The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Vegetarian diet and the risk of the metabolic syndrome

    Researchers at Loma Linda University, in California, compared dietary patterns.

    First, the details.

    • 773 adults from the Adventist Health Study 2 (a long-term study of lifestyle, diet, and disease among Seventh-day Adventists) participated.
    • Food-frequency questionnaires were used to determine dietary patterns.
    • Metabolic risk factors (HDL [good] cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, blood pressure, and waist circumference) and other relevant factors were measured.

    And, the results.

    • Dietary patterns were classified as vegetarian (35%), semi-vegetarian (16%), and non-vegetarian (49%).
    • A vegetarian dietary pattern was associated with significantly lower metabolic risk factors (except for HDL) and a lower risk of the metabolic syndrome vs a non-vegetarian dietary pattern.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “A vegetarian dietary pattern is associated with a more favorable profile of metabolic risk factors and a lower risk of metabolic syndrome. The relationship persists after adjusting for lifestyle and demographic factors.”

    The limitation of this study is that the researchers took only a single measure of dietary preference.

    However, others have reported, “low values of insulin resistance document a beneficial effect of long-term [decade] vegetarian nutrition in prevention of metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”

    In addition, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, in Washington, DC, tells us, “Significant benefits for diabetes prevention and management have been observed with vegetarian and especially vegan diets.”

    4/11/11 21:42 JR

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