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Latest Science on Health Benefits of a Plant-Based or Vegan Diet

Updated on October 26, 2017
Chuck Bluestein profile image

At age 16 I was a volunteer at a hospital bacteriology lab. I became a chemist for U.S. government. Then I studied health & related fields.

Celebrities on a Vegan or Plant-Based Diet

Victoria Everett is my Facebook friend and gave me permission to use her picture. She eats a raw vegan diet. See her website below for more on what she eats and how she lost 120 pounds from a vegan diet.
Victoria Everett is my Facebook friend and gave me permission to use her picture. She eats a raw vegan diet. See her website below for more on what she eats and how she lost 120 pounds from a vegan diet. | Source
Natalie Portman is a vegan. Here she plays Queen Amidala in Star Wars Phantom Menace.
Natalie Portman is a vegan. Here she plays Queen Amidala in Star Wars Phantom Menace. | Source
Alicia Silverstone is a vegan and has a blog/website about it called The Kind Life. The website below is 10 Celebrities and Why They Became Vegan.
Alicia Silverstone is a vegan and has a blog/website about it called The Kind Life. The website below is 10 Celebrities and Why They Became Vegan.
Alicia Silverstone in make-up for playing a vampire in the new movie Vamps.
Alicia Silverstone in make-up for playing a vampire in the new movie Vamps. | Source

Books and Foods About a Vegan or Plant-Based Diet

Latest Science on Health Benefits of a Vegan or Plant-Based Diet

This focuses on the latest science on a plant based diet or vegan diet. This also tells how they affect the greatest causes of death. At the bottom of this is a comprehensive 55 minute video on this by Michael Greger, M.D. who has been a vegan since 1990.

It is best to open a new window to click on links since some websites stop you from going back to the website that you were on. A vegan diet is where there are no animal foods eaten.

It appears that the term plant-based diet is becoming more popular since it has more room to occasionally eat animal foods. Also the term vegan diet has been mostly used by people who are doing it for ethical reasons.

Whereas the idea behind the plant-based diet is the higher the percentage of plant foods, the healthier it is for you. So what is a plant-based diet? Wikipedia says:

Plant-based diet is a general term that refers to an eating pattern dominated by fresh or minimally processed plant foods and decreased consumption of meat, eggs and dairy products. [1]

There is no formal definition for the term and sometimes the term is used to define a diet that excludes any meat, eggs and dairy products. Sometimes the term refers to a diet that includes animal products.

Here is the famous news story that was so big in the news when it first came out (April 2010) about a decade long study with 500,000 people showing that Meat Causes Cancer (and causes you to die sooner) from The New York Times.

Please note that the great Dr. Oz himself married a woman (Linda) that had been vegetarian since age 15! Here is an article that was on The Examiner called Dr. Oz: Why I follow a Vegetarian Diet. It said:

Surgeon and TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz has been a vegetarian for many years, saying eating whole, real plant foods gives him the energy to keep up with his hectic lifestyle.

Great News

Since writing the above I have written more articles on this. One is called Does Dr. Oz Follow a Raw Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet. This article has lots of quotes from Dr. Oz about this.

Another article is Prevent and Reverse Disease with a Plant-Based Diet. This has a later video of Dr. Greger. It also has a story about Asians and Africans in Uganda that have 2 different diets. There is nothing different about the Asian group. But the African group has a diet that is nearly all plant-based and the coronary heart disease is nearly non-existent. The number one cause of death in the U.S. is heart attacks.

Great news for Women

There are 2 health problems that some women get called endometriosis and PCOS. They both have to do with menstruation. With endometriosis or endo for short, 10% of women of child-bearing age have it and many do not know that they have it. The pain during menstruation can be so bad that many women are on disability and many commit suicide.

A study (Obstetrics & Gynecology 2000;95:245-250) showed that a vegetarian diet lessened the premenstrual and menstrual symptoms. This means less bleeding, cramps, mood swings and more. The less unhealthy foods eaten, the less the above became. Women on a raw vegan diet could have almost none of these symptoms.

This article Menstruation and Diet, gives you a lot of history about the real purpose of menstruation. You will learn all these things about your body that you were never taught since women are second-class citizens of the world. Also this same concept affects PCOS and endometriosis.

To be able to help the above you must accept some responsibility to contributing to the above, otherwise you are powerless. If you can do that then see How to Cure Your Endometriosis or see How to Cure Your PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). It used to be called polycystic ovarian syndrome. But they are too busy renaming diseases to have time to cure them.

Also for many serious health problems that require something high powered but also more extreme see Benefits of a Raw Food Diet. This has a video on it of a 13 year-old girl that had terminal brain cancer but cured it with a raw vegan or plant-based diet. It also explains that it does not have to be 100% raw and how one group found that 85% raw works as well.

Arteriosclerosis is clogging of the articles but there are supposed to be slight differences between the two even though most people use both words to mean the same.

