ijerph-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Effects of Plant-Based Diets on Human Health and the Environment

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2022) | Viewed by 20607

Special Issue Editor


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plant-based diets are dietary patterns that support a high consumption of plant-based foods as vegetables, whole grains, fruits, legumes, seeds, and nuts, and strongly reduce the consumption of most animal products. Examples of plant-based diets include traditional Mediterranean, flexitarian, vegetarian, and vegan diets. Recent studies have linked plant-based diets to lower rates of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Increased consumption of plant-based foods could also have beneficial effects on the environment. The aim of this Special Issue will be to investigate the correlations between health and plant-based diets and to evaluate divergent plant-based dietary interventions in clinical practice.

Dr. Mauro Lombardo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 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 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • plant-based
  • Mediterranean
  • vegetarian
  • vegan
  • non-communicable diseases
  • cancer
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • diabetes

Published Papers (5 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

18 pages, 2271 KiB  
Article
Use of Edible, Medicinal, and Aromatic Plants in Various Health Disorders: A Cross-Sectional Evaluation among Inhabitants in the Area of Thrace, North-Eastern Greece
by Georgia-Eirini Deligiannidou, Chrysoula Kyrgou, Evangelia Nena, Vangelis G. Manolopoulos, Eugenia Bezirtzoglou, Christos A. Kontogiorgis and Theodoros C. Constantinidis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12576; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912576 - 1 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1769
Abstract
Background: Medicinal and aromatical plants (MAPs) have been historically used as traditional remedies in many cultures in Europe and globally. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of MAPs in various health disorders in association to dietary habits and other [...] Read more.
Background: Medicinal and aromatical plants (MAPs) have been historically used as traditional remedies in many cultures in Europe and globally. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of MAPs in various health disorders in association to dietary habits and other lifestyle factors among residents in Thrace, NE Greece. Methods: Data were collected through anonymous and voluntary responses to a structured online questionnaire, via convenience (snowball) sampling. Results: The 561 responders (age: 39.7 ± 11.6 y) were mostly female (59.7%), with higher education (69.8%), working as state or private employees (55.4%), and having low/medium income (77.1%). Overall, more than 70% were using MAPs in various symptoms and common health disorders, such as chamomile against common cold and the flu. More than 20 different MAPs were being used in smaller frequencies against various conditions. Key contributing factors to the consumption of MAPs were sex (female over male), employment (employed vs. unemployed), education (higher education vs. lower) and higher Body Mass Index (overweight and obese vs. normal), while consumption of fruit, fish, and vegetables was mainly associated with the use of MAPs as common items of diet and in health disorders. Conclusions: The use of MAPs as part of the diet and as traditional remedy is present in the examined population, while particular choices seem to be affected by sociodemographic and lifestyle factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Plant-Based Diets on Human Health and the Environment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 1426 KiB  
Article
Plasma Leptin and Adiponectin after a 4-Week Vegan Diet: A Randomized-Controlled Pilot Trial in Healthy Participants
by Ann-Kathrin Lederer, Maximilian Andreas Storz, Roman Huber, Luciana Hannibal and Elena Neumann
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(18), 11370; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191811370 - 9 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2446
Abstract
Adiponectin and leptin are important mediators of metabolic homeostasis. The actions of these adipokines extend beyond adipocytes and include systemic modulation of lipid and glucose metabolism, nutrient flux, and the immune response to changes in nutrition. Herein, we hypothesized that short-term intervention with [...] Read more.
Adiponectin and leptin are important mediators of metabolic homeostasis. The actions of these adipokines extend beyond adipocytes and include systemic modulation of lipid and glucose metabolism, nutrient flux, and the immune response to changes in nutrition. Herein, we hypothesized that short-term intervention with a vegan diet might result in an improvement of plasma concentrations of adiponectin and leptin and the leptin/adiponectin ratio. We investigated the response of plasma adiponectin and leptin to a 4-week intervention with a vegan or meat-rich diet and its associations with sex, BMI and nutritional intake. Fifty-three healthy, omnivore participants (62% female, average age 31 years and BMI 23.1 kg/m2) were randomly assigned to a vegan or meat-rich diet for 4 weeks. Plasma adiponectin and leptin were lower in men compared to women both at the beginning and end of the trial. The concentration of adiponectin in women was significantly higher both when comparing their transition from omnivorous to vegan diet (p = 0.023) and also for vegan versus meat-rich diet at the end of the trial (p = 0.001), whereas plasma leptin did not vary significantly. No changes in adiponectin were identified in men, yet an increase in leptin occurred upon their transition from an omnivorous to a meat-rich diet (p = 0.019). Examination of plasma adiponectin/leptin ratio, a proposed marker of cardiovascular risk, did not differ after 4-weeks of dietary intervention. Our study revealed that adiponectin and leptin concentrations are sensitive to short-term dietary intervention in a sex-dependent manner. This dietary modification of leptin and adiponectin not only occurs quickly as demonstrated in our study, but it remains such as published in studies with individuals who are established (long-term) vegetarians compared to omnivorous. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Plant-Based Diets on Human Health and the Environment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 886 KiB  
Article
Diet and Consumer Behavior in U.S. Vegetarians: A National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) Data Report
by Maximilian Andreas Storz, Alexander Müller and Mauro Lombardo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010067 - 22 Dec 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4917
Abstract
