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Vegetarian Diet Raises Risk of Heart Disease And Cancer

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posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:05 AM
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The Daily Mail came out with a pretty outrageous headline today, claiming that a “vegetarian diet raises risk of heart disease and cancer.”

So is this statement true?

Not really. The headline is exceptionally misleading. It makes it sound like eating a vegetarian diet increases one’s absolute risk of cancer relative to eating a Standard American Diet (SAD), which is absolutely not the case.

ResearchGate did an article on the study that provides a more in-depth review of what was found. They provide a good overview of the study, saying:


In a new study published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution, researchers compared a primarily vegetarian population from Pune, India to a traditional meat-eating American population, mostly from Kansas. The researchers found a higher frequency of the mutation called “rs66698963” in the Indian population.

This mutation helps people convert plant fatty acids into important nutrients, including omega-6 arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is important for muscle growth and healthy neurological function in humans and is usually contained in meat, eggs and dairy.

However, arachidonic acid is also known for its pro-inflammatory and pro-blood clotting properties. Today, this genetic mutation can be a problem because omega-6 fats are readily available in an increasing number of foods and oils. Consequently, people with this mutation are retaining higher levels of arachidonic acid in their blood and tissues.


So, it’s fair to say that eating a long term vegetarian diet causes a greater expression of genes that convert plant oils into arachidonic acid. This in and of itself does not raise cancer risk. In fact, if we look at cancer rates in countries like India, where meat consumption is 25 times lower than in the US, we can see they also have cancer rates that are 20 times lower than the US.

To quote NutritionFacts:


For example, “overall cancer rates are much lower in India than in western countries.” U.S. men get 23 times more prostate cancer than men in India. Americans get between 8 and 14 times the rate of melanoma, 10 to 11 times more colorectal cancer, 9 times more endometrial cancer, 7 to 17 times more lung cancer, 7 to 8 times more bladder cancer, 5 times more breast cancer, and 9 to 12 times more kidney cancer. This is not mere 5, 10, or 20 percent more, but 5, 10, or 20 times more. Hundreds of percent more breast cancer, thousands of percent more prostate cancer—differences even greater than some of those found in the China Study.


The study’s lead author, Tom Brenna from Cornell University, notes that it’s not the gene expression that raises the risk, but rather it’s the combination of having that particular gene expression combined with a high intake of Omega 6 fat from refined seed oils. To quote Brenna:


Persons with one of the genotypes that we call the I/I genotype, have on average higher omega-6 arachidonic acid levels, probably because of increased synthesis from plant fatty acids. The I/I genotype is favored in traditional vegetarian populations.

The plant omega-6 linoleic acid – from which the arachidonic acid is derived – is normally at low levels in traditional whole food diets as well as in fruit oils such as olive oil and avocado oil, or in dairy fat. However, it is a factor of 10 or more higher in industrially produced oilseeds such as traditional sunflower, safflower, corn, soy and peanut oils. The increasing availability of high omega-6 seed oils in the developing world will be most pro-inflammatory and pro-clotting for those persons with the genetics of traditional vegetarians because their genotype will maintain higher omega-6 arachidonic acid in their blood and tissues.

Omega-6 arachidonic acid also suppresses omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid needed for brain development starting in pregnancy and through 20 years of age. These are major issues as the fat content of the diet for well-nourished persons is from 15 percent to 45 percent of calories and much of this is cooking and salad oil.

In the U.S., the situation is different. The U.S. oilseed industry is now shifting production of the oilseeds I mentioned, sunflower, safflower, corn, soy and peanut, to high oleic varieties that have similar omega-6 linoleic acid composition as the fruit oils I mentioned, olive and avocado oil, and milkfat as well. As that shift continues, the effects are expected to become less pronounced. My sense is that it is of the utmost importance to introduce these high oleic oils into traditional vegetarian populations.


