Oxford University Study Shows Vegetarian Diet Reduces Heart Disease Risk by up to a Third

If you’re at all concerned about heart disease, you need to consider making plant foods most your diet. The film Planeat from Disinformation affiliate True Mind highlighted the groundbreaking work of doctors T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn, in which they demonstrated the benefits of plant-based diets for treating heart disease (not just reducing risk). Now Channel 4 News reports that in the biggest ever study of its kind in the UK, researchers from Oxford University have found a vegetarian diet dramatically reduces the risk of heart disease:

Fancy a burger tonight? A new report might make you think again about your dinner. Researchers from the University of Oxford have analysed the diets of almost 45,000 volunteers in England and Scotland, to compare the rates of heart disease in those who do, and don’t eat meat and fish.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that vegetarians had a 32 per cent lower risk of falling ill or dying from heart disease.

Dr Francesca Crowe, who lead the team from the university’s cancer epidemiology unit, said: “Most of the difference in risk is probably caused by effects on cholesterol and blood pressure, and shows the important role of diet in the prevention of heart disease.”

The research was funded by Cancer Research UK and the Medical Research Council, and began recruiting volunteers to take part during the 1990s. Around a third of the participants were vegetarian.

The volunteers were asked detailed questions about their diet and exercise, as well as other factors which might affect health, like smoking, alcohol consumption, and educational and socio-economic background.

Those who didn’t eat meat or fish had lower blood pressures and levels of cholesterol than the others, which the experts concluded was the main factor behind the reduced risk of heart disease.

Other research already shows people are already becoming inclined to eat less meat. Global food trends agency Thefoodpeople carried out a study earlier this month, predicting a 50 per cent surge in vegetarianism in the UK.

They also found the number of people adopting a semi-meat, or flexitarian diet was also rapidly increasing. The agency’s director, Charles Banks described it as a mega-trend: “20 years ago vegetarianism was scoffed at, but of late there has been a seismic shift in attitudes towards celebrating vegetables and opting to eat less meat.”…

[continues at Channel 4 News]


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64 Comments on "Oxford University Study Shows Vegetarian Diet Reduces Heart Disease Risk by up to a Third"

  1. Woodchuck | Jan 31, 2013 at 9:24 am |

    I thought this was common knowledge.

  2. "Big" Richard Johnson | Jan 31, 2013 at 9:48 am |

    Vegetarian diets also increase douchiness by a third.

    • Kevin Leonard | Jan 31, 2013 at 10:06 am |

      try being a vegetarian in a room full of meat eaters. you will discover really quickly who the biggest douches are.

      • In my experience many, but not all, meat eaters are defensive and project a lot.

        • Kevin Leonard | Jan 31, 2013 at 1:07 pm |

          i concur with your analysis

          • "Big" Richard Johnson | Jan 31, 2013 at 2:36 pm |

            My point has yet to be refuted. Also, Hitler.

          • Kevin Leonard | Jan 31, 2013 at 2:57 pm |

            Your point comes with no logical proof to refute. Also, Buddha, da Vinci, Edison, Plato, Pythagorus, Einstein, Tesla…

          • Your point is retarded and deserves no refutation. Its like associating everyone who has a mustache with hitler.

          • "Big" Richard Johnson | Feb 1, 2013 at 1:17 am |


          • John Brown | Jan 31, 2013 at 4:06 pm |

            Umm… nice going google researcher. Hitler actually ate liver, meat dumplings and consumed chicken/beef broth with food. The vegetarian thing is a myth. Try again.

          • "Big" Richard Johnson | Feb 1, 2013 at 1:17 am |

            Umm..nice going vegan nazi, Hitler actually wrote about you in Mein Kampf.

      • "Big" Richard Johnson | Feb 1, 2013 at 1:18 am |

        Explain why vegetarians are so predisposed to being violent rapists.

    • "Big" Richard Johnson | Feb 1, 2013 at 1:18 am |


      I bet they continue trying to debate me, with their smart brains.

      • symbiont | Feb 1, 2013 at 2:25 am |

        Whose dumber…people who think others comments are serious…or people who actually have fun trolling every article they come across :p

      • Kevin Leonard | Feb 1, 2013 at 8:56 am |

        I know you are trolling. Calling it out doesn’t make you smarter. It just makes you a bigger douche.

