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Nutr Clin Pract. 2012 Jun;27(3):392-8. doi: 10.1177/0884533611436173. Epub 2012 Mar 12.

Chinese lacto-vegetarian diet exerts favorable effects on metabolic parameters, intima-media thickness, and cardiovascular risks in healthy men.

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Department of Diabetes, the First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen University, Xiamen, PR China.



To investigate whether the Chinese lacto-vegetarian diet has protective effects on metabolic and cardiovascular disease (CVD).


One hundred sixty-nine healthy Chinese lacto-vegetarians and 126 healthy omnivore men aged 21-76 years were enrolled. Anthropometric indexes, lipid profile, insulin sensitivity, pancreatic β cell function, and intima-media thickness (IMT) of carotid arteries were assessed and compared. Cardiovascular risk points and probability of developing CVD in 5-10 years in participants aged 24-55 years were calculated.


Compared with omnivores, lacto-vegetarians had remarkably lower body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and serum levels of triglyceride, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, γ-glutamyl transferase, serum creatinine, uric acid, fasting blood glucose, as well as lower total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio. Vegetarians also had higher homeostasis model assessment β cell function and insulin secretion index and thinner carotid IMT than the omnivores did. These results corresponded with lower cardiovascular risk points and probability of developing CVD in 5-10 years in vegetarians 24-55 years old.


In healthy Chinese men, the lacto-vegetarian diet seems to exert protective effects on blood pressure, lipid profiles, and metabolic parameters and results in significantly lower carotid IMT. Lower CVD risks found in vegetarians also reflect the beneficial effect of the Chinese lacto-vegetarian diet.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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