Details of the recruitment process have been described previously. Case Study A year-old man with a history of hypertension presented to his primary care physician with complaints of fatigue, nausea, and muscle cramps. The efficacy of carbohydrate supplementation and chronic high- carbohydrate diets for improving endurance performance. By subtracting this estimate of survival from 1, and multiplying by , the resulting estimate represents incidence per population over 10 years. Nutr Metab Lond Sep 19; 8 1 Accuracy of death certification and hospital record linkage for identification of incident stroke. Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality-a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. Am J Clin Nutr. In a meta-analysis of 18 prior studies, vegetarian diets consumed over a two-year period were shown to reduce serum concentrations of C-reactive protein a marker of inflammation, suggesting an anti-inflammatory effect of plant-based foods [ 59 ]. Am J Clin Nutr ; 82
A plant-based diet is increasingly becoming recognized as a healthier alternative to a diet laden with meat. Atherosclerosis associated with high dietary intake of meat, fat, and carbohydrates remains the leading cause of mortality in the US. This condition results from progressive damage to the endothelial cells lining the vascular system, including the heart, leading to endothelial dysfunction. In addition to genetic factors associated with endothelial dysfunction, many dietary and other lifestyle factors, such as tobacco use, high meat and fat intake, and oxidative stress, are implicated in atherogenesis. Polyphenols derived from dietary plant intake have protective effects on vascular endothelial cells, possibly as antioxidants that prevent the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein. Recently, metabolites of L-carnitine, such as trimethylamine-N-oxide, that result from ingestion of red meat have been identified as a potential predictive marker of coronary artery disease CAD. Metabolism of L-carnitine by the intestinal microbiome is associated with atherosclerosis in omnivores but not in vegetarians, supporting CAD benefits of a plant-based diet.
Studies suggest that endurance athletes are at higher-than-average risk for atherosclerosis and myocardial damage. The ability of plant-based regimens to reduce risk and affect performance was reviewed. The effect of plant-based diets on cardiovascular risk factors, particularly plasma lipid concentrations, body weight, and blood pressure, and, as part of a healthful lifestyle, reversing existing atherosclerotic lesions, may provide a substantial measure of cardiovascular protection. In addition, plant-based diets may offer performance advantages. They have consistently been shown to reduce body fat, leading to a leaner body composition. Because plants are typically high in carbohydrate, they foster effective glycogen storage. By reducing blood viscosity and improving arterial flexibility and endothelial function, they may be expected to improve vascular flow and tissue oxygenation. Because many vegetables, fruits, and other plant-based foods are rich in antioxidants, they help reduce oxidative stress.