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The edge that vegetarians may have over meat eaters

June 19, 2013

According to a recent study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, vegetarianism may indeed help people live longer.



Researchers from Loma Linda University in California studied a group of 70,000 participants and found that vegetarians had a 12 percent lower risk of death compared with nonvegetarians. Previous research have linked vegetarian diets to lowering the risk factors for developing various chronic illnesses such as type-2 diabetes and heart disease.


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Apart from the health benefits of vegetables, which have long been considered as among the healthiest food groups, the researchers are also looking into the effects of the absence or reduction of meat intake.

Various studies have also linked red meat to higher mortality because of its saturated fat and cholesterol content. A recent study has also found that carnitine in meat also ends up clogging a person’s arteries after being metabolized by bacteria in the gut.

However, the researchers also admit that further studies are necessary to find out the full details of the mechanics that contribute to the lowered risk of death in individuals. Some biological factors could also be at play, as the link between vegetarian diet and lower mortality rates was found to be stronger in men than in women.


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The links between diet and longevity may not be as clear cut as many people think. More studies will have to be conducted to improve understanding of what exactly affects a person’s mortality rate, and the data can be used to better inform people of how they can live their longer, fuller lives.


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