  3. lol @ ‘celebrating vegetables’

    This is good news for me – being Vegan.
    I primarily live on: Malt Extract, mushrooms, peas and oat flakes.

  4. moremisinformation | Jan 31, 2013 at 11:03 am |

    For refutation of this, see Sally Fallon’s work (via the Weston Price Foundation) in, amongst other sources, The Oiling Of America.

  5. Chaos_Dynamics | Jan 31, 2013 at 11:51 am |

    Input/output efficiencies are necessary to achieve optimum functionality of the human bio-machine.

    This should be clearly self evident – however -there is quite a modern disconnect to self so these concepts are a little more challenging.

  6. Every individual has different needs. Some would benefit as vegetarian, others woud suffer. Knew a guy who couldn’t produce children as a vegetarian. Started eatin meat and stopped shootin blanks. Whoda thunk it?

    • Kevin Leonard | Jan 31, 2013 at 1:08 pm |

      naturally, there could be many other factors

      • Supposedly tofu and soy in general increases estrogen levels, though I don’t think he ate it.

        • Kevin Leonard | Jan 31, 2013 at 1:34 pm |

          I’m not saying that the switch didn’t have an impact. I’m just saying that it fallacious to jump to conclusions that the switch was the cause of his infertility reversal.

          But I agree 100% that individual bodies have individual needs.

          • I’m not a vegetarian, but when I was, I did feel healthier. But I don’t know if I would have had enough energy to do hard physical labor, and it was tough to not eat meat when I was hiking. I don’t think vegetarianism is much of a health issue as it is an ethical/metaphysical issue. I agree with it more from the ethical standpoint. Although, cows and pigs would not enjoy the gift of life if we don’t raise them for food.

          • Kevin Leonard | Jan 31, 2013 at 6:28 pm |

            you think cows and pigs raised for food would consider life a gift? are you being serious?

          • When raised in a humane manner, yes. I’ve seen it, and they seemed as happy as pigs in shit. Tastes much better than industrial meat, too.

          • Kevin Leonard | Jan 31, 2013 at 7:11 pm |

            unfortunately, “when raised in a humane manner” is not the norm

          • http://www.arimifoods.com/the-maasai-paradox-high-fatty-meat-and-milk-consumption-but-no-signs-of-cholesterol/

            Pigs in a instance would eat you without thinking if they were hungry enough, even Cow are not strictly vegetarian as they will eat lizards and eggs if they come across them grazing. I bet you these stupid scientist did not take into account that high processed carbohydrates etc cause more heart disease than saturated ever will… http://www.arimifoods.com/the-maasai-paradox-high-fatty-meat-and-milk-consumption-but-no-signs-of-cholesterol/

            We evovled as omnivores and thats the way im staying…its also well proven that vegetarian people do not live longer than non-vegetarians…. seems like weak statistical science….. and its these same wanking scientists that try and tell us how to live our lifes?

            Myths of Vegetarianism


          • Kevin Leonard | Feb 1, 2013 at 8:44 am |

            I do not make the most of the arguments you are refuting.
            I’m not a vegetarian for many of those reasons. I’m a pescetarian.
            Regarding Myth #15, though.
            I really hate being this type of person.
            But look up the freely available documentary “Earthlings” (not for the sensitive type)
            and tell me that is a myth.

          • Kevin Leonard | Feb 1, 2013 at 8:54 am |

            I feel very strongly that the only diet which is bad is one that consists of daily processed foods.
            I don’t feel that veganism or strict vegetarianism is sustainable for the long term, though if done properly, they can be a very healing diet for durations up to a year. And lacto-ovo vegetarianism is fine with proper vitamin supplementation and eating a wide variety of foods with essential amino acids. I do not think these are the diets our bodies were “designed” for.

            Above all, I think that everyone should have the right to eat what they want to eat.

          • ‘Although, cows and pigs would not enjoy the gift of life if we don’t raise them for food.’

            Imo: industrially generating beings, in the hell of corporeal form, before violently(?) murdering them; is no virtue.

            Aren’t cows bred for milk too?

          • Yes, but is raising a cow or other animal for meat with nice pasture and pleasant conditions a virtue? Especially if they wouldn’t exist if you didn’t raise them?

          • lol With a view to slaughtering them later? – No.

            As Buddhism teaches: Existence is suffering.

          • But so is non-existence 😉

          • Strange; I’d deem that Nirvana.

