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J Cell Physiol. 2018 Dec;233(12):9345-9353. doi: 10.1002/jcp.26427. Epub 2018 Jun 19.

Effect of restriction vegan diet's on muscle mass, oxidative status, and myocytes differentiation: A pilot study.

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Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and General Pathology, University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", Naples, Italy.
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy.
Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples "Federico II", Napoli, Italy.
Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Human Physiology and Unit of Dietetic and Sport Medicine, University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", Naples, Italy.


This study was conceived to evaluate the effects of three different diets on body composition, metabolic parameters, and serum oxidative status. We enrolled three groups of healthy men (omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans) with similar age, weight and BMI, and we observed a significant decrease in muscle mass index and lean body mass in vegan compared to vegetarian and omnivore groups, and higher serum homocysteine levels in vegetarians and vegans compared to omnivores. We studied whether serum from omnivore, vegetarian, and vegan subjects affected oxidative stress, growth and differentiation of both cardiomyoblast cell line H9c2 and H-H9c2 (H9c2 treated with H2 O2 to induce oxidative damage). We demonstrated that vegan sera treatment of both H9c2 and H-H9c2 cells induced an increase of TBARS values and cell death and a decrease of free NO2- compared to vegetarian and omnivorous sera. Afterwards, we investigated the protective effects of vegan, vegetarian, and omnivore sera on the morphological changes induced by H2 O2 in H9c2 cell line. We showed that the omnivorous sera had major antioxidant and differentiation properties compared to vegetarian and vegan sera. Finally, we evaluated the influence of the three different groups of sera on MAPKs pathway and our data suggested that ERK expression increased in H-H9c2 cells treated with vegetarian and vegan sera and could promote cell death. The results obtained in this study demonstrated that restrictive vegan diet could not prevent the onset of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases nor protect by oxidative damage.


muscle mass; myocyte differentiation; oxidative stress; vegans diet


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