10 Important Plant Diet (Vegan) Research Studies of 2018

Joel Kahn
Joel Kahn
Dec 24, 2018 · 14 min read
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Gauged by the “noise” on social media and trends like the ketogenic and carnivore diets, some might wonder if the science backing predominantly or completely plant diets has faltered. In reality, 2018 saw some important advances in understanding the impact of “beans not beef” and 10 of those studies are highlighted here.

1) Environment https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30318102

Health and nutritional aspects of sustainable diet strategies and their association with environmental impacts: a global modelling analysis with country-level detail.

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2) Nutrition for Children and Mothers https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30577451

Vegan Nutrition for Mothers and Children: Practical Tools for Healthcare Providers.

As the number of subjects choosing vegan diets increases, healthcare providers must be prepared to give the best advice to vegan patients during all stages of life. A completely plant-based diet is suitable during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, and childhood, provided that it is well-planned. Balanced vegan diets meet energy requirements on a wide variety of plant foods and pay attention to some nutrients that may be critical, such as protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. This paper contains recommendations made by a panel of experts from the Scientific Society for Vegetarian Nutrition (SSNV) after examining the available literature concerning vegan diets during pregnancy, breastfeeding, infancy, and childhood. All healthcare professionals should follow an approach based on the available evidence in regard to the issue of vegan diets, as failing to do so may compromise the nutritional status of vegan patients in these delicate periods of life.

3) Cardiometabolic Health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30571724

Cardiometabolic risk factors in vegans; A meta-analysis of observational studies. Benatar JR1, Stewart RAH1.

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4) Anti-inflammatory Heart Diet: A Prospective Study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30571591

Anti-Inflammatory Effects of a Vegan Diet Versus the American Heart Association-Recommended Diet in Coronary Artery Disease Trial.

Background Dietary interventions may play a role in secondary cardiovascular prevention. hsCRP (High-sensitivity C-reactive protein) is a marker of risk for major adverse cardiovascular outcomes in coronary artery disease. Methods and Results The open-label, blinded end-point, EVADE CAD (Effects of a Vegan Versus the American Heart Association-R

ecommended Diet in Coronary Artery Disease) trial randomized participants (n=100) with coronary artery disease to 8 weeks of a vegan or American Heart Association-recommended diet with provision of groceries, tools to measure dietary intake, and dietary counseling. The primary end point was high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. A linear regression model compared end points after 8 weeks of a vegan versus American Heart Association diet and adjusted for baseline concentration of the end point. Significance levels for the primary and secondary end points were set at 0.05 and 0.0015, respectively. A vegan diet resulted in a significant 32% lower high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (β, 0.68, 95% confidence interval [0.49–0.94]; P=0.02) when compared with the American Heart Association diet. Results were consistent after adjustment for age, race, baseline waist circumference, diabetes mellitus, and prior myocardial infarction (adjusted β, 0.67 [0.47–0.94], P=0.02). The degree of reduction in body mass index and waist circumference did not significantly differ between the 2 diet groups (adjusted β, 0.99 [0.97–1.00], P=0.10; and adjusted β, 1.00 [0.98–1.01], P=0.66, respectively). There were also no significant differences in markers of glycemic control between the 2 dietgroups. There was a nonsignificant 13% reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol with the vegan diet when compared with the American Heart Association diet (adjusted β, 0.87 [0.78–0.97], P=0.01). There were no significant differences in other lipid parameters. Conclusions In patients with coronary artery disease on guideline-directed medical therapy, a vegan diet may be considered to lower high-sensitivity C-reactive protein as a risk marker of adverse outcomes.

5) TMAO Production from Red Meat vs Plant Foods https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30535398

Impact of chronic dietary red meat, white meat, or non-meat protein on trimethylamine N-oxide metabolism and renal excretion in healthy men and women.

Carnitine and choline are major nutrient precursors for gut microbiota-dependent generation of the atherogenic metabolite, trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). We performed randomized-controlled dietary intervention studies to explore the impact of chronic dietary patterns on TMAO levels, metabolism and renal excretion.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

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6) Plant Diets and Insulin Sensitivity

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29948369

Plant versus animal based diets and insulin resistance, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes: the Rotterdam Study.

Chen Z1, Zuurmond MG1, van der Schaft N1, Nano J1, Wijnhoven HAH2, Ikram MA1, Franco OH1, Voortman T3.

