Vegetarians who dont cook their food have abnormally low bone mass, usually a sign of osteoporosis and increased fracture risk. But a research team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis also found that raw food vegetarians have other biological markers indicating their bones, although light in weight, may be healthy.
The study, published in the March 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, was led by Luigi Fontana, M.D., Ph.D., research instructor in medicine in the Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Science. Fontana and colleagues studied 18 strict raw food vegans ages of 33 to 85. All ate a diet that not only lacked animal products but also included only raw foods such as a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains and legumes, dressed with olive oil. They had been on this diet for an average of 3.6 years.
The researchers compared them to people who ate a more typical American diet, including refined carbohydrates, animal products and cooked food. The groups were matched according to age, sex and socioeconomic status. In both groups, Fontanas team measured body mass index, bone mass, bone mineral density, markers of bone turnover, levels of vitamin D and inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1).
Jim Dryden | EurekAlert!
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