Practical Issues > Health - Index > Vegan Index

Are Vegetarian Diets Unhealthy?

"Significant athersclerosis is rare in peoples whose diet over the life span is predominantly vegetarian and low in calories, total lipids, saturated lipids and cholesterol."
    -- Nutrition and Athersclerosis by Louis Katz. 1958


"The study measured testosterone levels in 696 Oxford University men. Of the study participants, 233 were vegan (ate no animal products) and 237 were vegetarian (ate milk and dairy products). The remaining 237 subjects were men who ate meat on most days of the week...vegans had higher testosterone levels than vegetarians and meat-eaters."
    -- British Journal of Cancer, 83(1), July 2000


"Scientific data suggest positive relationships between a vegetarian diet and reduced risk for several chronic degenerative diseases and conditions, including obesity, coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and some types of cancer."
    -- Journal of the American Dietetic Association, November 1997, 97(1)


"Vegetarians often have lower mortality rates from several chronic degenerative diseases than do nonvegetarians."
    -- British Medical Journal, 1996; 313


"Vegan diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy and lactation."
    -- Am J Clin Nutr. 1994;59(suppl):1176S-1181S.


"Vegan diets can meet the nutrient and energy needs of pregnant women. Birth weights of infants born to well nourished vegetarian women have been shown to be similar to birth-weight norms and to birth weights of infants of nonvegetarians."
    -- Pediatrics. 1989;84


"Vegetarian diets low in fat or saturated fat have been used successfully as part of comprehensive health programs to reverse severe coronary artery disease."
    -- Journal of the American Medical Association 1995; 274


"Vegetarian diets offer disease protection benefits because higher concentration of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, carotenoids, and phytochemicals."
    -- Am J Clin Nutr. 1996;63(suppl)


"Vegetarian diets offer disease protection benefits because of their lower saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein content and often higher concentration of folate which reduces serum homocysteine levels."
    -- J Am Diet Assoc. 1995;95


"Mortality from coronary artery disease is lower in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians."
    -- British Medical Journal, 1994; 308


"Vegetarian diets have been successful in arresting coronary artery disease."
    -- Am J Epidemiol. 1995;142


"Serum cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels are usually lower in vegetarians."
    -- Am J Clin Nutr. 1994;59


"Vegetarians have a lower incidence of hypertension than nonvegetarians."
    -- Am J Clin Nutr. 1994; 59(suppl)


"Type 2 diabetes mellitus is less likely to be a cause of death in vegetarians than nonvegetarians."
    -- Am J Clin Nutr. 1988;48(suppl)


"Incidence of lung and colorectal cancer is lower in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians."
    -- Am J Clin Nutr. 1994;59(suppl)


"Reduced colorectal cancer risk is associated with increased consumption of fiber, vegetables, and fruit."
    -- Cancer Causes Control. 1991;1:427-442.


"Breast cancer rates are lower in populations that consume plant-based diets."
    -- American Cancer Society Cancer Facts and Figures, 1994


"Some plant proteins may increase survival rates and decrease proteinuria, glomerular filtration rate, renal blood flow, and histologic renal damage compared with a nonvegetarian diet."
    -- Clinical Nutrition, 1995;10