Vegan or vegetarian diets have been suggested to reduce type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk. However, not much is known on whether variation in the degree of having a plant-based versus animal-based diet may be beneficial for prevention of T2D. We aimed to investigate whether level of adherence to a diet high in plant-based foods and low in animal-based foods is associated with insulin resistance, prediabetes, and T2D. Our analysis included 6798 participants (62.7 ± 7.8 years) from the Rotterdam Study (RS), a prospective population-based cohort in the Netherlands. Dietary intake data were collected with food-frequency questionnaires at baseline of three sub-cohorts of RS (RS-I-1: 1989–1993, RS-II-1: 2000–2001, RS-III-1: 2006–2008). We constructed a continuous plant-based dietary index (range 0–92) assessing adherence to a plant-based versus animal-based diet. Insulin resistance at baseline and follow-up was assessed using homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Prediabetes and T2D were collected from general practitioners’ records, pharmacies’ databases, and follow-up examinations in our research center until 2012. We used multivariable linear mixed models to examine association of the index with longitudinal HOMA-IR, and multivariable Cox proportional-hazards regression models to examine associations of the index with risk of prediabetes and T2D. During median 5.7, and 7.3 years of follow-up, we documented 928 prediabetes cases and 642 T2D cases. After adjusting for sociodemographic and lifestyle factors, a higher score on the plant-based dietary index was associated with lower insulin resistance (per 10 units higher score: β = -0.09; 95% CI: — 0.10; — 0.08), lower prediabetes risk (HR = 0.89; 95% CI: 0.81; 0.98), and lower T2D risk [HR = 0.82 (0.73; 0.92)]. After additional adjustment for BMI, associations attenuated and remained statistically significant for longitudinal insulin resistance [β = -0.05 (- 0.06; — 0.04)] and T2D risk [HR = 0.87 (0.79; 0.99)], but no longer for prediabetes risk [HR = 0.93 (0.85; 1.03)]. In conclusion, a more plant-based and less animal-based diet may lower risk of insulin resistance, prediabetes and T2D. These findings strengthen recent dietary recommendations to adopt a more plant-based diet

7) Hypertension Therapy https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30069127

Vegetarian diet and blood pressure in a hospital-base study.

Previous studies have reported that a vegetarian diet may lower blood pressure (BP), but the effect of diet on BP in asymptomatic participants with proteinuria is unknown. We examined the association of diet and BP in individuals with or without proteinuria.

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8) Rheumatoid Arthrits and Vegan Diets. Increasing Data https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29515679

Role of Diet in Influencing Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Activity.

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9) Insulin Resistance: A Prospective Study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29425120

A Plant-Based Dietary Intervention Improves Beta-Cell Function and Insulin Resistance in Overweight Adults: A 16-Week Randomized Clinical Trial.

The aim of this study was to test the effect of a plant-based dietary intervention on beta-cell function in overweight adults with no history of diabetes. Participants (n = 75) were randomized to follow a low-fat plant-based diet (n = 38) or to make no diet changes (n = 37) for 16 weeks. At baseline and 16 weeks, beta-cell function was quantified with a mathematical model. Using a standard meal test, insulin secretory rate was calculated by C-peptide deconvolution. The Homeostasis Model Assessment (HOMA-IR) index was used to assess insulin resistance while fasting. A marked increase in meal-stimulated insulin secretion was observed in the intervention group compared with controls (interaction between group and time, Gxt, p < 0.001). HOMA-IR index fell significantly (p < 0.001) in the intervention group (treatment effect -1.0 (95% CI, -1.2 to -0.8); Gxt, p = 0.004). Changes in HOMA-IR correlated positively with changes in body mass index (BMI) and visceral fat volume (r = 0.34; p = 0.009 and r = 0.42; p = 0.001, respectively). The latter remained significant after adjustment for changes in BMI (r = 0.41; p = 0.002). Changes in glucose-induced insulin secretion correlated negatively with BMI changes (r = -0.25; p = 0.04), but not with changes in visceral fat. Beta-cell function and insulin sensitivity were significantly improved through a low-fat plant-based diet in overweight adults.

10) Healthy Plant Diets and All-Cause Mortality https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29659968

Healthy Plant-Based Diets Are Associated with Lower Risk of All-Cause Mortality in US Adults.

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Overall, 2018 provided important new data from prospective studies, epidemiologic studies, biochemical studies and environmental studies to indicate that the single diet for the health of the human body and the health of the planet is a plate with fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and soy prepared as close to nature as possible.

Joel Kahn

Written by

Joel Kahn

Professor of Cardiology, Summa cum Laude grad, Kahn Center for Longevity and GreenSpace Cafe. www.drjoelkahn.com @drjkahn. Author The Plant Based Solution NEW

Joel Kahn

Written by

Joel Kahn

Professor of Cardiology, Summa cum Laude grad, Kahn Center for Longevity and GreenSpace Cafe. www.drjoelkahn.com @drjkahn. Author The Plant Based Solution NEW

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