The research that has reached this conclusion has been carried out by members of the University of Oxford (United Kingdom) and published in The BMJ . The data have been obtained thanks to the EPIC-Oxford study, which included 48188 people of 45 years on average without a history of coronary heart disease or cardiovascular accidents, which were separated into three groups, 24428 who ingested meat, 7506 pescetarians, and 16254 vegetarians and Vegans.
During the 18 years that the study lasted, there were 2820 cases of coronary heart disease among the participants, and 1072 strokes, which included 519 ischemic strokes – blockage of cerebral blood flow by a blood clot – and 300 hemorrhagic ones – from the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain.
With these data, and taking into account other important factors such as smoking, dietary supplement intake, physical activity and medical history, it was observed that vegetarians – including vegans – had a 22% lower risk of suffering from a disease coronary, and Pescetarians 13% less, compared to the carnivorous group.
Eating meat, associate the vegetarian diet with a 20% hgher risk of stroke
These data conclude that there are 10 fewer cases of coronary heart disease in vegetarian people for 10 years than in those who ingest meat per 1000 individuals. This, according to the authors, could be because eliminating meat from the diet could contribute to lower rates of cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes , as well as a lower body mass index (BMI).
However, the results of the study also showed that eating diets that dispense with this food predisposes to having cerebrovascular problems. Specifically, they found that this group –vegetarians, vegans and pescetarians– had a 20% higher risk of stroke than those who ate meat, which is equivalent to three more cases per 1000 people for 10 years.
The possible explanation is that vegetarians and vegans may have lower levels of nutrients such as vitamin B12 or cholesterol . Even so, Dr. Tammy Tong and the rest of the researchers state that it is an observational study, that it does not establish the causes, and that more research is needed in this regard.
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