So what this finding actually translates into is that people who eat a vegetarian diet should eliminate refined plant oils that are high in Omega 6, which is the real risk factor here, not the vegetarian diet. Of course, a headline that says “New study finds vegetarians who consume high amounts of refined oils are at a greater risk of cancer” isn’t exactly clickbait material.




posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:05 AM
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The DM article also makes a few other misleading statements saying, “previous studies which found that vegetarians were up to 40 per cent more likely to develop bowel cancer than those who eat meat.” First off, it’s not “studies” in the plural, it was a single prospective study. Here’s what the study’s authors had to say about that peculiar finding:


Our observation that the incidence of colorectal cancer is higher among vegetarians than among meat eaters in the EPIC-Oxford study is surprising; this difference might be partly due to chance and speculatively might be related to other dietary differences between the groups…

This is a study of comparisons, and the results depend on the comparison group. In the comparisons within the cohort, the vegetarians were compared with all nonvegetarians or with meat eaters. Meat intake among the meat eaters was only moderate, with median intakes of 78.1 g/d in men and 69.7 g/d in women [average US intake is 125 g/d]; these intakes are much lower than those reported in the National Diet and Nutrition Survey for the United Kingdom (19). Consumption of vegetables and fruit was higher among vegetarians than among nonvegetarians, but the differences were not large (,20%). Thus, if high intakes of meat had an adverse effect and high intakes of fruit and vegetables had a beneficial effect, the relatively low meat intake and high fruit and vegetable intake of the nonvegetarians in this cohort could reduce the chance of observing lower cancer rates in the vegetarians than in the nonvegetarians. Furthermore, the results may be influenced by residual confounding because of measurement error in the assessment of confounding factors, and by confounding by unknown factors.


The study’s authors also note that several other large scale epidemiological studies found a significantly lower risk of colorectal cancer among vegetarian populations, and that red and processed meat have convincing evidence that they play a role in colorectal cancer.

And just for good measure, the DM had throw in this little tidbit of nonsense, “Vegetarians are often found to be deficient in protein, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and calcium, with one study showing that vegetarians had a five per cent lower bone-mineral density than those who eat meat.”

No study in the history of science has ever found that vegetarians suffer from protein deficiency. In fact, dietary protein deficiency isn’t even a clinical diagnosis. There’s never been a single recorded incident of a person suffering from a dietary induced protein deficiency in the history of medicine. Further, high iron intakes are associated with an increased risk of cancer. D and B12 don’t come from animal products. And high dietary calcium intake has virtually no effect on bone mineral density! Further, vegetarians have average intakes of dairy products, so what does that finding say about dairy?! – IT’S NOT GOOD FOR YOU!



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:13 AM
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a reply to: AnarchoCapitalist

well it depends on their view it can have a play in it. My wife is vegetarian and i live in a vegetarian household.
now lets not get confused with Vegetarian to "health eating"

i could be a vegetarian eating oven food, processed manufactured food without meat, chips cooked in deep fat fryers etc etc. still have fries from McDonald and rubbish veggie burgers pre-packed.

means you are exposed to cancer risks - Food is the biggest source of cancer imo

Health eating without meat in your diet is the way forward. Fresh salads and vegetables, home made pasta etc. Raw food eating is very good but hard to stick to.

When we look at the ingredients of anything we buy, if there is loads of stuff in there its not good - you want it as natural as you can.

Vegetarian does not mean healthy, which means they are exposed to cancerous foods like everyone else. unless they are healthy eating.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:13 AM
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a reply to: AnarchoCapitalist

I was about to jump in here and tear this silly article apart but you were way ahead of me. I am happy you wrote what you did.

Also, your sense of irony in using this title, knowing it was click-bait, and then tearing apart the article in part because it is click-bait, is freakin' genius.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:17 AM
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its the daily mail, so nope.
from their support of hitler during world war 2 to wakefield's dodgy dossiers the mail always picks the wrong side.
their readership, mostly closeted right wing tubthumpers do get scared at the simple things they make up.

vegetarians have been around for, well forever, the endemic nature of this scare story would have killed the veggie movement off years ago if there was any truth to it.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:37 AM
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good, I was looking for the snp in my genetics after reading this. phys.org...

Thanks for the snp.


Rats. SNP not gathered. I ran a bunch of the other snps under FADS1 and FADS2 and there were all greens but green only means it is not a minor allele, I need to research more what it means.

