vegan-dietA vegan diet is known to be good for you. Can it really increase your longevity too?

By Lyle J. Dennis, M.D. There is convincing evidence that the quality of diet in additional to caloric content has a direct effect on health and lifespan.

Following on the heels of yesterday’s post showing how lifestyle factors including a Mediterranean diet increases lifespan, a new study has just been published in JAMA looking at vegetarian diet effect on lifespan.

The study was designed to specifically look at the effect of a vegetarian diet on a large cohort of Americans compared to their meat-eating peers.

The Adventist Health Study 2 analyzed the self reported diet from 73,000 men and women 7th day Adventist followed for a mean of 5.79 years. During the study 2570 deaths occurred.

It was found that vegetarians had a 12% overall lower death rate than non vegetarians. For men specifically the difference was 18%. The association held up for subtypes of vegetarians including semi-vegetarians, and there was reduced rates of several chronic diseases among the vegetarians.

The authors conclude:

Vegetarian diets are associated with lower all-cause mortality and with some reductions in cause-specific mortality. Results appeared to be more robust in males. These favorable associations should be considered carefully by those offering dietary guidance.

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