclude the other, and combining statins with plant-based diets is likely to have a synergistic effect, resulting in an even larger beneficial effect.

 

“If people start eating vegetarian or vegan diets from an early age, the potential for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease caused by blocked arteries is substantial. Importantly, we found similar results across continents, ages, different ranges of body mass index, and among people in different states of health.”

 

The participants in the 30 studies were randomised to follow either a vegetarian or vegan diet or to continue with an omnivorous diet (which includes meat and dairy products). The length of time on the diets ranged from ten days to five years, with an average of 29 weeks.

 

Compared to people eating an omnivorous diet, those who were following a plant-based diet experienced an average reduction in total cholesterol levels of 7% from levels measured at the start of the studies, a 10% reduction in LDL cholesterol levels and a 14% reduction in apoB levels.

 

“We saw significant effects from both vegetarian and vegan diets and people ranging from a normal weight to obese,” said Prof. Frikke-Schmidt.

 

Over 18 million people die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) each year around the world, making it the leading cause of death. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Agenda states that premature deaths from non-communicable diseases, such as CVD, should be reduced by a third by 2030. In addition, there is an increased focus on the effect of what we eat on the environment.

 

“Recent systematic reviews have shown that if the populations of high-income countries shift to plant-based diets, this can reduce net emissions of greenhouse gases by between 35% to 49%. Our study provides robust evidence that plant-based diets are good for our health for people of different sizes, ages and health conditions,” said Prof. Frikke-Schmidt. “Furthermore, populations globally are aging and, as a consequence, the cost of treating age-related diseases such as atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is increasing. Plant-based diets are key instruments for changing food production to more environmentally sustainable forms, while at the same time reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease. We should be eating a varied, plant-rich diet, not too much, and quenching our thirst with water.”

 

The meta-analysis by Prof. Frikke-Schmidt and her colleagues could not assess potential benefits of diets that directly compare fish versus omnivorous diets due to lack of such studies in the scientific literature. “However, the Mediterranean diet is rich in plant-based foods and fish and is well-established as being beneficial in dietary guidelines,” she said.

 

Professor Kevin Maki, of Indiana University School of Public Health Bloomington, and Midwest Biomedical Research, USA, and Professor Carol Kirkpatrick, of Midwest Biomedical Research and Idaho State University, USA, who were not involved in the research, comment in an accompanying editorial [2]: “The results reported by Koch et al add to the body of evidence supporting favourable effects of healthy vegan and vegetarian dietary patterns on circulating levels of LDL-C [LDL cholesterol] and atherogenic lipoproteins, which would be expected to reduce ASCVD [atherosclerotic CVD] risk. While it is not necessary to entirely omit foods such as meat, poultry, and fish/seafood to follow a recommended dietary pattern, reducing consumption of such foods is a reasonable option for those who prefer to do so.”

 

A strength of the study is that, to the authors’ knowledge, it is the largest systematic review of the topic, and the first to include apoB. However, limitations include the fact that the individual randomised controlled trials were relatively small, the length of time participants were on diets was under a year in many studies, and it was impossible to blind the participants to which diet they were placed on, and this could have influenced their other behaviours that might affect cholesterol and fat levels.

 

The researchers and the authors of the editorial say that more, larger studies with longer duration, and which include apoB and other biomarkers for conditions such as inflammation and insulin resistance are needed.

 

(ends)

 

Notes:

[1] “Vegetarian or vegan diets and blood lipids: a meta-analysis of randomized trials”, by Caroline A. Koch et al. European Heart Journal. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehad211

[2] “Plant-based dietary patterns and atherogenic lipoproteins”, by Kevin C. Maki and Carol F. Kirkpatrick. European Heart Journal. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehad239

END


ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Successful terahertz wireless communication using a micro-resonator soliton comb: Expectations for next-generation mobile communications based on photonic technology

Successful terahertz wireless communication using a micro-resonator soliton comb: Expectations for next-generation mobile communications based on photonic technology
2023-05-25
Key points Wireless electronics that have been used thus far in next-generation mobile communications using terahertz waves may reach their technical limit (namely, upper limit of frequency for wireless electronics). Terahertz wireless communication in the 560-GHz band was achieved by optical-to-electrical conversion of ultra-high-frequency photonic RF signals in near-infrared micro-resonator soliton comb. Adding the low-phase noise that is characteristic of micro-resonator soliton comb to terahertz waves makes it possible to achieve ultra-high-speed ...

Sudden infant death syndrome may have biologic cause

2023-05-25
Sudden infant death syndrome is a case where the death of an apparently healthy infant before their first birthday remains unexplained even after thorough investigation. Death generally seems to occur when infants are sleeping. While rare, it is the leading post-neonatal infant death in the United States today, occurring in 103 out of 100,000 live births a year. Despite the initial success of national public health campaigns promoting safe sleep environments and healthier sleep positions in infants in the 1990s in the ...

Risk of death from liver disease is twice as high in lower-income countries, new research suggests

2023-05-24
Richmond, Va. (May 23, 2023) — New research is shedding light on global disparities in mortality rates from late-stage liver disease, also called cirrhosis. The study, published Monday in Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, revealed that the risk of death for hospitalized cirrhosis patients was more than twice as high in lower-or lower-middle income countries compared to high-income countries, largely because of limited access to diagnostic and therapeutic resources. Liver disease occurs when a person’s liver experiences chronic inflammation, often due to obesity, excessive alcohol use, viral hepatitis or a combination. ...

