Plant-Based Diets Tied to Long-Term Health Benefits

Benefits include better cardiometabolic risk profile, as well as lower mortality
Plant-Based Diets Tied to Long-Term Health Benefits
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WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Plant-based diets appear beneficial in lowering cardiometabolic risk factors, as well as cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), cancer risk, and mortality, according to a review published online May 15 in PLOS ONE.

Angelo Capodici, M.D., from Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna in Italy, and colleagues conducted an umbrella review to assess the impact of animal-free and animal products-free diets (A/APFDs) on the risk factors associated with the development of cardiometabolic diseases, cancer, and related mortalities.

Based on data from 48 studies, the researchers found that overall, vegetarian and vegan diets were significantly associated with better lipid profile, glycemic control, body weight/body mass index, and inflammation and a lower risk for ischemic heart disease and cancer. There was also an association seen between vegetarian diet and lower mortality from CVDs. However, there was no difference noted in the risk for developing gestational diabetes and hypertension for pregnant women following vegetarian diets. Study quality was rated average, with high heterogeneity of the study population in terms of sample size, demography, geographical origin, dietary patterns, and other lifestyle confounders.

"Potential risks associated with insufficient intake of vitamin and other elements due to unbalanced and/or extremely restricted dietary regimens, together with specific patient needs should be considered, while promoting research on new and more specific markers (i.e., biochemical, genetic, epigenetic markers; microbiota profile) recently associated with cardiometabolic and cancer risk, before suggesting A/AFPDs on a large scale," the authors write.

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