My son in law lots of reds in the FADS 1&2 but again I do not know if that is bad or good. My daughters kids have a lot of yellows, the daughter has all green also.
edit on 30-3-2016 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:38 AM
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TPTB simply don't want you to be healthy, and they're willing to outright lie to you with a straight face to prevent you from being so.

Humans aren't supposed to eat meat in the massive quantities we do. We never were. You'd think these "scientists" would read the journals they publish in. Obviously they don't.

I'm waiting for these assholes to start telling us that exercise is dangerous, and that Obamacare will cover liposuction. You watch.




posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:51 AM
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originally posted by: NthOther
TPTB simply don't want you to be healthy, and they're willing to outright lie to you with a straight face to prevent you from being so.

Humans aren't supposed to eat meat in the massive quantities we do. We never were. You'd think these "scientists" would read the journals they publish in. Obviously they don't.

I'm waiting for these assholes to start telling us that exercise is dangerous, and that Obamacare will cover liposuction. You watch.



But exercise is dangerous for some people. Especially people with exercise induced asthma and joints that are already worn out. Most people I know who had surgery on their knees got them because of exercise or from working hard.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:56 AM
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Great thread thanks for pointing out the BS. Didn't expect much from a DM article as many of their "Advertisement articles" are bought and paid for. As mentioned and agree with, if you eat properly as a vegetarian, forgoing the junk and processed food temptations, you're of course better off.
edit on 30-3-2016 by dreamingawake because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 12:00 PM
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How about we all go through the experimentation of life and take risks and decide whether we want to be influenced by statistical jargon or not. Oh, that's already the case.

I know what works well for my system, and that's variation. I feel my way through what to nom on for the day and week. If I'm feeling rundown I switch things up. You try and eat of the rainbow, stay off the junk, and get out and sweat some every day.

I don't think there's any one diet for the whole species, we're just too damned adaptable, and have adapted locally under different set of conditions over time. Eat what you will.

As for the Indians with cancer rates, I mean which cancer? They're higher than average in a few, much lower than average in others. It's the curry. They eat those spices it pushes out the pores, the toxins and what not. Multiple pathways for preventing cancer with that turmeric.
edit on 30-3-2016 by pl3bscheese because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 12:16 PM
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a reply to: pl3bscheese

The quote specifically lists which cancers in the article. And I'm not aware of any particular cancer that the Indian's have higher rates of than the US. I'm almost positive they are lower in every single category of cancer that exists compared to US rates, the only difference is how much lower.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 12:17 PM
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posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 12:21 PM
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posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 12:22 PM
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posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 12:25 PM
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posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 12:27 PM
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a reply to: AnarchoCapitalist

Nope. I'm just hear to call out what is an obvious falsehood.

India has some of the highest Cancer rates in the World

It's such a shame that you're so certain of yourself, and don't even try to grow up and change your approach when you've been called out time and time again.

India & Cancer

Are we going to match statistical jargons and never come to an understanding of each other's side? I guess that's how this works.

edit on 30-3-2016 by pl3bscheese because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 12:36 PM
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a reply to: pl3bscheese

Ah, but that's not what I claimed. The study you cited says, "parts of India have the world's highest incidence of cancers of the gall bladder, mouth, and lower pharynx, India's first cancer atlas shows."

So let's look at gallbladder cancer. To quote one paper:
"The prevalence of gallbladder cancer, the commonest biliary malignancy, shows geographical and racial variations. It is reported to be rare in India. However, the incidence of gallbladder cancer in north and central India is very high—it is the commonest gastrointestinal cancer in women."

Looking at the paper, nationwide India has of rates of 0.5 and 1.3 per 100 000 population in men and women, respectively. The US has rates of .8 and 1.4 respectively.

The same is true for the others. If you look at specific small geographic regions, you can find higher incident rates, but on the nation as a whole, you'll find significantly lower rates compared to the US. Certain parts of India consume much more meat per capita than others, and also have significant variations in rates of smoking and chewed tobacco.

The second article you linked talks about the first study you linked, so I just refuted both of those at the same time.



edit on 3/30/2016 by AnarchoCapitalist because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 12:44 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 12:45 PM
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a reply to: pl3bscheese

red herring.


(post by pl3bscheese removed for a manners violation)


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