Vegetarian diets in Australian medical study published
The Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) has today (4 June 2012) published the results of a study that confirms the safety and benefits of an entirely plant-based diet. The study was undertaken by well-known Australian nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton, who has stated that perceived problems of a meat-free diet, such as lack of protein and inadequate intakes of iron and zinc, are not necessarily a concern. Her study’s scientific evidence shows that a “well-planned” vegetarian diet could meet the nutritional needs of both adults and children.
The study also provides supportive evidence that those who follow a vegetarian diet are likely to have less heart disease, less colorectal cancer, less type-2 diabetes, and are less likely to be obese. While those who do not eat fish may receive less Omega-3 fatty acids, the study found that vegetarians did not exhibit a clinical deficiency.
However, the study also showed that a vegan diet, lacking in any animal-based product including milk and eggs, could lead to vitamin B12 deficiencies. The study recommended that vitamin B12, required for the generation of red blood cells and to keep nerves functioning, be included in a vegan diet via a daily supplement or through eating B12-fortified foods.
Dr Stanton was hopeful that scientifically valid solutions to B12 deficiency may stimulate new ideas for innovation within the food industry for food production.