We can learn what is healthy and what is not through scientific study. Individual anecdotes are not enough. We need to study large groups of people and apply rigorous statistical analysis to the data to tease out the relationships between nutrition and health. Many researchers have performed such careful studies over years and lifetimes of dedication. From these studies, it has become clear what foods we should eat and which we should avoid. Unfortunately this knowledge has been slow to permeate the public or even the medical community. Worse, there have been popular books with the veneer of science that have contained incorrect and dangerous recommendations. These have served to confuse the public.

The Nutrition Science Foundation is dedicated to cutting through the clutter, separating the experts from the quacks, and helping you make informed decisions about your health and well being based on the best available scientific knowledge.

Getting Started

If you haven't seen it yet, you may want to start by seeing the movie Forks Over Knives, which has the highest recommendation we can give. Or you may want to choose from among many excellent books by the experts. To see our reviews of the best movie and books that we have found, click here.

Nutrition and Disease Studies

We think that the authors of books mentioned in the Getting Started section above do a great job of summarizing complex research studies and putting them in terms that you can easily understand. But if you want to go deeper, listed below are research papers published in respected, refereed scientific journals. We have organized them by major disease, but keep in mind that the Standard American Diet causes many of these diseases at the same time.

Heart Disease Over Weight Kidney Disease
Diabetes Cancer Vision
Alzheimer's Disease Autoimmune Diseases        Longevity
Hypertension and Stroke        Osteoporosis Food

