Vegetarians May Live Longer

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In one of the largest studies to date, researchers from Loma Linda University in California report that vegetarians outlast meat eaters.

Among a group of 70,000 participants, researchers determined that vegetarians had a 12% lower risk of death compared with nonvegetarians. The effect held true for other specific vegetarian diets, according to the study, which is published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. For instance, vegans also had a lower risk of death compared to nonvegetarians.

(MORE: It’s Not Just the Fat: There’s Another Way Red Meat May Harm the Heart)

Vegetarian diets have been linked in prior research to a lower likelihood of developing chronic diseases like heart disease or diabetes, but the underlying mechanisms are still under investigation. “We can’t tell from this current paper with certainty, but one of the most plausible potential reasons contributing to this beneficial association is perhaps the absence or reduction of meat intake,” says Dr. Michael J. Orlich, the program director of the preventive-medicine residency at Loma Linda University.

Red meat has been fingered as a potential culprit because of its high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol, which can clog up arteries. In April, another study found that the compound carnitine, also found in red meat, is metabolized by human-gut bacteria and fills up blood vessels.

While there is a fair amount of evidence linking red-meat consumption to higher mortality, other factors could also be at play. “It could also be that consumption of various plant foods may be beneficially associated with reduced mortality, so we definitely want to look at those things on the food level in the future,” says Orlich.

Interestingly, the investigators also found that the association between vegetarian diets and lower mortality was greater in men than in women. Men had a lower rate of cardiovascular disease and death from heart-related conditions. Women did not have the same measurable reductions.

(MORE: Gut Bugs: They Are What You Eat)

“I don’t have any strong speculations, but it could be that the diet is playing out differently due to biological factors in men and women,” says Orlich, who plans to look deeper into what specific foods and nutrients may be responsible for the association. Figuring out what drives the link is complex, and it could be different for various groups and individuals. For example, a British study of the vegetarian diet in over 47,250 participants did not find the same mortality results. The fact that American vegetarians consume more fiber and vitamin C could be the reason, and this underscores the need for better understanding of how diet impacts longevity.

157 comments
jammyyy
jammyyy

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Papparocket
Papparocket

This is an old story, but linked to by a current story, so I wanted to post some information about Gary Taubes, who is ment

Son-ofMan
Son-ofMan

I became a vegetarian for moral reasons, so the health benefits are incidental to my decision.


But, there is a fairly significant body of evidence which supports statistically significant health benefits and longevity for vegetarians (see, for instance http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/3/526S.full ). Some of the studies do try to eliminate the effects of the generally healthier habits of vegetarian populations.


What amazes me is the "Tea Party"-like vehemence of those defending meat-based diets, by selectively (and sometimes stupidly) picking bits and pieces of evidence to support their choices (yes, you are likely to lose weight if you stop eating bread and munch on steak all day, but it will not make you much healthier in the long run).


As far as "organic" or free-range meats, there is no real evidence that these are significantly healthier, as far as I am aware. More importantly, the animal that was killed for that organic steak did not suffer or experience less terror during its slaughter, just like you would not be happy to be murdered and made into steaks after spending a few years in the fields.

mrxexon
mrxexon

I've been a vegetarian over 30 years. No meat, fish, or eggs. And in that time, I've never converted a single person. And this is despite them witnessing the superb state of health I have.

They enjoy my cooking. But at the same time, the social imprint upon them is to eat meat. You can't escape it. TV burger wars all the way down to KFC. EAT MEAT.

I've made a mockey of the food pyramid for decades. I urge you to step outside the box and experience a physical state you didn't know you were capable of.


x

WendyDann
WendyDann

I have been a Vegetarian for 23 years and Vegan for 9.  In that time have have inspired many people to go Vegetarian or Vegan, including my husband.  I do not say "converted" I like "inspired" and "assisted" the people.  The ting is to be there for people that are interested in the lifestyle but don't know how.  They might need their hand held to make the step.

