Vegetarian diet lowers risk of death

A new study from Loma Linda University in California reinforces what any vegetarian will tell you--a vegetarian diet reduces your risk of death and lowers your chance of developing several chronic diseases, including hypertension, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Published in _JAMA International Medicine, _the research found that the vegetarians studied tended to be older, more highly educated, less likely to be married, drink less alcohol, smoke less, exercise more and, in general, be thinner than those who did not adhere to a vegetarian diet.

This study looked at mortality in a group of 73,308 men and women Seventh-Day Adventists.  The researchers categorized their diets into five groups: non-vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian (who eat seafood), lactoovo-vegetarian (includes dairy and eggs) and vegan (which excludes all animal products).

Within the groups, there were a total of 2,570 deaths during an average follow-up time of six years, with the rate of mortality for vegetarians falling 12 percent below the non-vegetarian groups.  Men were found to have more significant health benefits associated with the diet, including a significantly lower risk of heart disease mortality.

The study did leave some questions unanswered:  Are vegetarians healthier because of their diets, or are they on their diets because they are more interested in living a healthy lifestyle?

NEXT:  Cancer drug shortages hit U.S.

Sourced from: Science Daily, Vegetarian Diets Associated With Lower Risk of Death