More vegetable protein linked to a longer life



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By Lisa Rapaport

(Reuters Health) – A Japanese study suggests that people who consume more protein of plant origin can live longer than those who consume more meat protein.

The researchers followed nearly 71,000 middle-aged Japanese adults for nearly two decades on average. Compared with people consuming the smallest amount of vegetable protein, participants who consumed the highest amount were 13% less likely to die during the study and 16% less likely to die from cardiovascular causes.

"Previous studies had shown that high consumption of animal protein was associated with an increase in the number of chronic diseases and mortality, while increased consumption of vegetable protein was associated with lower risk, but most of these studies have been conducted in western populations, in which consumption of animal protein higher than plant protein, "said Dr. Frank Hu, director of the Harvard TH Nutrition Department at Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

"In this Japanese study, the consumption of vegetable protein is quite high, while the consumption of animal protein is quite low compared to that of Western populations," said Hu, who did not participate in the study. study, by e-mail. "

The researchers reported in JAMA Internal Medicine that animal proteins did not seem to influence longevity in the study.

A total of 12,381 people died, including 5,055 for cancer, 3,025 for cardiovascular disease, 1,528 for heart disease and 1,198 for cerebrovascular disease.

People who replaced only 3% of red meat with vegetable protein were 34% less likely to die of any cause whatsoever, 39% less cancer, and 42% less likely to die from heart disease during the course of the study.

In addition, people who replaced just 4% of the meat processed with vegetable protein were 46% less likely to die from any cause and 50% less cancer.

"When individuals consume more vegetable protein foods such as nuts, soy and lentils, cardiovascular risk factors such as blood lipids, blood pressure and body weight improve. considerably, "said Hu.

"It should be noted that these plant foods contain not only protein, but also other beneficial nutrients such as healthy fats, antioxidant vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals," Hu added. "On the other hand, diets rich in red and processed meats have been associated with a wide range of health consequences such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers."

The present study was not a controlled experiment designed to prove whether, or how, the amount or type of protein consumed by people could directly affect their longevity.

One of the limitations of the research is that the participants' diet was evaluated only once, at the beginning of the study, and it is possible that their dietary habits changed over time, co-wrote Dr. Norie Sawada, of the National Cancer Center in Tokyo, and her colleagues write in their reports. Sawada did not respond to requests for comments.

"The message is that to live longer, red meat must be exchanged and processed with healthy vegetable proteins such as nuts, beans, lentils and whole grains," said Hu. "Such a diet is not only beneficial for human health, but also more environmentally sustainable."

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/2ZhGhDF JAMA Internal Medicine, online August 26, 2019.

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