In one of the most comprehensive studies to date, scientists from the University of Loma Linda in California, concluded that vegetarians live longer than meat-eaters. The results of this study were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
The study involved 70,000 people, and scientists have determined that vegetarians risk of death by 12% lower than non-vegetarians. The same applies to other specific vegetarian diets. For example, vegans also lower risk of death than non-vegetarians.
The authors of previous studies have concluded that a vegetarian diet reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as heart failure or diabetes. However, the mechanisms underlying these laws have not been studied.
"We can not say this with absolute certainty on the basis of the research, but one of the most likely causes of such benefits vegetarians may lie in the fact that they generally or only in small quantities eat meat", — said the director of professional development courses for preventive medicine at the University of Loma Linda Dr. Michael Orlic (Michael J. Orlich).
On red meat as indicated by the main culprit, because it contains large amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol that can clog arteries. In April, was conducted another study, which the authors found that the substance carnitine, also a member of the red meat in the process of metabolism in the gut is processed and enters the blood vessels.
There is considerable evidence pointing to the link between the consumption of red meat and increased mortality. But it might play a role, and other factors. "It is possible that the consumption of a variety of plant foods leads to lower mortality rates, and therefore we are eager to explore in the future all these things about the food," — says Orlic.
Interestingly following. The researchers found that the relationship between a vegetarian diet and reduced mortality to a greater extent observed in men than in women. In men, the number of cardiovascular diseases and deaths due to a vegetarian diet is reduced. In women, this significant decrease has been observed.
"I have some strong assumptions, but it is possible that diet affected differently by biological factors in men and women," — said Orlic, who plans to further explore the question of what specific foods and nutrients are responsible for this association .
It is very difficult to understand what determines this relationship and, in addition, different groups of people and it can be expressed in different ways. For example, British scientists studied a vegetarian diet, by connecting to the study of 47,250 participants in the experiments. However, they found the same results in mortality. The reason may be that the American vegetarians consume more fiber and vitamin C. This indicates a need to see exactly how diet affects longevity.