Vegetarian diet linked to lower mortality
By A. Minocha MD, author: Guide to Alternative Medicine and Digestive System
The war over body weight control consumes billions of dollars with numerous books and pundits promoting their own versions of anti-obesity and weight loss . Atkins' low carb diet has been one of the most popular fad to hit the market in recent years.
Questions have been raised about benefits versus risks of low carbohydrate diet as promoted by diet, i.e. is the weight loss being achieved at the risk to overall health? The concerns got heightened when Dr. Atkins himself died at least in part related to heart related illness.
An authoritative answer:
Study title and authors/affiliations:
The authors of the report titled,"Low-carbohydrate diets and all-cause and cause-specific mortality: two cohort studies" are Fung and colleagues from the Simmons College, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, and National University of Singapore, Singapore.
Study goals and follow up:
The authors asessed the type of low-carbohydrate diets, either animal-based (primarly animal fat and protein) or vegetable-based (predominantly vegetable sources of fat and protein) of the subjects based on scientifically validated food-frequency questionnaires done during during follow-up of the study subjects.
85,168 women and 44, 548 men without heart disease, cancer, or diabetes at baseline formed the data base. Over follow up, there were 12,555 deaths.
- Low-carbohydrate diet was associated with a modest increase in overall mortality
- The animal low-carbohydrate diet score was linked to higher all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality and cancer mortality.
- Higher vegetable low-carbohydrate diet consumption was associated with lower all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality.
A low-carbohydrate animal based diet is associated with higher all-cause mortality in both men and women. In contrast, a vegetable-based low-carbohydrate diet was associated with lower all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality rates.
Not surprisingly Atkins; competitor Dean Ornish diet protagonists have jumped on these conclusuion as part of the weight control diet propaganda war.
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