E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Vegan diets and Human health"

Quicklinks

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Mark Messina

Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California, USA
Guest Editor
Dr. Virginia Messina

Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California, USA

Special Issue Information

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • Plant protein and sports nutrition
  • alpha-linolenic acid
  • mineral status on plant-based diets
  • anti-nutrients in plant foods
  • vegan diets and cancer risk
  • vegan diets and heart disease
  • vegan diets and bone health
  • calcium from plant foods
  • vitamin B12 status of vegans
  • iron status of vegans
  • dietary zinc for vegetarian
  • vegan diets and diabetes
  • vegan diets and obesity
  • vegan diets for pregnancy

Published Papers (8 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-8
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Evaluation of a Validated Food Frequency Questionnaire for Self-Defined Vegans in the United States
Nutrients 2014, 6(7), 2523-2539; doi:10.3390/nu6072523
Received: 19 March 2014 / Revised: 20 June 2014 / Accepted: 27 June 2014 / Published: 8 July 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (236 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This study aimed to develop and validate a de novo food frequency questionnaire for self-defined vegans in the United States. Diet histories from pilot samples of vegans and a modified ‘Block Method’ using seven selected nutrients of concern in vegan diet patterns, [...] Read more.
This study aimed to develop and validate a de novo food frequency questionnaire for self-defined vegans in the United States. Diet histories from pilot samples of vegans and a modified ‘Block Method’ using seven selected nutrients of concern in vegan diet patterns, were employed to generate the questionnaire food list. Food frequency responses of 100 vegans from 19 different U.S. states were obtained via completed mailed questionnaires and compared to multiple telephone-conducted diet recall interviews. Computerized diet analyses were performed. Correlation coefficients, t-tests, rank, cross-tabulations, and probability tests were used to validate and compare intake estimates and dietary reference intake (DRI) assessment trends between the two methods. A 369-item vegan-specific questionnaire was developed with 252 listed food frequency items. Calorie-adjusted correlation coefficients ranged from r = 0.374 to 0.600 (p < 0.001) for all analyzed nutrients except calcium. Estimates, ranks, trends and higher-level participant percentile placements for Vitamin B12 were similar with both methods. Questionnaire intakes were higher than recalls for most other nutrients. Both methods demonstrated similar trends in DRI adequacy assessment (e.g., significantly inadequate vitamin D intake among vegans). This vegan-specific questionnaire can be a useful assessment tool for health screening initiatives in U.S. vegan communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegan diets and Human health)
Open AccessArticle Comparison of Nutritional Quality of the Vegan, Vegetarian, Semi-Vegetarian, Pesco-Vegetarian and Omnivorous Diet
Nutrients 2014, 6(3), 1318-1332; doi:10.3390/nu6031318
Received: 14 January 2014 / Revised: 6 March 2014 / Accepted: 11 March 2014 / Published: 24 March 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (208 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The number of studies comparing nutritional quality of restrictive diets is limited. Data on vegan subjects are especially lacking. It was the aim of the present study to compare the quality and the contributing components of vegan, vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian and omnivorous [...] Read more.
The number of studies comparing nutritional quality of restrictive diets is limited. Data on vegan subjects are especially lacking. It was the aim of the present study to compare the quality and the contributing components of vegan, vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian and omnivorous diets. Dietary intake was estimated using a cross-sectional online survey with a 52-items food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI-2010) and the Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) were calculated as indicators for diet quality. After analysis of the diet questionnaire and the FFQ, 1475 participants were classified as vegans (n = 104), vegetarians (n = 573), semi-vegetarians (n = 498), pesco-vegetarians (n = 145), and omnivores (n = 155). The most restricted diet, i.e., the vegan diet, had the lowest total energy intake, better fat intake profile, lowest protein and highest dietary fiber intake in contrast to the omnivorous diet. Calcium intake was lowest for the vegans and below national dietary recommendations. The vegan diet received the highest index values and the omnivorous the lowest for HEI-2010 and MDS. Typical aspects of a vegan diet (high fruit and vegetable intake, low sodium intake, and low intake of saturated fat) contributed substantially to the total score, independent of the indexing system used. The score for the more prudent diets (vegetarians, semi-vegetarians and pesco-vegetarians) differed as a function of the used indexing system but they were mostly better in terms of nutrient quality than the omnivores. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegan diets and Human health)
Open AccessArticle Vegan Diets and Hypothyroidism
Nutrients 2013, 5(11), 4642-4652; doi:10.3390/nu5114642
Received: 25 October 2013 / Revised: 4 November 2013 / Accepted: 7 November 2013 / Published: 20 November 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (189 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Diets eliminating animal products have rarely been associated with hypothyroidism but may protect against autoimmune disease. Thus, we investigated whether risk of hypothyroidism was associated with vegetarian compared to omnivorous dietary patterns. The Adventist Health Study-2 was conducted among church members in [...] Read more.
Diets eliminating animal products have rarely been associated with hypothyroidism but may protect against autoimmune disease. Thus, we investigated whether risk of hypothyroidism was associated with vegetarian compared to omnivorous dietary patterns. The Adventist Health Study-2 was conducted among church members in North America who provided data in a self-administered questionnaire. Hypothyroidism was queried at baseline in 2002 and at follow-up to 2008. Diet was examined as a determinant of prevalent (n = 4237 of 65,981 [6.4%]) and incident cases (1184 of 41,212 [2.9%]) in multivariate logistic regression models, controlled for demographics and salt use. In the prevalence study, in addition to demographic characterstics, overweight and obesity increased the odds (OR 1.32, 95% CI: 1.22–1.42 and 1.78, 95% CI: 1.64–1.93, respectively). Vegan versus omnivorous diets tended to be associated with reduced risk (OR 0.89, 95% CI: 0.78–1.01, not statistically significant) while a lacto-ovo diet was associated with increased risk (OR 1.09, 95% CI: 1.01–1.18). In the incidence study, female gender, white ethnicity, higher education and BMI were predictors of hypothyroidism. Following a vegan diet tended to be protective (OR 0.78, 95% CI: 0.59–1.03, not statistically significant). In conclusion, a vegan diet tended to be associated with lower, not higher, risk of hypothyroid disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegan diets and Human health)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview The Health Advantage of a Vegan Diet: Exploring the Gut Microbiota Connection