The article explains that only herbivores get atherosclerosis and meat-eating carnivores like dogs and cats do not get it. So it explains that we were meant to be herbivores not omnivores. It says:

Atherosclerosis affects only herbivores. Dogs, cats, tigers, and lions can be saturated with fat and cholesterol, and atherosclerotic plaques do not develop.

Are human beings herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

Although most of us conduct our lives as omnivores, in that we eat flesh as well as vegetables and fruits, human beings have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores.

New December 12, 2012 (12/12/12). According to the November 2012 book, The Cholesterol Myth, cholesterol in food does not harm the arteries but inflammation does hurt the arteries. Animal foods are inflammatory. Note that in this list, there are no animal foods. They are all plant foods. Also there are no grains in this list.

New December 19, 2012: Here is an article from the U.S. National Library of Medicine ( called Human uptake and incorporation of an immunogenic nonhuman dietary sialic acid. It says:

Humans are genetically unable to produce the sialic acid N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc), because of a mutation that occurred after our last common ancestor with great apes.

This finding represents an instance wherein humans absorb and metabolically incorporate a nonhuman dietary component enriched in foods of mammalian origin, even while generating xenoreactive, and potentially autoreactive, antibodies against the same molecule.

This means that the human body cannot create N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc), but it can get it from eating meat. The body identifies it as an invader like a virus and creates antibodies. This causes inflammation. See the video below to learn about this in greater detail (it increases risk of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and heart disease). It is only 3 minutes and 29 seconds long. They found this substance, Neu5Gc, in tumors (cancer). If you ever want to find a study on a video then do a Google search from a line from it in quotes.

Our liver makes all the cholesterol that we need. If they do find a connection, cholesterol is only in animal foods, not plant foods, since plants do not have a liver to make it. ►There is no fiber in animal foods and all unprocessed plant foods have plenty of fiber.◄ Tofu is processed soybean and soybean has much more fiber than tofu. Carnivorous animals, like dogs and cats, do not need fiber since they have a much shorter colon than we do.

Dietary Fiber

Oprah Winfrey and her staff became vegans for a week and she said that people were defecating (in her words-- "pooping") a lot more. Now this science is as simple to understand as plumbing. If you flush your toilet and the waste does not go down, then you have problems. Here is what the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health ( says:

Dietary fiber [fiber in diet] intake provides many health benefits. However, average fiber intakes for US children and adults are less than half of the recommended levels. Individuals with high intakes of dietary fiber appear to be at significantly lower risk for developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Increasing fiber intake lowers blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels. Increased intake of soluble fiber improves glycemia and insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic and diabetic individuals. Fiber supplementation in obese individuals significantly enhances weight loss. Increased fiber intake benefits a number of gastrointestinal disorders including the following: gastroesophageal reflux disease, duodenal ulcer, diverticulitis, constipation, and hemorrhoids.

Cancer and Meat Consumption

What about cancer. The Journal of Meat Science says:

To reduce the risk of cancer, the 2007 report to the World Cancer Research Fund makes the recommendation to limit the consumption of red meat and to avoid processed meat intake.... If these recommendations were adhered to, cancer incidence may be reduced.

There is something in the blood called IGF-1 (insulin like growth factor). The more that is in the blood, the greater the chance of getting cancer. A vegetarian has a lot less IGF-1 in their blood than someone on a normal meat-based diet. A vegan has even less IGF1 than a vegetarian has. Here is the article telling all about this on the same U.S. National Library that was mentioned above.

This is the scientific explanation for what Pritikin experiments found. They would take blood from someone and add it to cancer growing in a dish. The blood of someone on a normal diet suppressed the growth of cancer somewhat. The blood of someone on a vegetarian diet suppressed the cancer more.

The blood of someone on a vegan diet suppressed it even more than one on a vegetarian diet. The blood from a vegan had 8 times the cancer growth suppressing power of someone on a normal diet. Do you know what they call the normal diet of an American? They call it SAD (standard American diet).

This makes sense since I have an article: Great Foods that Fight Cancer that includes green tea, grapes, mushrooms, seaweed and cabbage family (cruciferous) vegetables. Also I have the article: Fight Different Kinds of Cancer with Different Foods that lists other plant foods that fight cancer like citrus fruits that have 58 known anticancer phytochemicals.

Plant Medicines-- Phytochemicals or Phytonutrients

The medicines in plants are called phytochemicals (phyto means plant) or phytonutrients. There are thousands of them and over 900 have been identified. Have you heard of any?

Tomatoes have lyopene that is a phytochemical that prevents cancer, heart attacks and strokes. Watermelon has more lycopene and a government test shows that raw lycopene is absorbed just as effectively as cooked lycopene. They did not expect this result since they had believed the marketing myth of cooking making it more absorbable. But gac fruit has 70 times more lycopene than tomatoes.

Red and black grapes have resveratrol, another phytochemical, that prevents heart attacks, strokes, cancer and it has anti-aging effects. Also turmeric is famous for the curcumin in it since it may be the most anti-inflammatory substance known to man.

