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Thread: The Official Health Vegan Argument - Pro

  1. #1
    Anti-anti-vacccine Dandelion's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    Chicago, Illinois, United States

    The Official Health Vegan Argument - Pro

    Ok what are the arguments FOR health for veganism? As always please provide specific research if possible although it is not necessary to contribute.

  2. #2
    Peaceful Warrior VegeTexan's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    The Heart of Texas
    Numerous studies have linked dairy products to a variety of cancers,
    including prostate, breast and ovarian cancer.

    Cramer DW, Harlow BL, Willet WC. Galactose consumption and metabolism in relation to the risk of ovarian cancer. Lancet 1989;2:66-71.

    Outwater JL, Nicholson A, Barnard N. Dairy products and breast cancer: the IGF-1, estrogen, and bGH hypothesis. Medical Hypothesis 1997;48:453-61.

    Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci E, et al. Plasma insulin-like growth factor-1 and prostate cancer risk: a prospective study. Science 1998;279:563-5.

    World Cancer Research Fund. Food, Nutrition, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. American Institute of Cancer Research. Washington, D.C.: 1997.

  3. #3
    A recent large meta-analysis found no relationship between calcium intake and fracture rates. There goes the dairy industry's biggest advertising claim (not that the ads' lack of scientific support hasn't been demonstrated previously).

    Bischoff-Ferrari et al. 2007. Calcium intake and hip fracture risk in men and women: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies and randomized controlled trials. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 86: 1780-1790.

    I guess this isn't so much an argument for veganism as it is removing a supposed "argument" for consuming or obsessing over milk.

  4. #4 epski's Avatar
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    May 2003
    Allston, MA
    Unfortunately, there's not a preponderance of information arguing that health is a compelling reason to go and stay entirely vegan. In fact, it is probably easier to eat a plant-based diet with minimal animal products included occasionally and still have the same benefit. That said...

    Some random preamble from another speech I've given, and I'll try only to excerpt supported passages. After this, I have categories I'll post as separate replies, like I did for the environmental argument.

    • According to the Harvard School of Public Health's professor of epidemiology and nutrition, Dr. Walter Willett, 40% of the world's cancer cases could be prevented through the adoption of diets rich in grains, fruit and vegetables--in other words, plant-based diets.
    • Since 1961, meat consumption in the U.S. has risen by about 75 pounds per person, per year. That's 32%! (FAO)
    Last edited by epski; 05-01-2008 at 10:01 PM. Reason: bullets

  5. #5 epski's Avatar
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    May 2003
    Allston, MA

    Heart Disease

    • 3,000 Americans experience a heart attack every day. 40% of them die as a result. Survivors, rarely taking the steps the they need to in order to reverse heart disease, often go on to have another life-threatening heart attack. (PCRM -- not sure their source)
    • The Framingham Heart Study found that, in 35 years of research, not one person in the study with a cholesterol level below 150 had a heart attack.
    • Vegan diets are much lower in saturated fat, and have four times the cholesterol-lowering power of so-called chicken-and-fish diets. (PCRM)
    • At Stanford University, a study reported that subjects following a vegetarian diet experienced a drop in both total and "bad" LDL cholesterol, twice the drop of participants who followed the recommended American Heart Association diet.
    • A study by several doctors at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto showed that a vegetarian diet reduced LDL by about 30% in only four weeks, reducing patients' risk of heart disease by 60%.

    There were a few other unsourced bits that I left out above.

  6. #6 epski's Avatar
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    Allston, MA


    • Dr. Dean Ornish has shown that prostate cancer patients on a vegetarian diet showed no signs of disease progression at all. In fact, their bodies showed 8x the ability to inhibit the prostate cancer than did patients following a meat-centered diet. (don't have the specific study linked, but "Ornish" usually does the trick, and it is easy to find this study online)
    • Eating only two ounces of red meat a day long-term can increase the odds of rectal cancer by as much as 40%, according to a large study in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
    • Women who ate 1.5 servings of meat every day had nearly twice the breast cancer risk of those who ate fewer than three servings per week, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
    • A Harvard study found that frequent egg consumption resulted in a sixfold increase in colon cancer.
      Another Harvard study found that the consumption of dairy products is associated with a greater risk of prostate cancer, the leading cancer in men after lung cancer.
    • The American Cancer Society itself has stated that "lifelong vegetarianism is linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer." (again, on the last several, I don't have specific names or links to those studies or statements, but they are out there and shouldn't be impossible to find -- at least you have the school names, etc.)
    Last edited by epski; 05-01-2008 at 09:59 PM. Reason: added bullets