Heart Disease

  1. Esselstyn CB et al, “A way to reverse CAD?” Journal of Family Practice, 2014, July; Vol 63, No. 7: 356-364b. This study followed 198 patients who already experienced heart disease and found that those that followed a no-added oil, whole-plant based diet suffered further heart disease events at a rate of less than 1% of those who chose not to adhere to that diet. “Though current medical and surgical treatments manage coronary artery disease, they do little to prevent or stop it. Nutritional intervention, as shown in our study and others, has halted and even reversed CAD.”
  2. “Position of the American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2009, August; 109 (7): 1266-82.    Vegetarian diets are associated with lower serum cholesterol levels, lower risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure levels, and lower risk of type 2 diabetes.  “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the lifecycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”
  3. Menotti A., et al, “Food intake patterns and 25-year mortality from coronary heart disease: cross-cultural correlations in the Seven Countries Study.”  Eur J Epidemiology, 1999 July; 15(6):507-15.  Dietary surveys were carried out on 12,763 middle-aged men in the USA, Finland, The Netherlands, Italy, former Yugoslavia, Greece, and Japan, with follow-up for vital status and mortality over a 25 year period.  Plant food (excluding alcohol) consumption was inversely correlated with mortality, while animal food consumption was directly correlated with mortality.
  4. Appleby Paul N et al, “The Oxford Vegetarian Study: an overview,” Am J Clin Nutr, 1999, Sept., vol 70 (3):525-531.  A prospective study of 6000 vegetarians and 5000 nonvegetarian control subjects in the U.K. between 1980 and 1984.  Vegans had lower total and LDL cholesterol levels than meat-eaters; vegetarians and fish-eaters had intermediate and similar values.  Meat and cheese consumption was directly correlated with total cholesterol concentration, while dietary fiber was inversely correlated.  All cause mortality in the vegetarians was half that of the population of England and Wales.  Mortality from ischemic heart disease was positively associated with intake of animal fat and dietary cholesterol.  The health of vegetarians compared favorably to control subjects.
  5. Rimm Eric, “Vegetable, fruit, and cereal intake and risk of coronary heart disease among men,” Journal of the American Medical Association, 1996, Feb.14 (275:447).  Food intakes of 51,529 male health professionals were studied.  Those in the lowest fiber group ate 12.4 grams of fiber daily; those in the highest group ate 28.9 grams.  Greater increase of fiber was associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, and of the three main contributors to total fiber intake (fruit, vegetable, and cereal), cereal fiber was the most strongly associated with that reduced risk.
  6. Esselstyn CB, Ellis SG, Medendorp SV, et al. “A strategy to arrest and reverse coronary artery disease: a 5-year longitudinal study of a single physician’s practice.” J. Family Practice 41 (1995): 560-568. Dr. Esselstyn put his patients on a plant-based, low-fat diet. “These eighteen patients originally had come to Dr. Esselstyn with severe disease. Within the eight years leading up to the study, these eighteen people had suffered through forty-nine coronary events, including angina, bypass survey, heart attacks, strokes and angioplasty. These were not healthy hearts… At the start of the study, the patients average cholesterol level was 246 mg/dL. During the course of the study, the average cholesterol was 132 mg/dL, well below the 150 mg/dL target… In the following eleven years, there was exactly one coronary event among the eighteen patients who followed the diet, in a patient that strayed from the diet for two years.” (As cited by Campbell (2006), p126-127.
  7. Segall, International Journal of Cardiology, Volume 46, Issue 3, October 1994, Pages 197-207. Specific national and ethnic data suggest that a diet low or relatively low in lactose, in populations with low or relatively low prevalence of lactose absorbers, is more consistently associated with protection against ischaemic heart disease than are high intakes of unsaturated fatty acids, wine, alcohol or dietary fibre
  8. Ornish D., Brown SE, et al, “Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease?  The Lifestyle Heart Trial.”  Lancet, 1990, Jul 21; 336 (8708):129-33 Dr. Ornish and colleagues assigned 28 patients to an experimental group, where they practiced a low-fat vegetarian diet and made other lifestyle changes.  20 patients were assigned to a control group with standard medical care.  Stenosis (narrowing of blood vessels) regressed from 40.0 to 37.8 in the experimental group yet progressed from 42.7 to 46.1 in the control group.  82% of the experimental-group patients had an average change towards regression of their heart disease.
  9. Blankenhorn DH et al, “The influence of diet on the appearance of new lesions in human coronary arteries,” JAMA 1990 Mar 23-30; 263(12):1646-52.  A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of blood lipid lowering found that a high fat diet increased risk of atherosclerotic lesions, even if the fat was monounsaturated.  Protein and carbohydrate were found to be preferred substitutes for fat calories.  (As cited in Esselstyn, Caldwell, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Penguin Books, 2007, p.85)
  10. Snowdon DA et al, “Meat consumption and fatal ischemic heart disease,” Prev Med, Sep 1984; 13(5):490-500.  In 1960, 25,153 California Seventh-Day Adventists were assessed by questionnaire.  Deaths by ischemic heart disease were recorded over the next 20 years.  There was a direct correlation between meat consumption and risk of fatal ischemic heart disease.  For men ages 45-64, the risk of dying from ischemic heart disease was three times greater in daily meat-eaters compared to those who did not eat meat.
  11. Lewis B, Hammett F et al, “Towards an improved lipid-lowering diet: additive effects of changes in nutrient intake,” Lancet 1981 Dec 12; 2(8259): 1310-3.  High fiber foods (cereals, vegetables, legumes, and fruits) were added to the diet of twelve monks in a closed abbey in the Netherlands.  Total serum cholesterol was reduced by 24-29% and LDL cholesterol by 34%.  (As cited by A. Steward Truswell in “Cholesterol and Beyond: The Research on Diet and Coronary Heart Disease 1900-2000, p.64)
  12. Morrison LM. “Arteriosclerosis.” JAMA 145 (1951): 1232-1236, and Morrison LM. “Diet in coronary atherosclerosis.” JAMA 173 (1960): 884-888. Dr. Morrison divided 100 heart attack survivors into two groups and asked one group to reduce meat consumption and prohibited cream, milk, butter and eggs. After 8 years, the survival rate for the reduced meat and fat diet was 56%, while those in the control group eating their standard diet survived at only a 24% rate. After 12 years, none of the control group remained alive, while the reduced animal fat diet group survived at a 40% rate. (As cited by Campbell (2006), p117-118.)
  13. Lyon TP, Yankley A, Gofman JW, et al. “Lipoproteins and diet in coronary heart disease.” California Med. 84 (1956): 325-328. “A group of doctors took a large group of patients with advanced heart disease and put them on a low-fat, low cholesterol diet. These doctors found that the patients who ate the low-fat, low-cholesterol diet died at a rate four times lower than patients who didn’t follow the diet.” (As cited by Campbell (2006), p119.)

