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J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Feb 9;59(3):777-84. doi: 10.1021/jf103846u. Epub 2011 Jan 4.

Chemistry behind Vegetarianism.

Author information

1
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. duoli@zju.edu.cn

Abstract

This review summarizes the effect of a habitual vegetarian diet on clinical complications in relation to chemistry and biochemistry. Omnivores have a significantly higher cluster of cardiovascular risk factors compared with vegetarians, including increased body mass index, waist to hip ratio, blood pressure, plasma total cholesterol (TC), triacylglycerol and LDL-C levels, serum lipoprotein(a) concentration, plasma factor VII activity, ratios of TC/HDL-C, LDL-C/HDL-C and TAG/HDL-C, and serum ferritin levels. Compared with omnivores, vegetarians, especially vegans, have lower serum vitamin B₁₂ concentration and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) levels in the tissue membrane phospholipids, which are associated with increased collagen and ADP stimulated ex vivo whole blood platelet aggregation, plasma 11-dehydrothromboxane B₂, and homocysteine levels and decreased plasma HDL-C. This may be associated with an increased thrombotic and atherosclerotic risk. It is suggested that vegetarians, especially vegans, should increase their dietary n-3 PUFA and vitamin B₁₂ intakes.

PMID:
21204526
DOI:
10.1021/jf103846u
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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