          • Kevin Leonard | Feb 1, 2013 at 9:32 am |

            The problem, jnana, is that unless you are buying your meat from a local farm or farmer’s market, and you have visited the farm and seen how they raise and slaughter the animals, you would be safe to bet that the animals are not being treated humanely.

          • True.
            But if you do raise them yourself, you have given that individual animal the gift of life. I would treat them humanely up until they’re slaughtered. As a species, most farm animals would not exist without us. And as an individual animal, they would not enjoy life, either. I have thought a lot about being vegetarian for ethical reasons, and this idea finally occurred to me.
            I still consider vegetarianism though, because if aliens or higher species were raising me for food, I would not be happy, and would consider it immoral, especially if they didn’t need to. Although, if one is unconscious of this, is it still immoral?

          • Kevin Leonard | Feb 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm |

            I make no moral judgements against meat-eaters.
            I have family who raise and slaughter their own pigs. They love their animals and even name them. They nourish the animals and the animals ultimately nourish them.
            I have respect for hunters who eat what they kill (not for trophy hunters, though).
            I have never said and will never say that I will never eat meat again (I still eat fish).
            But the simple truth is that the extreme majority of meat consumed in the US comes from unhealthy animals shot full of antibiotics and steroids and killed inhumanely. That is something I choose to not take part in.

          • Ask the cows and pigs what they think about this.
            Do you think that we should start slavery and cloning / producing of slabes? If we didn’t produce them in the first place (though, they are being abused) they wouldn’t enjoy the ‘gift of life’, right? Damn… what fucked up your morals?

        • The way I understand this, soy is what men that use steroids take to cycle down so they will not develop breasts. Soy contains synthetic estrogen. It tricks the body into thinking it already has estrogen in the system and shuts down the natural production. Thus preventing the development of breasts in body builders that use steroids.

    • Chaos_Dynamics | Jan 31, 2013 at 2:30 pm |

      Interestingly carnivorous diets are linked to penile flaccidity relating to the influence on blood flow characteristics.

      ie; Viagra use amongst vegetarians specifically vegans would be statistically reduced or measurably increased amongst carnivore population.

      Certain age factors must be considered for complete understanding.

  7. lazy_friend | Jan 31, 2013 at 3:22 pm |

    A Balanced diet is best. I’ve heard of people becoming sick from getting their protein solely via soy. Plus, too much insoluble fiber can be detrimental to the digestive system. I can see how the drop in cholesterol could help, but nutrition is complex. To me, the problem is that people eat too much meat and not enough plants.

    • Trevor Smith | Jan 31, 2013 at 4:24 pm |

      While its true that there is LOADS of unhealthy vegetarians of all sorts, their mistakes doesn’t necessary invalidate the idea that not eating meat is the the way to go.

      You can actually get protein via many sources besides soy

    • Kevin Leonard | Jan 31, 2013 at 6:57 pm |

      I met a gentleman once who swore that he had not eaten anything but fruit since he was 18, that his body lacked the digestive enzymes to process anything else. No matter what else he ate, he got cramping, diarrhea, undigested food, etc. He was fit. I guessed he was about 38/39 years old. He told me he was 53.

      Babies are tripling their weight in the first year of life.
      The perfect food? Breast milk.
      Protein in breast milk? ~3%

      Google “the protein myth”

      • lazy_friend | Jan 31, 2013 at 11:37 pm |

        I eat protein when I need to rebuild muscle faster after working out and it works, look at body builders. Being fit is one thing, rebuilding strong muscle fast is another. Reading something and it being true are two different things. I’ve read the protein myth and it makes sense but putting it to practical use at the gym, the theory falls short. Sure you don’t need a lot of protein for normal life, since you are not hurting your muscles in a sedentary lifestyle most office workers operate under. I don’t drink protein shakes unless I am working out, but you do need it if you want you work outs to bring results fast. Vegetarian animals that build big muscles, take longer to build them and are grazing all the time. I don’t have time to be eating 6 to 8 times a day, so I drink concentrated protein when I need to, speeding up the metabolic processes. It all depends on the life style of the person involved. Babies are not building 70+ pounds of pure muscle in the first year so 3 % is fine, their heads, their brains, which is what that breast milk is really for is also heavy and they also have body fat adding to the weight. If you need to rebuild muscle from athletic performance, a specialized form of concentrated protein really works. A balanced diet with a small amount of no processed foods is best, I also can’t dealt with whole grain so basing a diet on that is out of the question. Fruits I can dig and I can see myself living off them, but they would not help me build muscle fast after a work out and I would need to eat a lot of them to sustain my level of activity..