Nutrients 2014, 6(11), 4822-4838; doi:10.3390/nu6114822
Received: 12 August 2014 / Revised: 16 October 2014 / Accepted: 27 October 2014 / Published: 31 October 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (149 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review examines whether there is evidence that a strict vegan diet confers health advantages beyond that of a vegetarian diet or overall healthy eating. Few studies include vegan subjects as a distinct experimental group, yet when vegan diets are directly compared [...] Read more.
This review examines whether there is evidence that a strict vegan diet confers health advantages beyond that of a vegetarian diet or overall healthy eating. Few studies include vegan subjects as a distinct experimental group, yet when vegan diets are directly compared to vegetarian and omnivorous diets, a pattern of protective health benefits emerges. The relatively recent inclusion of vegan diets in studies of gut microbiota and health allows us the opportunity to assess whether the vegan gut microbiota is distinct, and whether the health advantages characteristic of a vegan diet may be partially explained by the associated microbiota profile. The relationship between diet and the intestinal microbial profile appears to follow a continuum, with vegans displaying a gut microbiota most distinct from that of omnivores, but not always significantly different from that of vegetarians. The vegan gut profile appears to be unique in several characteristics, including a reduced abundance of pathobionts and a greater abundance of protective species. Reduced levels of inflammation may be the key feature linking the vegan gut microbiota with protective health effects. However, it is still unclear whether a therapeutic vegan diet can be prescribed to alter the gut microflora for long-term health benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegan diets and Human health)
Open AccessReview Vegan Diet, Subnormal Vitamin B-12 Status and Cardiovascular Health
Nutrients 2014, 6(8), 3259-3273; doi:10.3390/nu6083259
Received: 24 June 2014 / Revised: 6 August 2014 / Accepted: 8 August 2014 / Published: 19 August 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1565 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Vegetarian diets have been associated with atherosclerosis protection, with healthier atherosclerosis risk profiles, as well as lower prevalence of, and mortality from, ischemic heart disease and stroke. However, there are few data concerning the possible cardiovascular effects of a vegan diet (with [...] Read more.
Vegetarian diets have been associated with atherosclerosis protection, with healthier atherosclerosis risk profiles, as well as lower prevalence of, and mortality from, ischemic heart disease and stroke. However, there are few data concerning the possible cardiovascular effects of a vegan diet (with no meat, dairy or egg products). Vitamin B-12 deficiency is highly prevalent in vegetarians; this can be partially alleviated by taking dairy/egg products in lact-ovo-vegetarians. However, metabolic vitamin B-12 deficiency is highly prevalent in vegetarians in Australia, Germany, Italy and Austria, and in vegans (80%) in Hong Kong and India, where vegans rarely take vitamin B-12 fortified food or vitamin B-12 supplements. Similar deficiencies exist in northern Chinese rural communities consuming inadequate meat, egg or dairy products due to poverty or dietary habits. Vascular studies have demonstrated impaired arterial endothelial function and increased carotid intima-media thickness as atherosclerosis surrogates in such metabolic vitamin B-12 deficient populations, but not in lactovegetarians in China. Vitamin B-12 supplementation has a favourable impact on these vascular surrogates in Hong Kong vegans and in underprivileged communities in northern rural China. Regular monitoring of vitamin B-12 status is thus potentially beneficial for early detection and treatment of metabolic vitamin B-12 deficiency in vegans, and possibly for prevention of atherosclerosis-related diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegan diets and Human health)
Open AccessReview Beyond Meatless, the Health Effects of Vegan Diets: Findings from the Adventist Cohorts
Nutrients 2014, 6(6), 2131-2147; doi:10.3390/nu6062131
Received: 3 April 2014 / Revised: 17 May 2014 / Accepted: 20 May 2014 / Published: 27 May 2014
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (315 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Vegetarians, those who avoid meat, and vegans, additionally avoiding dairy and eggs, represent 5% and 2%, respectively, of the US population. The aim of this review is to assess the effects of vegetarian diets, particularly strict vegetarian diets (i.e., vegans) [...] Read more.
Vegetarians, those who avoid meat, and vegans, additionally avoiding dairy and eggs, represent 5% and 2%, respectively, of the US population. The aim of this review is to assess the effects of vegetarian diets, particularly strict vegetarian diets (i.e., vegans) on health and disease outcomes. We summarized available evidence from three prospective cohorts of Adventists in North America: Adventist Mortality Study, Adventist Health Study, and Adventist Health Study-2. Non-vegetarian diets were compared to vegetarian dietary patterns (i.e., vegan and lacto-ovo-vegetarian) on selected health outcomes. Vegetarian diets confer protection against cardiovascular diseases, cardiometabolic risk factors, some cancers and total mortality. Compared to lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets, vegan diets seem to offer additional protection for obesity, hypertension, type-2 diabetes, and cardiovascular mortality. Males experience greater health benefits than females. Limited prospective data is available on vegetarian diets and body weight change. Large randomized intervention trials on the effects of vegetarian diet patterns on neurological and cognitive functions, obesity, diabetes, and other cardiovascular outcomes are warranted to make meaningful recommendations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegan diets and Human health)
Figures

