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J Nutr. 1992 Apr;122(4):924-30.

Shifting from a conventional diet to an uncooked vegan diet reversibly alters fecal hydrolytic activities in humans.

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Department of Physiology, University of Kuopio, Finland.


We studied the effect on fecal hydrolytic activities of adopting an uncooked extreme vegan diet and readopting a conventional diet. Eighteen subjects were randomly divided into test and control groups. In the test group subjects adopted the uncooked extreme vegan diet for 1 mo and then resumed a conventional diet for a second month. Controls consumed a conventional diet throughout the study. Phenol and p-cresol concentrations in serum and daily output in urine and fecal enzyme activities were measured. The activity of fecal urease significantly decreased (by 66%) as did cholylglycine hydrolase (55%), beta-glucuronidase (33%) and beta-glucosidase (40%) within 1 wk of beginning the vegan diet. The new level remained throughout the period of consuming this diet. Phenol and p-cresol concentrations in serum and daily outputs in urine significantly declined. The fecal enzyme activities returned to normal values within 2 wk of resuming the conventional diet. Concentrations of phenol and p-cresol in serum and daily output in urine had returned to normal after 1 mo of consuming the conventional diet. No changes were observed in the control group during the study. Results suggest that this uncooked extreme vegan diet causes a decrease in bacterial enzymes and certain toxic products that have been implicated in colon cancer risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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