Vegetarians have healthier disease markers than meat eaters
A study presented at this year’s European Congress on Obesity (ECO) revealed that vegetarians appear to have a healthier disease biomarker profile than meat-eaters. In the study that included over 166,000 UK adults, the researchers from the University of Glasgow compared the participants’ dietary choices and their blood and urine biomarkers related to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, liver, bone and joint health, and kidney function. They found that compared to meat-eaters, vegetarians had significantly lower levels of such 13 biomarkers. But the same study also found that vegetarians had lower levels of beneficial biomarkers including high-density lipoprotein 'good' (HDL) cholesterol, and vitamin D and calcium (linked to bone and joint health) compared to meat-eaters. Those who do not eat red meat, poultry or fish (vegetarian) also had a significantly higher level of fats (triglycerides) in the blood and cystatin-C (suggesting a poorer kidney condition).