iceman1
iceman1

Holy moly! I read through some of this blog. People do take offense on anyone making comments about their diets. Fact and we all know that:: The American diet is full of corn syrup, sugars, salts, chemicals, refined carbohydrates etc.. I eat only healthy, chemical free, organic foods. Why, because I believe that these are better for ME. It now does happen to include animal protein but I was vegetarian prior to very recently. Why was I vegetarian, because I then believed that it was better for ME. I don't try to change anyone's mind about how what they eat just that it should be the most wholesome, as unprocessed as possible food. Make the healthier choices, whether it's all vegetarian, all animal protein,  or a combination of any and every type of diet. But, if chips and dips is your forte, enjoy! Each one of us has to do what we feel is right for number one, not for the next person.  So if you are vegetarian or a confirmed meat eater, it doesn't, or shouldn't matter to anyone else but you. I have been researching health topics, diet, and types of food for almost 50 years! My decision to do what was right for me happened after the "latest article" said now we can eat eggs, or fats, or so on and so forth. I decided right then and there that I had enough information to make a decision for myself-one with which I would be comfortable as to how to eat. I wasn't any better physically as a vegetarian, my blood work was still not to my liking or my doctor's,and I hated being heavier than I had been before I was vegetarian. No, I didn't survive on pasta and bread!  Finally I was turned on to a couple of books which I mentioned previously. The "Good Calories-Bad Calories" book did it for me. I believe, no one else has to, and I won't try to change your beliefs, but I believe that yes we have been fed a bunch or mumbo jumbo when it comes to what the "food pyramid" should be and that studies have not seen the light of day that would make a difference.  According to this book, we have a number of hormones but only one, insulin, stores fat on the body. The more refined carbohydrates one eats, the more corn syrup or sugar one ingest, creates the situation in which one can become insulin resistant. According to this author one could eat a diet in the thousands of calories of carbohydrates and not be satisfied. I understand this!. I hated being hungry on the "balanced diets". The ones where whole grains filled 25% of my plate, protein another 25%, vegetables another 50%.  In no time I would be hungry again. I have found that a carbohydrate restricted diet works best for ME. I don't know about anyone else reading this entry but it's right for ME! For you it might be ice cream and jello or subs and beer. But for ME low carbohydrates works. I'm not hungry any longer! I've lost weight! I'm more energetic than I have been in a long time! I think more clearly! I joke and laugh again!  Understand this is what works for ME. My carbohydrates come from minimal fruit, and whatever non starchy vegetables I want. I do have some whole grains, and I limit myself to 4 eggs a week. Now you ask why? Because I'm still brain washed into thinking that too many eggs, or too much of this or that is harmful! Now let's see, I think we've been coerced into thinking low fat is better than a full fat version of something, that sugar free is better than sugar, even though our body reacts about the same with either. Thank you I eat unadulterated foods. 

I looked at how much I've written and apologize. I probably could have summed it all up by saying just do what's right for you! 

Everyone, enjoy life. We only go around once, I think! But that's probably another hot button!!LOL.

4AnimalsGoVegan
4AnimalsGoVegan

I have been a vegan for 15 years, was a vegetarian before that. My older sister, mom and now my husband has also become a vegan. All but two of my closest friends have also gone vegan. The other two are vegetarians. We did it for the animals. No animal deserves to suffer for ones appetite. However, even though we did it for the animals we are reaping the benefits. I am at a perfect weight of 124 pounds and eat as much as I want. I do not have any health conditions, nor do any of my friends that I mentioned earlier. You truly are what you eat. You cannot trust any of these large corporations especially Monsanto. They put loads of garbage as fillers in everything. Wheat is also another issue. It is killing people, you probably have never noticed it, but wheat is in just about everything even gum! Do a Google search for Wheat Belly Doctor Oz to find the video about wheat. It will change your mind and for the better.  So when people say going vegetarian can help you live longer, I say go vegan live longer than that and save 150+ innocent animals lives every year. That is doing something good for you and the environment.  Want info on becoming a vegan search Google for free Vegan starter kit. Get lots of cool stuff just for the asking. Cheers!

iceman1
iceman1

I am so tired of the eat this don't eat that conversation that I want to puke-oh wait I can lose weight doing that!! And live longer??? I mean , after all, I am reducing the calories I an digesting!!! I was vegetarian, but not vegan, for about 6 years. I finally changed from that to eating healthy foods as I want. No chemicals at all. Everything is organic foods and grass fed beef. I understand that humans are short on omega 3's. I've increased those by eating walnuts, walnut oil, grass fed beef- a little, maybe 4 oz. a week. I am a meat hater, never liked it, so going vegetarian was easy for me. I recently read: "wheat Belly;" "The Vegetarian Myth", and "Good Calories-Bad Calories". I recommend the last book. One will find out all the theories that have been shoved down our throats-no pun intended! As a vegetarian I was very aware of getting enough proteins, fats, carbs and nutrients like calcium. I haven't gone overboard on eating animal proteins but, as I said, it's chemical free like all the rest of my foods. I do believe that hybred foods, GMO's, chemicals are detrimental to our health. I don't eat refined carbs, sugars, drinks etc. of any kind. My advice is to read everything you can and then make your own choices. I'm tired of others trying to get me to one side of the fence or the other. I'm walking down the line in the middle of the road and I'm much happier for it.  I just can't pay attention to one more study! Read Good Calories-Bad Calories and it just may help to open people's eyes. It's a thick-400 pages or so- book and about scientific studies and how we have come to believe in the cholesterol packed red meat scare. One finds that it's OK to eat animal proteins as long as they aren't raised the traditional way. Yes it's more expensive but I feel either you pay the money for your food or your pay the doctor! Enjoy

