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Health benefit from vegan diet
[Posted: Wed 19/03/2008 www.irishhealth.com]
A gluten-free vegan diet may improve the health of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, according to new research
The diet is believed to have a beneficial effect on several risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis is associated with an increased risk hardening of the arteries and cardiovascular diseases.
A research team at Karolinska Institute in Sweden has shown that a gluten-free vegan diet has a beneficial effect on cardiovascular risk factors in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
In the study,a group of patients who kept to a gluten-free vegan diet for a year were compared with a control group which had followed ordinary dietary advice.
Vegan food had a positive effect on symptoms of the disease, which were more pronounced in the control group. Blood levels of oxidised LDL-cholesterol, a risk factor for atherosclerosis, were also lower in the group which kept to the vegan diet.
The vegan group also had higher levels an antibody that the researchers believe has a protective effect against atherosclerosis.
The findings suggest that diet can have effects on the immune system with implications for the incidence of disease, the researchers said.
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