An increasing number of individuals adopt plant-based diets for their potential health benefits. Understanding vegetarians’ dietary behavior in the context of their socioeconomic background is essential for pro-vegetarian messaging and to influence public beliefs about plant food consumption. Thus, this study sought to [...] Read more.
An increasing number of individuals adopt plant-based diets for their potential health benefits. Understanding vegetarians’ dietary behavior in the context of their socioeconomic background is essential for pro-vegetarian messaging and to influence public beliefs about plant food consumption. Thus, this study sought to investigate diet and consumer behaviors in U.S. vegetarians. This is a cross-sectional, population-based study with data from the Nutrition and Health Examination Surveys (2007–2010). Selected items from three modules (diet and nutrition behavior, consumer behavior, and food security) were compared between vegetarians (n = 352) and the general population (n = 14,328). U.S. vegetarians consumed significantly fewer calories and less cholesterol but more fiber than their omnivorous counterparts. Moreover, vegetarians had significantly fewer soft drinks and salty snacks available at home. We also observed significant intergroup differences with regard to the availability of fruit and dark green vegetables. Vegetarians spent less money on eating out and indicated a lower number of not-home-prepared meals and ready-to-eat foods. We found no differences regarding money spent at supermarkets or grocery stores. Our study contributes to a better understanding of dietary and consumer behaviors in vegetarians. We shed a new light on the economic feasibility of vegetarian diets, highlighting that these diets are not necessarily more expensive than an omnivorous diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Plant-Based Diets on Human Health and the Environment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 676 KiB  
Article
A Vegan Diet Is Associated with a Significant Reduction in Dietary Acid Load: Post Hoc Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Trial in Healthy Individuals
by Alexander Müller, Amy Marisa Zimmermann-Klemd, Ann-Kathrin Lederer, Luciana Hannibal, Stefanie Kowarschik, Roman Huber and Maximilian Andreas Storz
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 9998; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18199998 - 23 Sep 2021
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 4413
Abstract
The composition of diet strongly affects acid–base homeostasis. Western diets abundant in acidogenic foods (meat and cheese) and deficient in alkalizing foods (fruits and vegetables) increase dietary acid load (DAL). A high DAL has been associated with numerous health repercussions, including cardiovascular disease [...] Read more.
The composition of diet strongly affects acid–base homeostasis. Western diets abundant in acidogenic foods (meat and cheese) and deficient in alkalizing foods (fruits and vegetables) increase dietary acid load (DAL). A high DAL has been associated with numerous health repercussions, including cardiovascular disease and type-2-diabetes. Plant-based diets have been associated with a lower DAL; however, the number of trials exploring this association is limited. This randomized-controlled trial sought to examine whether an isocaloric vegan diet lowers DAL as compared to a meat-rich diet. Forty-five omnivorous individuals were randomly assigned to a vegan diet (n = 23) or a meat-rich diet (n = 22) for 4 weeks. DAL was determined using potential renal acid load (PRAL) and net endogenous acid production (NEAP) scores at baseline and after 3 and 4 weeks, respectively. After 3 weeks, median PRAL (−23.57 (23.87)) and mean NEAPR (12.85 ± 19.71) scores were significantly lower in the vegan group than in the meat-rich group (PRAL: 18.78 (21.04) and NEAPR: 60.93 ± 15.51, respectively). Effects were mediated by a lower phosphorus and protein intake in the vegan group. Our study suggests that a vegan diet is a potential means to reduce DAL, whereas a meat-rich diet substantially increases the DAL burden. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Plant-Based Diets on Human Health and the Environment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 884 KiB  
Article
Nutritional, Cardiovascular Health and Lifestyle Status of ‘Health Conscious’ Adult Vegans and Non-Vegans from Slovenia: A Cross-Sectional Self-Reported Survey
by Boštjan Jakše, Barbara Jakše, Uroš Godnov and Stanislav Pinter
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5968; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115968 - 2 Jun 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 5312
Abstract
The study aim was to investigate differences in nutritional, cardiovascular and lifestyle status of ‘health conscious’ subjects. In a partial ‘lock-down’ during the COVID-19 pandemic period, we performed a web-based, cross-sectional study. We compared 80 self-selected subjects (51 vegans, 67% females, and 29 [...] Read more.
The study aim was to investigate differences in nutritional, cardiovascular and lifestyle status of ‘health conscious’ subjects. In a partial ‘lock-down’ during the COVID-19 pandemic period, we performed a web-based, cross-sectional study. We compared 80 self-selected subjects (51 vegans, 67% females, and 29 non-vegans, 55% females, p = 0.344). Nutritional status was assessed by bio-electrical impedance and standardized food frequency questionnaires (i.e., contribution of nutrients from foods and supplementation, combined and separate). Serum lipid concentrations and blood pressure (BP) were assessed from annual or initial examination reports, while sociodemographic, economic, and lifestyle statuses were obtained by standardized questionnaires. Finally, a multivariate linear regression model was used to estimate the relationship between total fiber and saturated fatty acid (SFA) intake and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) values. The vegans had a significantly lower body mass index (22.8 ± 2.4 vs. 26.6 ± 3.6 kg/m2, p < 0.001) and body fat % (19.3 ± 7.3 vs. 25.8 ± 8.2%, p < 0.001) than the non-vegans. There were significant differences between vegans and non-vegans in energy intake, and most macronutrient (10/12) and micronutrient (15/23) intakes in units/day. Both diets were well designed, with high fiber and low SFA and free sugar intake but remained insufficient in n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (for vegans), vitamin D, calcium, sodium (for vegans) and iodine. Vegans also had a significantly lower lipid profile and BP than non-vegans, except for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. However, both groups met targeted recommendations. Furthermore, fiber and SFA intake and age explained 47% of the variance in LDL cholesterol. In conclusion, ‘health conscious’ vegans and non-vegans with comparable lifestyle statuses had significant differences in dietary intake, body composition and cardiovascular health status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Plant-Based Diets on Human Health and the Environment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop