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A vegan diet leads to the most weight loss, compared with other dietary patterns, according to a new study in the journal Nutrition.
Sixty-three overweight adult study participants were assigned to one of five different dietary patterns for a six-month period: omnivorous, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian, and vegan.
At the end of the study, the vegan group lost, on average, more than twice the percentage of body weight (7.5 percent), compared with omnivores (3.1 percent), semi-vegetarians (3.2 percent), and pesco-vegetarians (3.2 percent). The lacto-ovo vegetarian group lost an average of 6.3 percentage points.
The vegan group also had the greatest reductions in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol and greatest increase in dietary fiber intake—all protective against chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
High cow’s milk intake is associated with increased risk for bone fractures and death, according to a new study in the British Medical Journal. Researchers followed 61,433 women and 45,339 men for more than 20 years and 11 years, respectively.
Among women, those who consumed three or more glasses of milk per day had a 60 percent increased risk for developing a hip fracture and a 16 percent increased risk for developing any bone fracture. These results are similar to previous studies showing no protective effect of increased milk consumption on fracture risk.
Additionally among women, for each glass of milk consumed, risk of dying from all causes increased by 15 percent, from heart disease by 15 percent, and from cancer by 7 percent. For the women who consumed three or more glasses of milk per day, compared with less than one glass, risk of dying increased by 93 percent. Men had a 10 percent increased risk of dying when consuming three or more glasses of milk per day, compared with less than one glass.
A compound produced in the gut when the body digests meat may lead to heart failure, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. For five years, researchers followed 720 patients who had previously been treated for heart failure. Those with the highest levels of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) in their blood had a 3.4-fold increase risk of dying, compared with those with the lowest levels. The body produces this chemical when it digests certain foods, including organ meats, red meat, and eggs. The presence of TMAO in the blood may also indicate other conditions such as stroke. These findings will allow clinicians to make dietary recommendations to both prevent and treat heart disease.
The same researchers published findings related to TMAO and heart disease last year.
Turner-McGrievy GM, Davidson CR, Wingard EE, Wilcox S, Frongillo EA. Comparative effectiveness of plant-based diets for weight loss: A randomized controlled trial of five different diets. Nutrition. 2014. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.09.002.
Michaëlsson K, Wolk A, Langenskiöld S, et al. Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies. BMJ. 2014;349:g6015.
Tang WH, Wang Z, Fan Y, et al. Prognostic value of elevated levels of intestinal microbe-generated metabolite trimethylamine-n-oxide in patients with heart failure: refining the gut hypothesis. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;64:1908-1914.
Vegan Food Pyramid [click on the image to enlarge]