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  1. Vang A et al, “Meats, processed meats, obesity, weight gain and occurrence of diabetes among adults: findings from Adventist Health Studies.”  Ann Nutr Metab, Mar 18, 2009; 52(2):96-104.  8,401 cohort members ages 45-88 were studied, who were non-diabetic at baseline.  At 17-year follow-up, diabetes case (543) were analyzed.  Long-term adherence to a diet with at least weekly meat intake was associated with a 74% increase relative to a long-term adherence to a vegetarian diet.
  1. Snowdon DA, and Phillips RL. “Does a vegetarian diet reduce the occurrence of diabetes?”  Am. J. Public Health 1985, May;75(5): 507-512. In dietary studies involving Seventh Day Adventists, scientsis compare ‘moderate’ vegetarians with ‘moderate’ meat eaters. This is not a big difference.  Even so, the Adventist vegetarians are much healthier than their meat-eating counterparts… Compared to the meat eaters, the vegetarians had about one-half the rate of diabetes. They also had almost half the rate of obesity.” (As cited in Campbell (2006), p150.)
  2. Himsworth HP. “Diet and the incidence of diabetes mellitus.” Clin Sci. 2 (1935): 117-148. “As carbohydrate intake goes up and fat intake goes down, the number of deaths from diabetes plummets from 20.4 to 2.9 per 100,000 people. The verdict? A high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet—a plant-based diet—may help to prevent diabetes.” (As cited by Campbell (2006), p149.)
  3. Barnard Neal D., Cohen, Joshua et al, “A low-fat vegan diet and a conventional diabetes diet in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: a randomized, controlled 74-week clinical trial.”  Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, May 2009, 89:5 15885-15965. 49 individuals were placed on a low-fat, vegan diet, receiving 75% of their energy from carbohydrates, 10% from fat, 15% from protein.  Participants avoided all animal products (meat, dairy, fish, eggs), avoided added oils, fried products, avocados, nuts and seeds, and favored low-glycemic index foods, such as beans and green vegetables.  Portions were unrestricted.  50 individuals were placed on a conventional diabetes diet.  The vegan diet appeared to be more effective for control of glycemia and plasma lipid concentrations.  http:///
  4. Barnard ND, Cohen J, Jenkins DJ, Turner-McGrievy G, Gloede L, Jaster B, Seidl K, Green AA, Talpers S. “A low-fat vegan diet improves glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in a randomized clinical trial in individuals with type 2 diabetes.” Diabetes Care. 2006 Aug; 29(8): 1777-83. (As cited by McDougall (2009) at
  5. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2002, 80:952-958.  “Drug therapy has consistently failed patients with type-2 diabetes, and their well-intended doctors, making the search for an alternative treatment imperative. Since the rich Western diet is agreed to be the cause of this epidemic, should diet not be the first place to look for the prevention and the cure?”   (As cited by McDougall (2009) at
  6. Gerstein, HC, “Cow’s milk exposure and Type 1 diabetes mellitus: a critical overview of the classical literature,” Diabetes Care 1994 Jan;17(1):13-19.    A review of the literature finds a consistent relationship between early exposure to cow’s milk or diminished breast-feeding and development of Type 1 diabetes.

