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Review Of 30 Years Of Research Shows Vegans May Have Higher Heart Attack, Stroke Risks

January 4, 2011: 11:39 AM EST

Strict vegetarians or vegans may face higher risk of having blood clots and atherosclerosis, or thickening and hardening of the artery walls, according to a review of research on the biochemistry of vegetarianism published in the past 30 years. While omnivores have significantly higher cardiovascular and obesity risks, strict vegetarianism is clearly not risk-free. Compared with omnivores, vegetarians have less vitamin B12 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid in their "tissue membrane phospholipids," conditions that in turn can lead to higher heart attack and stroke risk. To counter this risk researchers suggest vegetarians/vegans supplement their diets with n-3 PUFA and vitamin B12.and lower plasma HDL-C. These conditions in turn can lead to heart attack and stroke. 

Duo Li, "Chemistry behind Vegetarianism", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, January 04, 2011, © American Chemical Society
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