Vitamin B12 Breakthrough for more complete Vegetarian and Vegan diets

Vitamin B12 (known as cobalamin) is an essential dietary component but vegetarians are more prone to B12 deficiency as plants neither make nor require this nutrient.

But now a team, led by Professor Martin Warren at the University’s School of Biosciences, has proved that common garden cress can indeed take up cobalamin.

The amount of B12 absorbed by garden cress is dependent on the amount present in the growth medium, and the Kent team was able to confirm B12 uptake by showing that the nutrient ends up in the leaf.

I can’t wait for the silly money and marketers to grab this and run.

Read the source article here.

 

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(Eat Like an Asian) A Healthy Asian A Posteriori Dietary Pattern Correlates with A Priori Dietary Patterns and Is Associated with Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in a Multi-ethnic Asian Population

Results

We identified a “healthy” dietary pattern, similar across ethnic groups, and characterized by high intakes of whole grains, fruit, dairy, vegetables, and unsaturated cooking oil and low intakes of Western fast foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, poultry, processed meat, and flavored rice. This “healthy” pattern was inversely associated with body mass index (BMI; in kg/m2) (−0.26 per 1 SD of the pattern score; 95% CI: −0.36, −0.16), waist circumference (−0.57 cm; 95% CI: −0.82, −0.32), total cholesterol (−0.070 mmol/L; 95% CI: −0.091, −0.048), LDL cholesterol (−0.054 mmol/L; 95% CI: −0.074, −0.035), and fasting triglycerides (−0.22 mmol/L; 95% CI: −0.04, −0.004) and directly associated with HDL cholesterol (0.013 mmol/L; 95% CI: 0.006, 0.021). Generally, “healthy” pattern associations were at least as strong as a priori pattern associations with cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Conclusion

A healthful dietary pattern that correlated well with a priori patterns and was associated with lower BMI, serum LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and fasting triglyceride concentrations was identified across 3 major Asian ethnic groups.

Full abstract here.

Eat like an Asian.

Drink More Water

As pediatricians, we advise our patients to “drink more water” all the time — a recommendation that sounds so simple, yet so often under-recognized. In fact, more than half of American children do not drink enough water and one-fourth do not drink any water on a daily basis. Keeping hydrated is important for nearly every system in the body, from blood circulation and nourishment to temperature regulation and waste removal (after all, the human body is made up of 60 percent water).

Have a glass of water while you read the full article.

Taiwanese Vegetarians and Omnivores: Dietary Composition, Prevalence of Diabetes and IFG

Background

The diabetes epidemic in Asia and particularly in China emerged simultaneously with increased meat consumption and higher proportion of energy intake from animal protein and fat [1]. Compared with Westerners, Asians tend to incur diabetes at a younger age and at a lower body mass index (BMI), possibly due to genetic susceptibility in combination with environmental exposures [2]. Vegetarian diets have been associated with a lower prevalence [3] and incidence [4] of diabetes among Seventh day Adventists. Previous clinical trials have shown vegetarian diets improve glycemic control [5] and insulin sensitivity [6]. Although several small studies reported lower glucose level and better insulin sensitivity in Taiwanese vegetarians than omnivores [7][9], no study thus far has examined whether a vegetarian diet protects against diabetes in Chinese ethnic Asian population, a high risk population that may incur diabetes despite having a normal BMI value [2]. Moreover, Asian diets tend to be lower in meat and higher in plant foods compared with Western diet. It remains unknown whether a diet completely avoiding meat and fish would further extend the protective effect of a plant-based diet. In addition, most studies on Asian vegetarians tend to compare vegetarians from religious groups with omnivores from the general population [7]. Religious and spiritual practices (a main determinant of vegetarian dietary practice in Asia) may be associated with social and emotional support which may confound health outcomes [10], [11].

Conclusion

We found a strong protective association between Taiwanese vegetarian diet and diabetes/IFG, after controlling for various potential confounders and risk factors.

The full study report can be found here.

 

Type of vegetarian diet, obesity and diabetes in adult Indian population

…vegetarianism in India is associated with unique characteristics. It is usually a lifelong pattern and adherence crosses multiple generations; it generally comprises high consumption of whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds and dairy with spices and seasonings unique to the Indian diet. Hence, the combination/or the pattern of vegetarian diet may yield different findings than similar studies conducted in the West and it is thus possible to assess dietary associations with chronic diseases which have been difficult in the West due to low frequency. This study uses data from the third National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3, 2005–06), a survey of 109,041 Indian households which collected information on a wide range of dietary, societal, lifestyle, and environmental determinants of morbidity and chronic ailments including diabetes [16]. The NFHS-3 provides a unique opportunity to examine associations between types of vegetarian diet and diabetes and obesity in a large, nationally representative sample.

In this large, nationally representative sample of Indian adults, lacto-, lacto-ovo and semi-vegetarian diets were associated with a lower likelihood of diabetes. These findings may assist in the development of interventions to address the growing burden of overweight/obesity and diabetes in Indian population. However, prospective studies with better measures of dietary intake and clinical measures of diabetes are needed to clarify this relationship.

Interesting study with limitations as noted by the researchers.  Go here for the full study report.

Vegan Diet Rapidly Improves Type 2 Diabetes Markers in Adults

The 16-week randomized controlled trial in 73 adults showed that participants who ate a diet of vegetables, grains, legumes, and fruits significantly improved their overall metabolic condition, say Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD, of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, DC, and colleagues.

Small RCT study.  Source article here.