The video below takes 55 minutes to watch but this doctor is a great speaker and it can profoundly change your life for the better. He is very entertaining. Also it is not just him talking but he shows different things of what he is talking about on his screen. Also the idea is not that you have to give up all animal foods or eat SAD. If you eat a 50% plant-based diet that is better for your health than a 30% plant-based diet.

It is amazing how many celebrities are vegans or vegetarians. The website under the picture of Alicia Silverstone says that Iron Mike Tyson (one of the greatest boxers ever) became vegan to remove “drama” from his life and become a better person through the vegan diet’s benefits. Ex-President Bill Clinton adopted a plant-based diet after having a stent put in. About 2 weeks ago Rosie O'Donnell had a heart attack at 50 years old and had a stent put in. She got on a plant-based diet and lost 9 pounds in 9 days.

Dangers of Vegan Diet

Vegans are in danger of being too low on certain nutrients. 80% of Americans are deficient in the sun hormone, vitamin D. Moores Cancer Center proposes that cancer is a vitamin D deficiency. See my article How Much Vitamin D Should You Take Daily. Some vegans take no vitamin B-12 supplements and they are fine but many Americans on all diets do not get enough so learn about this. You need itty bitty tiny amounts of B-12 like 1 mg every 160 days. That means that 300 mg of vitamin B-12 is all that you need to live 100 years. Note my mother ate lots of meat including chicken liver but needed a doctor to give her vitamin B-12 shots (she smoked).

People usually get their omega-3 essential fatty acids from fish so you need to get it from flaxseeds or chia seeds. Lack of omega-3 or vitamin B-12 can cause depression or early death. If you had to pick one, which would you choose? Spirulina and Lake Klammoth blue-green algae contain both omega-3s and vitamin B-12. Fish get their omega-3s from eating algae. For more on this and how to get spirulina in a delicious tasting chocolate bar see: Blue-Green Algae Benefits: The Single Healthiest Food.

Which one is a COMPLETE protein-- kiwi fruit or beef bottom sirloin? Kiwi is! See nutritional profile of kiwi fruit. Also see nutritional profile of beef bottom sirloin. Please note that a complete protein is not a protein with all 9 essential amino acids. All unprocessed foods contain all 9 amino acids. A complete protein is a near perfect balance of amino acids with an amino acid rating of 100 or more. Beef bottom sirloin has an amino acid score of 94. Kiwi has an amino acid score of 105. Chia seeds have a score of 115 in amino acid rating.

Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular by Mayim Bialik of Big Bang Theory.

Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular
Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular
Mayim Bialik, star of The Big Bang Theory, puts her Ph.D. in neuroscience to work as she talks to teens about the science of growing up and getting ahead. A must-have book for all teenage girls.Using scientific facts, personal anecdotes, and wisdom gained from the world around us, Mayim Bialik, the star of The Big Bang Theory, shares what she has learned from her life and her many years studying neuroscience to tell you how you grow from a girl to a woman biologically, psychologically and sociologically. And as an added bonus, Girling Up is chock-full of charts, graphs and illustrations -- all designed in a soft gray to set them apart from the main text and make them easy to find and read.

Why I'm a Vegan by Mayim Bialik of Big Bang Theory.

Mayim's Vegan Table: More than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours by Mayim Bialik

Mayim's Vegan Table: More than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours
Mayim's Vegan Table: More than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours
While she's an actress with a PhD in neuroscience, at the end of the day Mayim Bialik is a mom, one who knows what it's like to be a busy parent with little time to spend in the kitchen. She shares the concerns of parents everywhere: when it comes to nutrition and feeding your family, you want healthy meals, but also food that everyone—kids and parents—can enjoy, and a balanced lifestyle that's inexpensive and fuss-free.

I WANT What You've GOT (only 90 seconds or 1 and half minutes)

Vegetarian Home Cooking

Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking
Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking
With Food, photographer Mary McCartney brings us easy, family-friendly meat-free dishes that will appeal to everyone—including carnivores. And they're all presented in gorgeous pictures taken by Mary herself, along with personal stories and photos old and new. Inspired by her mother's recipes, McCartney has whipped up creative, comforting, uncomplicated, and delicious meals that will encourage home cooks to think vegetarian.

The Inflammatory Meat Molecule Neu5Gc

How Plant-Based Diet or Vegan Diet Prevents the Leading Causes of Death by Dr. Greger. Vegan blood suppresses cancer 8 times better.

The last 5 minutes of this video is funny. It shows promoters of low carb diets that are fat and promoters of high carb diets that are thin. Explains paleo.


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    • MVHC profile image


      8 years ago

      Eating a Vegan diet is definitely a commitment, but the rewards are numerous. I recommend considering a vegetarian and/or vegan diet to many of my incoming clients.

      Shannon Tobin

      Director, Merrimack Valley Hypnosis Center


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