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Alzheimer’s Disease

  1. Kang JH et al, “Fruit and vegetable consumption and cognitive decline in aging women.”  Ann Neurol, May 2005;57(5):713-20.  13,388 were followed over approx. 25 years from 1976-2001, with dietary questionnaires completed.  From 1996-2001, cognitive tests were administered.  Fruits were not associated with cognitive decline or cognition, but total vegetable intake was significantly associated with reduced decline.
  2. Whitmer RA et al, “Midlife cardiovascular risk factors and risk of dementia in late life.”  Neurology, Jan. 2005; 64(2):277-81.  A retrospective cohort study of 8,845 participants of an h.m.o. who underwent health evaluations from 1964-1973 at the ages of 40-44.  Dementia diagnoses were identified by medical records from 1994-2003.  Hypertension and high cholesterol were each associated with a significantly increased risk of dementia.
  3. Yaffe K, “Serum lipoprotein levels, statin use, and cognitive function in older women.”   Arch Neurol, Mar 2002;59(3):378-84.  An observational study of 1037 postmenopausal women.  LDL cholesterol and total serum cholesterol levels are directly associated with cognitive impairment.
  4. Kivipelto M, “Midlife vascular risk factors and late-life mild cognitive impairment: A population-based study.”  Neurology, 2001, June 26; 56(12):1683-9. 1,449 subjects were initially studied between 1972 and 1987, and were then studied again in 1998, with an average follow-up of 21 years.  Elevated serum cholesterol was a significant risk factor of mild cognitive impairment (MCI).  MCI in turn is a known predictor of Alzheimer’s Disease.  (As cited by Campbell, pp.217-218.)      
  5. Grant William B., “Incidence of Dementia and Alzheimer Disease in Nigeria and the United States,” JAMA, 2001; 285(19):248-2449.  Populations with high fat intake and low grain intake suffer higher incidence of dementia (As cited by Campbell, (2006) p.218.)        
  6. Kalmijn S et al, “Dietary fat intake and the risk of incident dementia in the Rotterdam Study,” Ann Neurol, 1997 Nov;42(5):776-82.  5,386 individuals without dementia at baseline were studied over time.  Total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol intake were associated with an increased risk of dementia, although fish intake was inversely related to the risk of dementia.     (As cited by Campbell, (2006) p.220.)

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Hypertension and Stroke

  1. Appleby PN et al, “Hypertension and blood pressure among meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians, and vegans in EPIC-Oxford,” Public Health Nutr, 2002 Oct; 5:645-54.  A large British study of more than 2000 males and nearly 9000 female participants, examined the risk of hypertension, heart disease, and stroke in meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians, and vegans.  Vegans were least likely to report hypertension (5.8% of men and 7.7% of women); meat eaters were most likely (15% of men and 12.1% of women).  Hypertension in fish eaters and vegetarians was between that of meat-eaters and vegans.  Similarly, meat eaters had the highest measured blood pressure; vegans had the lowest values; fish eaters and vegetarians had similar values that were in-between.  Non-meat eaters, especially vegans, were the leanest.  Vegans had the lowest risk of heart disease and stroke due to lower blood pressure.
  2. Gillman MW, et al, “Protective effect of fruits and vegetables on development of stroke in men.” JAMA, 1995 Apr 12; 273(14):1113-7.  832 men from The Framingham Study were free of cardiovascular disease at baseline (1966-1969) and followed up over 20 years.  Intake of fruit and vegetables appeared to have a direct protective effect against risk of stroke in men. (as cited by Campbell, (206) p219).
  3. Rouse IL et al “Vegetarian diet, blood pressure and cardiovascular risk,” Aust NZ J Med, 1984 Aug; 14(4):439-43.  98 Seventh Day Adventist vegetarians were compared to 113 Mormon omnivores in many lifestyle categories excepting diet.  The Adventist vegetarians were significantly less obese, had significantly lower blood pressures, and lower serum cholesterol levels.  Blood pressures and serum cholesterol fell significantly when the omnivores were fed a vegetarian diet.
  4. Armstrong B et al, “Blood pressure in Seventh-day Adventist vegetarians,” Am J Edpidemiology, May, 1977; 105(5):444-9.  Blood pressures in 418 vegetarian Seventh-day Adventist volunteers in Western Australia were compared with those in 290 non-vegetarian volunteers.  The mean systolic and diastolic BPs, adjusted for age, sex, height, and weight, were 128.7/76.2 for the vegetarians and 139.3/84.5 in the non-vegetarians.

