High heart attack risks in vegans can be cut by omega-3s and B12

February 3rd, 2011 - 2:10 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb 3 (ANI): A new study has suggested that including more omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 in their diet could help vegans reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Though meat eaters are at higher risk for having a significantly higher combination of cardiovascular risk factors, scientists say strict vegetarians may be lacking several key nutrients that also put them at risk for heart attack and stroke.

The findings come from a review of dozens of articles published on the biochemistry of vegetarianism over the last 30 years.

It suggested that though a vegan diet provides adequate protein, it might be lacking in iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids.

As a result, vegans tend to have lower levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol and higher blood levels of homocysteine that put them at risk for heart disease.

The findings led the researchers to conclude that ‘vegetarians and vegans could benefit from increased dietary intake of n-3 PUFA and vitamin B12, thus reducing the chances of developing blood clots and cardiovascular disease.

The article appears in ACS’ bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. (ANI)

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