Vegan Diet Demonstrates Potential Cardiovascular Health Improvements, Stanford Study Reveals

by Ella

Stanford Medicine researchers at Stanford University in the United States have conducted a study evaluating the impact of a vegan diet on cardiovascular health using identical twins. Published in the journal Jama Network Open, the study included twenty-two pairs of twins who were raised in similar environments with comparable lifestyles.

The research, carried out between May and July last year, assigned one twin a vegan diet and the other an omnivore diet, both deemed healthy, rich in vegetables, legumes, fruit, and whole grains, and devoid of refined sugars and starches. The vegan diet exclusively featured plant-based products, while the omnivore diet included chicken, fish, eggs, cheese, and dairy.


For the initial four weeks, participants received delivered meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, followed by four weeks of self-prepared meals. The findings suggest that adopting a vegan diet has the potential to enhance heart health within eight weeks, with notable improvements observed in the first four weeks.


According to the study published in Jama Network Open, individuals following the vegan diet exhibited lower levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, insulin, and body weight compared to their omnivorous counterparts. These markers are associated with better cardiovascular health.


Senior author Christopher Gardner noted, “Based on these results and thinking about longevity, most of us would benefit from going to a more plant-based diet.” The intention of the research is not to advocate for a strict vegan diet but to encourage a reduction in meat consumption and an increased focus on plant-based alternatives.


Gardner emphasized, “What’s more important than going strictly vegan is including more plant-based foods into your diet. Luckily, having fun with vegan multicultural foods like Indian masala, Asian stir-fry, and African lentil-based dishes can be a great first step.”

Previous research has compared the benefits of the Mediterranean and vegan diets, with the latter demonstrating greater advantages for health. Additional studies exploring the impact of a vegan diet on the health of dogs and cats have also shown positive outcomes, supporting the broader adoption of plant-based diets.



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