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Over Weight

  1. Kroenke, CH et al, “Effects of a dietary intervention and weight change on vasomotor symptoms in the Women’s Health Initiative.”  Menopause, 2012;19(9):980-98817,473 post-menopausal women were placed either in a group placed on a low-fat diet with more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, or in a control group.  Women on the low-fat diet were more likely to lose weight and had reduced incidence of hot flashes and night sweats. (as cited in Good Medicine, PCRM, Autumn, 2012/XXI, No.4,p.5)
  2. Ferdowsian Hope R., Barnard Neal D. et al, “A Multicomponent Intervention Reduces Body Weight and Cardiovascular Risk at a GEICO Corporate Site.”  Am. J Health Promot, 2010 July-Aug; 24 (6): 384-7.  65 individuals aged 21-65, employees of the GEICO insurance company, volunteered for a 22-week intervention of a low-fat vegan diet; 44 individuals were in the control group.  Mean weight loss of the intervention group was 5.1 kg.  Weight loss of 5% of body weight was found in 48.5% of the intervention group vs. 11.1% of the control group.  Intervention group increased intake of protective nutrients, such as fiber, folate, and vitamin C, while decreasing intake of total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
  3. Berkow SE, Barnard N, “Vegetarian diets and weight status.”  Nutr. Rev. 2006, Apr, 64 (4): 175-88.  A meta-study of relevant literature found that vegetarian diets are associated with reduced body weight, lower incidence of certain chronic diseases, and lower medical costs.
  4. Barnard ND, Scialli AR et al, “The effects of a low-fat, plant-based dietary intervention on body weight, metabolism, and insulin sensitivity.” Am J Med, Sep, 2005, 118:991-97.  64 overweight, menopausal women were randomly assigned to a low-fat, vegan diet or a control diet based on National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines  (less than 30% of calories from fat), and were followed for 14 weeks.  Both groups lost weight, but the group on the vegan diet lost more, averaging nearly 13 pounds vs. 8 pounds in the control group.  Those on the vegan diet had the greater reduction in waist circumference, despite the absence of limits on portion size on the vegan diet.

