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Nutr Hosp. 2011 Sep-Oct;26(5):959-64. doi: 10.1590/S0212-16112011000500006.

Relation between dietary and circulating lipids in lacto-ovo vegetarians.

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Centre Academic of Vitoria, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil.



As factors that have a positive influence on health and specifically on serum lipids and blood pressure, the nature and composition of vegetarian diets is one of the most speculated issues in nutrition.


The aim of the present study was to compare diet, lipid profile and blood pressure levels in Brazilian lacto-ovo vegetarians and non-vegetarians.


A cross-sectional study was carried out involving 87 male and female adult volunteers (29 lactoovo vegetarians and 58 non-vegetarians). Two non-vegetarians were selected for each vegetarian (paired for age and gender) in order to enhance the power of the statistical tests. Mean age was 40 (13) years; 58.6% were males.


No differences were found regarding nutritional status based on the BMI. This similarity may be explained by the similar energy intake and degrees of physical activity in both groups. Regarding blood pressure, the only difference between groups was systolic arterial pressure, which was higher among the non-vegetarians. Among the intake parameters analysed, only energy intake and the intake of polyunsaturated fat were similar between groups. Mean total cholesterol and LDL were higher among non-vegetarians. Mean serum TG was higher among the vegetarians. The greater consumption of carbohydrates among the vegetarians was reflected in the higher serum triglyceride levels.


Although all products of animal origin have a greater amount of protein, fat and saturated fatty acids, the absence of meat from the diet may have accounted for the better lipid profile among the lacto-ovo vegetarians may also stem from the high intake of fibre and antioxidants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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