Yang, S. Y., et al. (2012). "Chinese lacto-vegetarian diet exerts favorable effects on metabolic parameters, intima-media thickness, and cardiovascular risks in healthy men." Nutr Clin Pract 27(3): 392-398.
BACKGROUND: To investigate whether the Chinese lacto-vegetarian diet has protective effects on metabolic and cardiovascular disease (CVD). METHODS: One hundred sixty-nine healthy Chinese lacto-vegetarians and 126 healthy omnivore men aged 21-76 years were enrolled. Anthropometric indexes, lipid profile, insulin sensitivity, pancreatic beta cell function, and intima-media thickness (IMT) of carotid arteries were assessed and compared. Cardiovascular risk points and probability of developing CVD in 5-10 years in participants aged 24-55 years were calculated. RESULTS: Compared with omnivores, lacto-vegetarians had remarkably lower body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and serum levels of triglyceride, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, gamma-glutamyl transferase, serum creatinine, uric acid, fasting blood glucose, as well as lower total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio. Vegetarians also had higher homeostasis model assessment beta cell function and insulin secretion index and thinner carotid IMT than the omnivores did. These results corresponded with lower cardiovascular risk points and probability of developing CVD in 5-10 years in vegetarians 24-55 years old. CONCLUSIONS: In healthy Chinese men, the lacto-vegetarian diet seems to exert protective effects on blood pressure, lipid profiles, and metabolic parameters and results in significantly lower carotid IMT. Lower CVD risks found in vegetarians also reflect the beneficial effect of the Chinese lacto-vegetarian diet.
Zimmer, J., et al. (2012). "A vegan or vegetarian diet substantially alters the human colonic faecal microbiota." Eur J Clin Nutr 66(1): 53-60.
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Consisting of approximately 10(14) microbial cells, the intestinal microbiota represents the largest and the most complex microbial community inhabiting the human body. However, the influence of regular diets on the microbiota is widely unknown. SUBJECTS/METHODS: We examined faecal samples of vegetarians (n=144), vegans (n=105) and an equal number of control subjects consuming ordinary omnivorous diet who were matched for age and gender. We used classical bacteriological isolation, identification and enumeration of the main anaerobic and aerobic bacterial genera and computed absolute and relative numbers that were compared between groups. RESULTS: Total counts of Bacteroides spp., Bifidobacterium spp., Escherichia coli and Enterobacteriaceae spp. were significantly lower (P=0.001, P=0.002, P=0.006 and P=0.008, respectively) in vegan samples than in controls, whereas others (E. coli biovars, Klebsiella spp., Enterobacter spp., other Enterobacteriaceae, Enterococcus spp., Lactobacillus spp., Citrobacter spp. and Clostridium spp.) were not. Subjects on a vegetarian diet ranked between vegans and controls. The total microbial count did not differ between the groups. In addition, subjects on a vegan or vegetarian diet showed significantly (P=0.0001) lower stool pH than did controls, and stool pH and counts of E. coli and Enterobacteriaceae were significantly correlated across all subgroups. CONCLUSIONS: Maintaining a strict vegan or vegetarian diet results in a significant shift in the microbiota while total cell numbers remain unaltered.
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