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  1. Nothlings U, Wilkens LR, et al, “Meat and fat intake as risk factors for pancreatic cancer: The Multiethnic Cohort Study,” J. Nat. Cancer Inst, Oct, 2005, 97 (19):1458-65.  Data was analyzed from the Multiethnic Cohort Study to investigate associations between intake of meat, other animal products, fat, and cholesterol and pancreatic cancer risk.  During 7 years of follow-up, 482 incidents of pancreatic cancer occurred in 190,545 members of the cohort.  Those who ate the most processed meat had a 68% increased risk compared to those who ate the least.  Those eating the most red meat had a 50% greater risk compared to those eating the least red meat.
  2. Knekt P, Kumpulainen J et al, “Flavonoid intake and risk of chronic diseases.”  Amer J of Clin Nutr, Sept, 2002; 76:560-568.  Total dietary intakes were analyzed of 10,054 Finnish men and women between 1966-1972. Intake of the antioxidant flavonoid, found in fruits and vegetables, was estimated based on self-reported dietary questionnaire and analysis of flavonoid content in domestic and imported consumed foods in Finland. Thirty-year follow-up was achieved by linking to public health records and Finnish Cancer Registry. Persons with the highest flavonoid intake had lower total mortality, lower ischemic heart disease mortality, lower incidence of stroke, lower incidence of type 2 diabetes, and significantly lower total cancer incidence and lower rates of lung, breast and prostate cancer in particular.  Of all the dietary sources of flavonoids, apple intake was most strongly associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases.
  3. Fraser GE, “Associations between diet and cancer, ischemic heart disease, and all-cause mortality in non-Hispanic white California Seventh-Day Adventists.”   Am J Clin Nutr, Sep 1999; 70(3 Suppl):532S-538S. A cohort of 34,192 Adventists was studied; about half were vegetarians and about half were meat-eaters.  Cancers of the colon and prostate were significantly more likely in nonvegetarians, and frequent beef consumers also exhibited a higher risk of bladder cancer.  Intake of legumes was protective against colon and pancreatic cancer.  Higher consumption of fruit was associated with diminished risk of lung, prostate, and pancreatic cancer.  Vegetarian Adventists have lower risks of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and arthritis than nonvegetarians, and lower risk of fatal ischemic heart disease.
  4. Boyd, NF et al, “A meta-analysis of studies of dietary fat and breast cancer risk,” Br J Cancer, 1993 Sep;  68(3):627-36.  (As cited in Campbell, p.284.)  A meta-analysis of 23 studies found that meat intake increased breast cancer risk by 18% and dairy by 17%.                    
  5. Mills PK et al, “Dietary habits and past medical history as related to fatal pancreas cancer risk among Adventists.”  Cancer, June 15, 1988; 61 (12):2578-85.  The Adventists are a much-studied group because they have a high percentage of vegetarian adherents.  34,000 California Seventh-Day Adventists were studied between 1976-1983.   Increased consumption of beans, peas, lentils, and dried fruits were associated with a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer.
  6. Snowdon DA et al, “Diet, obesity, and risk of fatal prostate cancer.”  Am J Epidemiology, Aug, 1984; 120(2):244-50.  6,763 white male Seventh-day Adventists completed a dietary questionnaire in 1960.  Mortality data were collected for the next 20 years.  Suggestive positive associations were found between fatal prostate cancer and consumption of milk, cheese, eggs, and meat.
  7. Armstrong B, Doll R, “Environmental factors and cancer incidence and mortality in different countries, with special reference to dietary practices.”  Int J Cancer, 1975 Apr 15; 15(4):617-31.  Incidence rates for 27 cancers in 23 countries and mortality rates for 14 cancers in 32 countries are examined in light of dietary variables.  Meat consumption is associated with cancer of the colon and fat consumption with cancer of the breast and uterine cancer.
  8. Cho E et al, "Premenopausal Fat Intake and Risk of Breast Cancer."  Journal of the National Cancer Institute, July 16, 2003; 95:1079–85.  Intake of animal fat, mainly from red meat and high-fat  dairy  foods,  during  premenopausal  years  is  associatedwith an increased risk of breast cancer.
  9. Larsson SC et al, "Milk and lactose intakes and ovarian cancer risk in the Swedish Mammography Cohort."  Am J Clin Nutr, 2004 Nov; 80(5):1353-7.  High intakes of lactose and dairy products, particularly milk, are associated with an increased risk of serous ovarian cancer.
  10. Chan JM et al, "Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk in the Physicians' Health Study."  Am J Clin Nutr, 2001 Oct; 74(4):549-54.  Dairy products and calcium are associated with a greater risk of prostate cancer.
  11. Qin LQ et al, "Milk consumption is a risk factor for prostate cancer in Western countries: evidence from cohort studies."  Asia Pac J Clin Nutr, 2007; 16(3):467-76.  A meta-analysis was conducted which showed a positive association between the consumption of milk and dairy products and prostate cancer, suggesting that the consumption of milk and dairy products increases the risk of prostate cancer.
  12. Song Y et al, "Whole milk intake is associated with prostate cancer-specific mortality among U.S. male physicians."  J Nutr, 2013 Feb; 143(2):189-96.  The intake of total dairy products was associated with increased prostate cancer incidence, adding further evidence to suggest the potential role of dairy products in the development and prognosis of prostate cancer.

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Autoimmune Diseases

  1. Hafstrom, I et al, “A vegan diet free of gluten improves the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis: the effects on arthritis correlate with a reduction in antibodies to food antigens.” Rheumatology, 2001; 40:1175-1179.  66 patients with RA were randomized to either a gluten-free vegan diet or a non-vegan diet for one year.  Of those who completed the diet (22 vegans, 25 non-vegans), over 40% in the vegan group experienced significant improvement compared to 4% (one patient) in the non-vegan group.
  2. Kjeldsen-Kragh, Jens, “Rheumatoid Arthritis treated with vegetarian diets.” Am J Clin Nutr, Sep 1999; 70(3):594s-600s.  27 patients with RA fasted for 7-10 days, then followed a gluten-free, vegan diet for 3.5 months, followed by a lactovegetarian diet for 9 months.  They were compared with 26 patients in a contrl group.  A vegetarian diet was found to have a favorable influence on disease activity.
  3. Butcher JT, “The distribution of multiple sclerosis in relation to the dairy industry and milk consumption.” New Zealand Med J. 83 (1976):427-430. A “striking” direct correlation exists between the worldwide distribution of dairy consumption and the incidence of multiple sclerosis.