janet_baker76
janet_baker76

This propaganda gets so old. "May live longer," "might help you lose weight," "could make your boyfriend marry you...."

In case no one has noticed, they are doing a great job of turning us into Chinese slaves, wage-wise, and dissing animal products is part of the strategy. My grandbaby almost died because Mom read this kind of crap and became a vegetarian during the pregnancy, and developed toximia, the direct result of insufficient protein. Amino acids are incredibly complex and it's just a lie that any combo of plant products 'replaces' them ("might replace," sorry). Tell me about increased longevity in India, where diabetis is raging due to a diet overbalanced with carbs. Our own obesity epidemic is being fueled by fat-and-protein-starved people eating too much fruit!

Do not believe this crap. Read Gary Taubes.

johnakim.lucien
johnakim.lucien

It is common knowledge vegetarians will have a better quality of life than meat eaters. Their life expectancy is also longer than meat eaters. This is all because of the original diet God has given us. However, it is up to everyone to choose.

WendyDann
WendyDann

I am a Vegan who already know about this information.  The writer of this article is not a good writer neither is the proof reader. 

Quote "vegetarians had a 12% lower risk of death compared with nonvegetarians. " We all have a 100% risk of death.  I have a 100%.  A smoker obese person has 100%.

Another qoute "For instance, vegans also had a lower risk of death compared to nonvegetarians."  We will all die!

I am not a professional writer but I know tghe facts are that Vegans and Vegetarians have a LONGER life expectancy and are less likely to have health problems such as High Blood Pressure and High Chloresterol.  But my "risk of death" is not a "risk" it is just a fact of life that we all we die.

joestuffsda
joestuffsda

Meat death.  Vegetarians die young at an older age.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

Eisensteinian physics tells us that time is relative to the speed at which you move through it.  Carnivorous generally move faster than herbivores, therefore time slows down for them.

Vegetarians are herbivores and don't have the ready energy of carnivores, therefore move slower and time passes more quickly for them.

In a relativistic sense, both probably live for the same amount of time.

And, frankly, I've always thought that vegans didn't actually live longer.  It only seems that way to them.  Either way, I think I'd rather live a short time and enjoy it than live a long time feeling as miserable as I feel when I just eat veggies.

aliberaldoseofskepticism
aliberaldoseofskepticism

Lower risk of "death"? From any cause? Because that's...not how you do any sort of trial. You're looking not for longevity, but for age-adjusted mortality from certain causes (that is, weighing a heart attack at 40 greater than one at 90). As well as quality of life issues, since a number of chronic diseases are plenty nasty before they kill you.

In general, these studies run into the fact that other observational studies have the other side of it. The classic study in favor of vegetarianism was a study of Seventh-Day Adventists. But other studies of Mormons found the reverse.

mkb
mkb

Energy can not be created or destroyed, this is true in case of humans. Energy in the from of glucose, proteins and fats we consume is trapped inside for ever.

Energy has to be spent by means of activities. Body spend one calories per minute for basal metabolic rate to sustain the body living. The excess calories are burnt when we walk or work hard. If you want to reduce the weight spend more energy or cheat your brain about the consumption of energy even though you are not.

Pl fallow 

http://mkbperfecthealth.blogspot.in/


Want to spend more energy pl fallow my invnetion

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dwdlprslmd
dwdlprslmd

I also think its strange that people get so caught up in this but just in terms of the study as a study, to those that say that could it be that vegetarians are more health conscious- I think the paper does a decent job at picking a cohort that tends to have similar lifestyles, they also exclude those that eat to much or to little. 

Also it is true that you can't prove causation with an observational study. But that doesn't mean that they aren't useful one of the most famous observational studies was the first study of any kind to discover the risk of smoking. With this study you can find Incidence rates, calculate all cause mortality, and the hazard ratio between vegetarian and non vegetarians which is the 12 percent referred to in the paper. It means that vegetarians have a 12 percent decrease in mortality for an given unit of time. It kind of like if you have someone with coronary artery disease and someone who doesn't standing next to each other. At any given moment the person CAD has an increased chance of mortality because they could throw a clot and get a heart attack.  

