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Letter to the editor: Vegetarian diet lowers health risks for many

Friday, March 14, 2014 - 12:01 am

A recent Time magazine cites several reasons for vegetarians living longer. The article was prompted by a report in American Medical Association’s Internal Medicine that a vegetarian diet lowers blood pressure, a key factor in risk of heart failure and stroke.

The Mayo Clinic notes that vegetarians are at lower risk for developing diabetes, another factor in heart disease. An Oxford University study of 45,000 adults in last year’s American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that vegetarians were 32 percent less likely to suffer from heart disease.

Researchers at California’s Loma Linda University, examining records of 70,000 patients, concluded last year that a vegetarian diet protects against colorectal and other types of cancer.

It’s no wonder that a 2012 Harvard University study of 120,000 people concluded that meat consumption raises the risk of total, heart and cancer mortality. A more recent six-year study of 70,000 patients at Loma Linda found that vegetarians have a 12 percent lower risk of death.

Adopt a meat- and dairy-free diet. An Internet search on “vegan recipes” or “live vegan” provides ample resources.

Kim Teague