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Daily Dose: Vegan Diet Linked to Better Cardiovascular Health

Daily Dose: Vegan Diet Linked to Better Cardiovascular Health / Image Credit: ©New Africa/AdobeStock
©New Africa/AdobeStock

Patient Care brings primary care clinicians a lot of medical news every day—it’s easy to miss an important study. The Daily Dose provides a concise summary of one of the website's leading stories you may not have seen.

Last week, we reported on findings from a study published in JAMA Network Open that compared the cardiometabolic effects of a plant-based diet with an omnivorous diet.

The study

Investigators conducted a single-center, population-based clinical trial of 22 pairs of twins who were randomly assigned to to follow either a vegan diet or omnivorous diet for 8 weeks. Both arms were exposed to vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Participants were provided their diet-specific meals via a meal delivery service from baseline through week 4, and then they prepared their own diet-appropriate food from weeks 5 to 8.

The primary outcome was the difference in LDL-C concentration from baseline to week 8. Secondary outcome measures were changes in cardiometabolic factors (eg, plasma lipids, glucose, insulin levels), plasma vitamin B12 level, and body weight.


After 8 weeks, investigators found that participants in the plant-based diet group, compared with those in the omnivorous diet group, experienced significant mean decreases in:

  • LDL-C concentration (13.9 mg/dL, 95% CI, −25.3 to −2.4);

  • fasting insulin level (2.9 IU/mL, 95% CI −5.3 to −0.4); and

  • body weight (1.9 kg, 95% CI −3.3 to −0.6).

Notably, “as early as 4 weeks, we observed a significant decrease in mean LDL-C level among vegans compared with omnivores,” added investigators.

Authors' comment

"Clinicians should allow patients to make informed choices that support them to choose which dietary approach is most suitable for them. At a population level, wider adoption of a culturally appropriate dietary pattern that is higher in plant foods and lower in animal foods can promote health and environmental benefits."

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