Research Round-Up: Vegetarian Diet & Heart Disease Risk; Coffee’s Benefit on Skin

Vegetarian Diet Lowers Heart Disease Risk

Following a plant-based diet has been consistently associated with significant heart health benefits, according to researchers. A review of studies shows people who follow a vegetarian diet reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease by 40 percent, and hypertension by 34 percent. In addition, up to 91 percent of patients experienced the unblocking of blocked arteries either partially or fully, and total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol are significantly lower in vegetarians compared to non-vegetarians.

(Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, June 2018)

Drinking Coffee May Benefit Skin

Women who drink caffeinated coffee every day may reduce their risk of rosacea, a chronic skin condition that causes facial redness, according to researchers. The study used coffee consumption data on over 82,000 women in a health study every four years between 1991 and 2005 and documented 4,945 cases of rosacea in that time. Women who drank four or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day had a 23 percent lower risk of rosacea than those who drank less than a cup a month. Decaffeinated coffee was not associated with decreased risk.

(JAMA Dermatology, October 2018)

Healthier Diet Linked to Bigger Brain

People who ate the healthiest diets had bigger brains than people who ate less nutritious foods, researchers say. The Dutch study included over 4,200 people aged 45 and older. Study participants completed a food survey, which included 400 food items, noting which foods and how much they ate each month, the best of which included vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, dairy, fish, and limited sugary beverages. Scans done to measure brain size found that a healthier diet was linked to larger brain volume, up to two milliliters larger than those who ate fewer healthy foods.

(Neurology, May 2018)

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