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September 2019

Fortschr Med. 1995 Jun; 113(16): 239-42.

[Effects of a vegetarian life style on health]

Ritter MM, Richter WO.

Medizinische Klinik II, Klinikum Grosshadern der Universität München.

A vegetarian diet has a positive effect on various risk factors for coronary artery disease: these include usually lower average body weight, lower total and LDL cholesterol levels, and lower blood pressure. In conjunction with a generally more healthy way of life (more exercise, less alcohol and tobacco use), vegetarians have roughly 30% reduction in overall mortality. The prevalence of bronchial, colon and breast cancer is also lower. In particular in its strict form (total vegetarianism or veganism), a vegetarian regimen may lead to deficiency disorders, in particular vitamin B12 deficiency, which may occur especially in vegetarian children, pregnant or lactating women. Overall, however, a vegetarian regimen has a more beneficial effect on health than the usual Central European diet.

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