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  1. Tucker, Katherine L et al, “Bone mineral density and dietary patterns in older adults: the Framingham Osteoporosis Study.” Am J of Clinical Nutrition, July 2002; 76(1)245-252.  907 Framingham Heart Study patients completed food questionnaires and had bone mineral density measured.  High fruit and vegetable intake was protective for men.
  2. Frassetto LA ET AL, “Worldwide incidence of hip fracture in elderly women: rlation to consumption of animal and vegetable foods.” J Gerontology Oct 2000; 55(10):M585-92.  Hip fracture incidence in 33 countries was analyzed in relation to animal and vegetable protein consumption.  Those countries with the highest hip fracture incidence consumed the most animal protein, whereas vegetable protein intake exceeded animal protein intake in the countries with the lowest hip fracture incidence.  The acid load of animal protein is posited as the precursor to bone loss, whereas vegetable foods are a rich source of base (bicarbonate). (As cited by Campbell, 2006, p.206)
  3. Abelow, BJ et al, “Cross-cultural association between dietary animal protein and hip fracture: a hypothesis.”  Calcif Tissue Int, 1992 Jan; 50(1):14-8.  Female fracture rates in 34 published studies in 16 countries were regressed against estimate of animal protein intake.  A positive association was found between animal protein intake and hip fracture. (As cited by Campbell, 2006, p.205)
  4. Kerstetter JE and Allen LH, “Dietary Protein Increases Urinary Calcium.”  J. Nutr. 120 (1990):134-136.  This review of the available literature concludes that protein intakes above the RDA results in increased calcium loss in the urine. (As cited by Campbell, 2006, p.205)

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Kidney Disease

  1. Robertson WG et al, “Dietary changes and the incidence of urinary calculi in the U.K. between 1958 and 1976” Journal of Chronic Diseases, 1979; 32(6):469-476.  A retrospective study finds a direct relationship between hospitalizations for urinary calculi and consumption of animal protein. (as cited by Campbell, 2006, p.211)
  2. Robertson WG et al, “Should recurrent calcium oxalate stone formers become vegetarians?” Brit J. Urology 1979, Dec; 51(6):427-431. The probability of forming kidney stones is increased by a high animal protein diet.  A low or zero animal protein intake is associated with a low excretion of calcium, oxalate and uric acid, and a low risk of stone formation. (as cited by Campbell, 2006, p.211)

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  1. Christen WG et al, “Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cataract in women.” Am J Clin Nutr 2005 Jun; 81(6):1417-22.  39,876 female health professionals were assessed in 1993 and followed up for an average of 10 years.  Those women with the highest intake of fruits and vegetables had a 10-15% reduced risk of cataracts.
  2. Seddon, JM et al, “Dietary carotenoids, vitamins A, C, and E, and advanced age-related macular degeneration.” JAMA 1994 Nov 9; 272(18):1413-20.  356 subjects diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration were studied in relation to diet and compared to 520 control subjects.  Higher intake of foods rich in carotenoids, particularly dark green, leafy vegetables, was associated with a decreased risk of advanced macular degeneration. (as cited by Campbell,2006,p.214)
  3. Eye Disease Case-Control Study Group, “Antioxidant status ad neovascular age-related macular degeneration.”  Arch Ophthalmol 1993, Jan; 111(1):104-9.  Diet of 421 patients with age-related macular degeneration was examined and compared with a control group of 615.  Persons with “medium” and “high” intake of carotenoids reduced their risk of macular degeneration to approx. one-half and one-third that of those in the “low” group. (as cited by Campbell, 2006, p.215)

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  1. Singh PN, “Does low meat consumption increase life expectancy in humans?”  Am J Clin Nutr, Sep 2003; 78 (3 Suppl):526S-532S.  A review of six studies found that a very low meat intake was associated with a significant decrease in risk of death in four studies, a non-significant decrease in risk of death in a fifth study, and no association in the sixth.  There was some indication in 2 of the studies that a longer duration of adherence to this diet appeared to contribute to a significant decrease in mortality risk.

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