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. Vegetarian diets have been linked in prior research to a lower likelihood of developing chronic diseases like heart disease or diabetes 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. People who eat meat are more likely to have higher cholesterol because cholesterol is only present in animal-based foods, including meat, eggs and dairy products. High cholesterol can increase your chances of developing heart disease, which can, of course, shorten your life span. According to a 2006 article in “Life Extension” magazine, eating meat can also increase the risk of developing certain cancers, such as colon cancer, as well as kidney stones and gallstones. A 2003 report published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” analyzed six different studies to try to establish whether vegetarians live longer. The report found that low meat consumption decreases risk of death and increases life expectancy. In fact, research shows that reducing meat consumption can increase your life span by 3.6 years. The same report showed that societies with plant-based diets are more likely to live past 70 years of age.
1. Lower risk of cancer. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has reported that vegetarians are less likely to get cancer by 25 to...
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