Cas Lek Cesk. 1997 Dec; 136(23): 715-9.
[Risks and advantages of the vegetarian diet]
The authors summarize the health risks and advantages of alternative nutrition-lactovegetarian, lactoovovegetarian and vegan. These dietary patterns involve risk in particular during pregnancy, lactation and for the growing organism. Veganism excluding all foods of animal origin involves the greatest risk. General nutritional principles for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, oncological diseases and diabetes are fully met by the vegetarian diet. Vegetarians and vegans have low risk factors of atherosclerosis and conversely higher levels of antisclerotic substances. Overthreshold values of essential antioxidants in vegetarians imply a protective action against reactive metabolic oxygen products and toxic products of lipid peroxidation and may reduce the incidence of free radical diseases. The authors also draw attention to some still open problems of vegetarianism (higher n-3 fatty acids, taurine, carnitine). In the conclusion semivegetarianism is evaluated.