Vegan diet linked to reduced number of medications prescribed to older people, new study published in medical journal finds American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. Researchers in the study investigated the link between diet and polypharmacy, where a person takes at least five prescribed medications.
A common health problem with older people with polypharmacy is the potential unwanted side effects of interactions when taking many medications. The researchers point to data showing that people who take more than five drugs per day have an 88% higher risk of drug-related adverse events as well as higher death rates. They hypothesized that a plant-based diet and healthy lifestyle choices decrease the number of medications needed and therefore reduce the risk of prescription side effects.
For the study, data from 328 participants aged 60 or older was collected through questionnaires and measurements at the Loma Linda University Drayson Center in Loma Linda, Calif., Between 2015 and 2016. The results suggest that a diet herbal reduces the number of drugs. older people took 58% compared to meat eaters, even after adjusting for covariates. The vegetarian participants also consumed less medication than the meat eaters. The study found that an increase in age, body mass index and the presence of disease suggests an increase in the number of drugs taken; however, a herbal diet showed the lowest amount of drugs in the entire sample. Body mass index also had a significant positive association with the number of drugs.
Researchers concluded that older people who follow a healthy vegan or vegetarian diet protect their health better. “Our results show that a healthy diet, especially a vegan diet, can be protective by leading to a reduction in the number of pills taken, either by preventing the development of risk factors and / or cardiovascular disease, or by helping to control such conditions. ” the authors of the study noted.
Less medication is just a health benefit of a plant-based diet
The new research adds to a growing body of evidence pointing to the health benefits of following a plant-based diet for people of all ages, especially a diet high in whole fruits and vegetables. This year, a study published in the Urology Journal found evidence that a greater overall consumption of plant-based foods is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer in men under 65.
Another study, published in a scientific journal food, discovered that plant-based meats have a positive impact on gut health. The randomized, controlled study found that consumers who eat only five plant-based meals per week instead of meat-based dishes experience increased levels of a group of bacteria that produce butyrate, a fatty acid. which promotes good digestive health and reduces inflammation. to protect against disease. Another study conducted by Stanford University and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also found that replacing meat of animal origin with meat of plant origin can significantly reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
Additionally, for women going through menopause, a study published earlier this year in the journal Menopause by the North American Menopause Society found that a plant-based diet high in soy reduced moderate to severe hot flashes by 84 percent. While an estimated 80 percent of postmenopausal women experience hot flashes, the research team found that women who follow a plant-based diet that includes soy products containing isoflavones, like whole soybeans, can greatly improve their menopausal symptoms.
To learn more about vegan health, read:
10 Vegan Foods You Should Eat To Fight Stress
4 ways vegans can improve their health
New vegan-specific blood test developed to monitor health