Open AccessReview Vitamin B12-Containing Plant Food Sources for Vegetarians
Nutrients 2014, 6(5), 1861-1873; doi:10.3390/nu6051861
Received: 10 March 2014 / Revised: 23 April 2014 / Accepted: 28 April 2014 / Published: 5 May 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (764 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The usual dietary sources of Vitamin B12 are animal-derived foods, although a few plant-based foods contain substantial amounts of Vitamin B12. To prevent Vitamin B12 deficiency in high-risk populations such as vegetarians, it is necessary to identify plant-derived [...] Read more.
The usual dietary sources of Vitamin B12 are animal-derived foods, although a few plant-based foods contain substantial amounts of Vitamin B12. To prevent Vitamin B12 deficiency in high-risk populations such as vegetarians, it is necessary to identify plant-derived foods that contain high levels of Vitamin B12. A survey of naturally occurring plant-derived food sources with high Vitamin B12 contents suggested that dried purple laver (nori) is the most suitable Vitamin B12 source presently available for vegetarians. Furthermore, dried purple laver also contains high levels of other nutrients that are lacking in vegetarian diets, such as iron and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Dried purple laver is a natural plant product and it is suitable for most people in various vegetarian groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegan diets and Human health)
Open AccessReview Nitrates and Glucosinolates as Strong Determinants of the Nutritional Quality in Rocket Leafy Salads
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1519-1538; doi:10.3390/nu6041519
Received: 10 February 2014 / Revised: 21 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 14 April 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (399 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rocket is an important leafy vegetable crop and a good source of antioxidants and anticancer molecules such as glucosinolates and other sulfur compounds. Rocket is also a hyper-accumulator of nitrates which have been considered for long time the main factors that cause [...] Read more.
Rocket is an important leafy vegetable crop and a good source of antioxidants and anticancer molecules such as glucosinolates and other sulfur compounds. Rocket is also a hyper-accumulator of nitrates which have been considered for long time the main factors that cause gastro-intestinal cancer. In this review, the content of these compounds in rocket tissues and their levels at harvest and during storage are discussed. Moreover, the effect of these compounds in preventing or inducing human diseases is also highlighted. This review provides an update to all the most recent studies carried out on rocket encouraging the consumption of this leafy vegetable to reduce the risk of contracting cancer and other cardiovascular diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegan diets and Human health)

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Nutrients Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
nutrients@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Nutrients
Back to Top