And lastly people make the quality of life argument a lot and honestly a great number of people you see in hospitals these days are people who are obese, hypertensive, diabetic, stented X#, with a large balloon heart that isn't doing much. The American diet causes this and its sad that so much of this could be fixed if they ate less meat and carbs. Is it really a better quality of life when you eat like this and then one day you throw a clot get ischemic heart disease and cant do anything really active for the rest of your life? and this is not the obese diabetic patient, this is an average middle aged man eating an average American diet.



CathyCoonBitikofer
CathyCoonBitikofer

Since being diagnosed as a diabetic (heredity and bad eating habits leading to obesity), I've been more diet-conscious. The ADA recommends no more than 6 ounces of lean meat a day for someone like me, and stack up the rest of my plate with healthy carbohydrates like fruits, veggies and whole grains, and try to throw in fish twice a week, if I choose to consume meat.

I find the tone of this dialogue between pro- and anti-meat eaters to border on the ridiculous. I guess that's the direction of most comment threads.  Why does discussing the subject of food become such an emotional one, degrading to name-calling on both sides?  Gosh, we're feeling personal about our diets. No one's looking over your shoulder. People criticize what you eat? Blow it off. Life's too short anyway.

That said, there have been numerous studies related to diet and health.  I guess my choice would be to be in the best possible health as long as I'm living.  Insofar as I can control it, I'm gonna try. Not going to be perfect, but I don't want a stroke, heart attack, or diabetes to turn me into someone who can no longer make her own choices, and is that disabled person in the nursing home or on dialysis in her 50's or 60's.  

What is important is to monitor your health in terms of cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, etc. and make changes if the numbers don't look good to you or your doctor.  You could have diabetic stroke in your 30's, and crash your car, like the brother of a friend. He survived, but couldn't drive for a year. It's never to early to keep track of your health. 

DanDiego
DanDiego

Hmmm... could it be that vegetarians/vegans are simply more health conscious? Live an active lifestyle, watch what they eat in general? I believe it is much less about whether you choose to be vegetarian or not and much MORE likely to be the lifestyle you live overall.

JasonYGuy
JasonYGuy

I rather eat a nice 1'1/4 rib eye cooked medium rare, with a nice salad and have real bacon with my eggs for breakfast and live to be 70 or 80, rather than eat leaves, shrivel up and live miserably to be 90 or worse a 100. Just my opinion, but to each his own.

mentallect
mentallect

I don't eat meat much because I hate how it makes my body feels.  While many people around me are overweight meat lovers, I am in great shape, have no medical problems.  They only thing I am taking are a daily multivitamin.  My body fat is 5%, and people wonder how I do it?  Its not hard.  I am also glad my health insurance premiums are low as well.  Although we can all die in an automobile accident, or a tornado, I prefer to treat my body as a temple like the Lord says. 

But if people enjoy their lives eating an abundance of meat, let them.  Darwin was right after all.


jpkarnes
jpkarnes

All it takes is to visit a nursing home to see the carnage wrought by our western diet.  It's not longevity I seek with my vegan diet, it's HEALTHY aging I'm after.

DavidWhite
DavidWhite

Eating meat is bad for your health, you know?

Naw, my grandmother lived to be 100.

Eating meat!?

Minding her own damn business!

DavidWhite
DavidWhite

They only live longer if they stay out of my face and stop yelling at me. The ones that can't mind their own business will find themselves being fed to my food.

VijayBanga
VijayBanga

I agree and all the good looking vegetables like Tomatoes,egg plants, leeks, cucumber, carrots will also protect from Motor accident, plane crash, Tornado, Tsunami related and so many other kinds of death.Meats and fish taken in reasonable quantities,  also alcohol and not cigarettes will do no harm. I do not see how can any specific study on foods leads to the conclusion that one line of products are good while others used since man was born are not good. Real life shows affluence, peace of mind, comforts and disease free people have better quality of life but something can increase the age is not sane.

JHL
JHL

But they have to be vegetarians. Is that the trade-off and why is it worth it? Again living life as a vegetarian.