Unlocking restful nights: unveiling teen-friendly social media habits for optimal sleep

2023-05-24
Toronto, ON - The US Surgeon General issued an advisory on social media and youth mental health a week after the American Psychological Association issued a health advisory on social media use in adolescence. Both advisories note potential links between social media use and poor sleep quality in teens. Given these concerns, what specific actions can teens and parents take to optimize sleep? A new national study, published in Sleep Health, offers insights into screen habits linked with better sleep. “Getting enough sleep is crucial ...

Researchers map the brain during blood sugar changes

Researchers map the brain during blood sugar changes
2023-05-24
EL PASO, Texas (May 24, 2023) – Researchers at The University of Texas at El Paso have successfully mapped specific regions in the brain that are activated in association with changes in blood sugar — also known as glucose — providing fundamental location information that could ultimately lead to more targeted therapies for people who struggle with conditions like diabetes. The landmark 13-year study, published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, describes how the team used careful microscopic analysis to pinpoint specific cell populations ...

External factors shape genetic predisposition to lipids, Alzheimer’s and heart disease in MLXIPL gene

External factors shape genetic predisposition to lipids, Alzheimer’s and heart disease in MLXIPL gene
2023-05-24
“Recent findings suggest that neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases may have overlapping etiologies [...]” BUFFALO, NY- May 24, 2023 – A new research paper was published in Aging (listed by MEDLINE/PubMed as "Aging (Albany NY)" and "Aging-US" by Web of Science) Volume 15, Issue 9, entitled, “Exogenous exposures shape genetic predisposition to lipids, Alzheimer’s, and coronary heart disease in the MLXIPL gene locus.” In this new study, researchers Yury Loika, Elena Loiko, Fan ...

A student’s poor eating habits can lead to a lifetime of illness

2023-05-24
A UBC Okanagan researcher is cautioning that a person’s poor eating habits established during post-secondary studies can contribute to future health issues including obesity, respiratory illnesses and depression. Dr. Joan Bottorff, a Professor with UBCO’s School of Nursing, is one of several international researchers who published a multi-site study looking at the eating habits of university students. Almost 12,000 medical students from 31 universities in China participated in the study that aimed to determine the association between eating behaviours, obesity and various diseases. The point, ...

Recent UCLA computer grad constructs “Crown Jewel of Cryptography”

Recent UCLA computer grad constructs “Crown Jewel of Cryptography”
2023-05-24
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, today announced that Aayush Jain receives the 2022 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award for his dissertation “Indistinguishability Obfuscation from Well-Studied Assumptions,” which established the feasibility of mathematically rigorous software obfuscation from well-studied hardness conjectures. The central goal of software obfuscation is to transform source code to make it unintelligible without altering what it computes.  Additional conditions may be added, such as requiring the transformed code to perform ...

Meet the 2023 ASBMB Advocacy Training Program delegates

2023-05-24
The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology announced the 12 delegates who will participate in the society’s Advocacy Training Program this summer. The ATP is a three-month summer externship that provides hands-on science policy and advocacy training and experience. After completing the educational component of the program, delegates will visit Capitol Hill to meet with policymakers in 2024. The ASBMB public affairs department runs the program. The society has trained 42 ASBMB members in four ATP cohorts, providing the foundational knowledge, skills ...

Does having Alzheimer’s genes increase your risk of epilepsy?

2023-05-24
MINNEAPOLIS – People with a genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s disease may have an increased risk of epilepsy and people with a certain type of epilepsy may have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study published in the May 24, 2023, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. “Our research found that not only are people with Alzheimer’s disease more likely to develop epilepsy, but also that those with focal epilepsy, which accounts for ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Mount Sinai researchers use new deep learning approach to enable analysis of electrocardiograms as language

Ba2LuAlO5: A new proton conductor for next-generation fuel cells

Fine-tuning 3D lab-grown mini tumors to help predict how patients respond to cancer therapies

Social media ‘trust’/’distrust’ buttons could reduce spread of misinformation

Programmable 3D printed wound dressing could improve treatment for burn, cancer patients

Do chatbot avatars prompt bias in health care?

Team develops smartphone app to enhance midwifery care in Tanzania

Webb telescope detects universe’s most distant organic molecules

Breastfeeding for longer may be linked to better exam results in later life

Close contact intervention between a mother and her premature baby may reduce risk of mortality by almost a third

Defibrillators used in just 10 per cent of out of hospital cardiac arrests - study shows

Virtual blood vessel technology could improve heart disease care

The ISSCR releases global standards to enhance rigor and reproducibility of stem cell research

Childhood maltreatment predicts adult emotional difficulties

New analysis shows COVID variant and severity of illness influence cardiac dysfunction, a key indicator of long COVID

Renowned sociologist and Black Voices Quintet set to dazzle at HDR UK’s Black Internship Programme Opening Ceremony 2023

Sleep societies announce 2023 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Award recipient

NPS professor and student develop patented self-sealing fuel line

A supervised hospital walking program may reduce nursing facility admissions for older adults

Unraveling the mode of action of tirzepatide

Study shows promising treatment for tinnitus

BORIS gene mutation and expression: Link to breast cancer progression

Healthy vascular fat during menopause may stave off dementia later in life

Germline genetic testing after cancer diagnosis – this study is being released to coincide with presentation at the 2023 ASCO Annual Meeting

A simple blood test can now diagnose De Vivo disease

Amid volumes of mobile location data, new framework reduces consumers’ privacy risk, preserves advertisers’ utility

Early universe crackled with bursts of star formation, Webb shows

NASA’s Webb Space Telescope peers behind bars

New digital tool enables farmer’s decisions for sustainable agriculture

CRISPR/Cas9 reveals a key gene involved in the evolution of coral skeleton formation

[Press-News.org] Plant-based diets are better for your health – as well as for the climate