The Adventist Health Study – 2

Latest findings from the Adventist Health Study – 2 (AHS-2) add to the evidence that shows diets devoid of animal products help to provide protection against chronic diseases.

 The landmark AHS-2 study started in 2002 and included about 96,000 Adventist participants in the United States and Canada, making it one of the most comprehensive diet studies ever.

 The AHS-2 compares groups of people within the same cohort of Seventh Day Adventists, which helps highlight the effects of different dietary patterns and food consumption within the population. The researchers categorized dietary patterns along a spectrum: vegans who eat no animal products; lacto-ovo vegetarians who eat no meat but do eat eggs and/or dairy foods; pesco-vegetarians who eat fish but no other meats; semivegetarians who eat meats aside from fish occasionally but less than weekly; and nonvegetarians who eat meats aside from fish at least once per week..

 The linear relationships among dietary patterns and a variety of health outcomes point to vegan diets as providing the most protection against common chronic diseases.

The only biomarkers studied that did not show a difference between vegans and   non-vegetarians were Insulin-like Growth Factors 1 and 3.

 It’s important to remember that vegans don’t necessarily follow a Whole Food Plant Based Diet.  Many vegan study participants may be consuming mock meats that contain isolated soy protein, which has been shown to increase IGF-1 levels.   This may explain why no difference was found between vegans and nonvegetarians in respect to IGF-1.

 Click here to access a great article written by Sharon Palmer RD that describes some specific findings from the AHS-2 study.

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