  7. #7 epski's Avatar
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    Allston, MA


    • Neal Barnard's got a whole new book on how veganism basically cures diabetes. Worth checking out, I'd imagine.
    • The risk of diabetes rises with the amount of meat consumed during the course of a typical week, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota
    • A study in England found that vegan diets were protective of the specific cells that produce insulin.
    • In an investigation performed at the University of Toronto, vegan diets lowered blood sugar level about 3 times more strongly than the standard prescribed diet. After 22 weeks on a vegan diet, 43% of the diabetics could stop taking medication or decrease medication quantities, compared to 26% of those who followed the standard prescribed diet. Diabetics following a vegan diet lost an average of twice the weight of a standard diet and cholesterol went down twice as much. Even the kidneys functioned better. Additional advantage: The researchers found that it was easier to commit to a vegan diet because the quantities and the number of calories didnít have to be calculated. It was a vegan free-for-all.

  8. #8 epski's Avatar
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    Allston, MA


    • Population studies, backed up by a groundbreaking 12-year Harvard study of 78,000 nurses, suggest that drinking milk can actually cause osteoporosis.
    • In one study, funded by the National Dairy Council itself, a group of postmenopausal women were given three 8-ounce glasses of skim milk every day for two years, and their bones were compared to those of a control group of women not given the milk. The dairy group consumed 1,400mg of calcium per day and still they lost bone at twice the rate of the control group.
    • As if to rebuke the industry for its misleading advertising, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded, "The body of scientific evidence appears to be inadequate to support a recommendation for daily intake of dairy foods to promote bone health in the general U.S. population."
    • A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2000 looked at all aspects of diet and bone health and found that high consumption of fruits and vegetables positively affected bone health and that dairy consumption did not.
    • Furthermore, according to the USDA, calcium is better absorbed from bok choy, kale, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli, all of which contain more calcium than cow's milk per 100 calorie serving.

  9. #9
    someday maybe KaliMama's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    wheels on the ground
    I like this source for its plain language backed up with references. It could have gone in either environmental or health, but this thread (health) seems to need some love more than the other one.

    101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian (2007) by Pamela Rice, who's vegan but doesn't like the word vegan. Or something. Anywho, the link goes to the html version:

    3 When people adhere to a diet rich in animal fat and protein and get little exercise, cancer risks are increased. Beef consumption raises the level of toxic substances called N-nitroso compounds, which are formed in the large bowel. The substances are believed to stick to DNA, making mutations more likely. Dietary fiber could be helpful in repairing the damage. But only plant foods contain it.
    This link is to the pdf, which includes references. Fancy!

    And here is a handy table of contents for quick reference (with links!) :

    Table of Contents

    Click on number to go right to the reason number
    1. Cheap meat, a function of animal cruelty, has become ubiquitous throughout our culture

    2. It's the manure, stupid: some startling facts and figures about the back end of meat

    3. Now, would you like a little cancer with that fat and protein in your burger?

    4. Humans are scouring the oceans of fish; come 2048, say goodbye to fish stocks

    5. Humane Slaughter Act: so worthless, it's hardly worth the paper it's written on

    6. Survive the heart attack, live with the heart failure; of course there are alternatives

    7. Farmed animals: creatures, all, possess abundant abilities, intelligence, and heart

    8. As we cycle grain through animals, feed-to-flesh ratios tell a story of shameful waste

    9. Antibiotic resistance: end product of on-farm use of antibiotics for growth promotion

    10. Meat pathogens sicken thousands annually, and the economic cost is surprisingly steep
    There's a book as well, but whatever. I'm having too much fun with the online stuff.
    ~WARNING: this post may contain jokes~

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