        • Kevin Leonard | Feb 1, 2013 at 8:37 am |

          More than muscle is made from protein
          but there is also this

          • lazy_friend | Feb 1, 2013 at 2:23 pm |

            That’s a gimmick, you can obviously see from the style of the site. I know more than muscle is made from protein, don’t try to rationalize things by patronizing me, that’s a poor way to discuss something, one of the other parts of the body that is protein based are various neurotransmitter receptors in the brain. I’ll take your vegan body building gimmick link and raise you an Ashton Kutcher hospitalized over fruitarian diet for up n coming steve jobs movie http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Ashton-Kutcher-Steve-Jobs-Apple,20770.html#xtor=RSS-998 explain that, dont be lazy. A balanced diet is best and that is obvious to see.

          • Kevin Leonard | Feb 1, 2013 at 3:28 pm |

            You are telling me to not be lazy after dismissing something as a gimmick. Perfect.

            I am not suggesting that a fruitarian diet is sustainable for everyone. But I have no reason to doubt the man I met. He wasn’t a poser and made no mention of his diet until I asked him.

            What I’m suggesting is that we may not know everything about the body and its requirements.
            To be clear. I’m not suggesting people should try that, either.

            I wasn’t intentionally patronizing you, either. But you seemed to not take into account all of the other ways that a baby utilizes protein.

            My point with the link was that it is possible to get all of the protein for a body builder without eating meat.

            It requires more meal planning, to be sure. And as I have state elsewhere in this thread, I don’t consider veganism or even lacto-ovo vegetarianism as a natural diet. However, if one chooses to live this way, no matter what their activities, it is possible to meet all of their nutritional requirements without consuming animal flesh.

          • lazy_friend | Feb 1, 2013 at 3:45 pm |

            That’s better. The site is just gimmicky, i’ve been around the internets long enough to be able to tell a scam from a mile away. Well if something is not good for everyone than its not a scientific success from the point of view of a Dietitian. I know for a fact that a balanced is good for everyone and I can say that with complete confidence, and this is where I’ll end this discussion. The whole vegetarian diet argument should be self evident and its not, but the benefits of a balanced diet is. All the best, eat everything. If you don’t want to murder animals, I can understand you choice in diet but its not healthier from a human stand point just because its vegetarian. If I were to “meat” all my nutritional and caloric requirements for my activity level with a vegetarian diet , I would need to eat a whole lot of grass, if I eat too many greens my stomach cramps, but if I eat them coupled with meats and carbs its digestion perfection.

          • Kevin Leonard | Feb 1, 2013 at 3:56 pm |

            I can’t argue with that. Cheers to your health.

        • Noah_Nine | May 28, 2013 at 3:38 am |

          we get it dude… you work out… sheesh…

      • moremisinformation | Feb 1, 2013 at 12:38 am |

        I googled it. Nothing useful happened. Can I have my money back?

        • Kevin Leonard | Feb 1, 2013 at 8:38 am |

          You don’t get your money back just because you didn’t enjoy the show.

  8. Trevor Smith | Jan 31, 2013 at 4:23 pm |

    My talk with a researcher whose discovered the evolutionary impacts of died on brain/endocrine development and how we all could be essentially brain damaged:


  9. lazy_friend | Jan 31, 2013 at 11:40 pm |

    Well this person was getting it from soy milk because it was the source available to them and it made them sick. Too much fiber is bad too, especially for males, it does not digest and it pushes everything else that needs to be digest at high rate around the digestive system not giving the body enough time to extract nutrients . I am all about the balanced diet, the middle path is best . Extremes to me, are part of the problem.

  10. I know it isn’t but it should be. People still see meat as the holy grail of food just because of habit and meat industry propaganda.

    • Or because it simply tastes good to those who enjoy eatting it. Eatting meat, as with anything, has it’s pros and cons, e.g eatting too much fruit in one sitting will give you the shits.

  11. Gosh 51 comments. This topic’s red meat for Disinfonians.

  12. Apathesis | Feb 1, 2013 at 7:38 pm |

    Vegetables don’t sate my hunger.

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