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S Afr Med J. 1986 Jun 7;69(12):733-8.

Anthropometric measurements, dietary intake and biochemical data of South African lacto-ovovegetarians.


A group of South African lacto-ovovegetarians were studied. They did not differ from a group of control subjects in respect of height, weight, Quetelet index or percentage body fat. Dietary analysis indicated that the vegetarians had significantly higher intakes of folic acid and ascorbic acid, and significantly lower intakes of vitamin B12 and zinc compared with the controls. Vegetarians should give special attention to the intake of certain nutrients such as iron, vitamin B12 and zinc, which may be in a less available form or in lower concentrations in plant foods. Vegetarians had lower serum vitamin B12 levels (not significant in males) and ferritin levels (not significant in females) than the controls. Plasma levels of cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides did not differ between the two groups.

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