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Seniors who eat a vegan diet take 58% less medication than meat eaters, according to a new study. Research, which compared the eating habits and number of pills that older people take regularly, also found that plant-based diets were associated with a range of better health outcomes, from lower blood pressure. by weight.
Plant-based diets are linked to lower drug consumption in older people, research shows. The study, published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, noted a 58% reduction in the number of pills taken by older people on a vegan diet, compared to those who were not vegetarians.
58% reduction in pill use
The study focused on polypharmacy, which refers to the use of five or more prescribed medications, and is considered a common problem among older people. Researchers at the Drayson Center at Loma Linda University studied the impact of eating habits on polypharmacy in the elderly.
“We hypothesized that a plant-based diet and healthy lifestyle choices decrease morbidity and the number of medications taken,” the authors wrote.
Examining the diets of 328 participants aged 60 or older using questionnaires, the study found consistent results linking vegan diets to lower pill use, even after adjusting for covariates.
On the other hand, increased age, body mass index (BMI), and disease presence were positively associated with polypharmacy. The most important factor was a high BMI, according to the study.
Vegan diets lead to better health outcomes
Not only was a plant-based diet linked to lower drug use in older people, older people who did not eat meat or dairy products also had better overall health.
“The increased fiber intake and decreased saturated fat intake associated with vegan diets improve blood sugar, blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, and other health outcomes related to better health,” wrote the authors.
“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. “
Power of plant-based diets
The latest study adds to the growing bed of evidence proving the wide range of health benefits associated with plant-based diets. More recently, three new studies have linked the consumption of plant-based foods to better urological health, a reduced risk of prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction in men.
There is also some evidence that vegan diets reduce the risk of heart disease and increase the presence of gut microbes linked to lower rates of obesity and diabetes.
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