Enelson1717
Enelson1717

I thought that The China Studay by Dr T Colin Campbell, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr Jeff Novick's work, The Engine 2 Diet, My Beef with Meat, etc.  have already done numerous studies showing results similar if not, better than what this article reports?  I believe that there are also published medical journal works with various studies of this sort with results that do not include the word "may".  Remember eating meat is your choice, ignorance is bliss, and what works for one person does not work for the next. 

jakeragnarwiborg
jakeragnarwiborg

T. Colin Cambell did this research in the so-called "China Study" thirty years ago. These researchers are behind the times and don't seem focused. A plant-based diet shows a strong correlation with a reduction in major cancers and heart disease. Less meat in the diet has the same, albeit less pronounced, affect. It hasn't been a mystery for quite some time.

moosewithaj
moosewithaj

LOL this article cracks me up, Every Vegan and vegetarian at 30 looks about 40 and so forth. I'm glad they want to eat like a rabbit but seriously i'm curious to if Vegans have a mental disability. My cousin has always acted strange (after switching over to vegan) and she wasn't that way till after she was a vegan for two years (she's about two years older than me and she looks closer to 55 now than early 40's, no drugs or anything ever in her system ever).I mean, I like a salad like everyone else (urm Medium Rare Filet Mignon, baked potato, and big Caesar Salad with lots of oil and vinegar in the salad). But to quote Dennis Leary stolen bit, If I had to sacrifice the last ten years of my life (the adult diapers in a home years) for freedom of choice of foods now (within reason). you can have those dying 10 years and i'll keep my sanity and happiness for now with my Steak and Hamburgers)

MarkDavis
MarkDavis

All of this research and the best they can ever do is "may".

gary
gary

12 % lower chance of dying. Everyone has a 100 % chance of dying. Percentages are the tools of fools. Anyway ,I'm going to have a fine t-bone steak grilled rare and smothered with REAL butter .  I'll have more than a 12 % chance of enjoying my meal .

lito_2010
lito_2010

Well, vegetarians never get to taste bacon, so dying a little earlier is worth it!

ProudVeg
ProudVeg

The truth hurts, doesn't it?  You body part eating carnivors say the same thing all the time.  Your in DENIAL that's why.  Get over it.  It's a fact that vegetarians and vegans are HEALTHIER.  Get over yourself and stop eating body parts and all the disease and infections and pus and tumors that are included in it.  The FDA does not check for everything so that's what you get.  GROSS.

RamonCasha
RamonCasha

A meat-eater who has a balanced diet, exercises regularly etc. is likely to live longer and healthier than a vegetarian who is a couch potato and doesn't carefully follow a diet that replaces their missing nutrients.

RamonCasha
RamonCasha

"vegetarians had a 12% lower risk of death compared with nonvegetarians"

Actually, humans have a 100% mortality rate no matter what they eat.

cleverlyc
cleverlyc

Yeah, but if you can't eat bacon, who WANTS to live longer?!

george.basham
george.basham

People ask me how I stay so thin and ripped for my age.  The key IMHO is to eliminate grains and simple carbohydrates which can cause inflammation, diabetes, and a whole host of undesirable afflictions.  Eat plenty of veggies, fruit, get enough clean protein, and also healthy fats (olive oil, omega 3's, MCT's etc).  Combine that with enough sleep, exercise, some fresh air, a decent attitude and a strong will and you have a good chance of being healthy all other things being equal.  Hard to balance all that I know. 

RandomJoe
RandomJoe

Vegetarians do not live longer, it just seems that way...

georgedixon
georgedixon

Vegetarians do not live longer, they just look older.

jusswundrin
jusswundrin

How can they have a 12% lower risk of death, when everyone dies?

johnqueuepubliq
johnqueuepubliq

vegetarians are more likely to actively improve their lifestyle habits. 

mguillot1959
mguillot1959

"researchers determined that vegetarians had a 12% lower risk of death compared with nonvegetarians"

I'm pretty sure we all have a 100% risk of death. 


stausshaus
stausshaus

"researchers determined that vegetarians had a 12% lower risk of death compared with nonvegetarians."

Ummm...bad science here...EVERYONE has a 100% risk of death.  :-)

humtake
humtake

Science has also proven that human brain power only evolved to a heightened stated due to the proteins contained in meat.  Meat-eating animals have better functioning brains because only meat can provide the energy needed to sustain higher brain power.  And there is a link between vegetarian diets and lower brain activity in the most elderly...90+.  Which means basically you will live longer, but you have a higher chance of being a vegetable in a wheel chair while being a drain on your family and friends who are having to take care of you.  No thank you, I'll eat meat and die at a good age in the 80s before I become a burden and defecate in my pants every day.