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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7-11

Vegetarianism- Food as medicine and a way of life

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Chima Oji
44 Park Avenue GRA, P.O.Box 3265, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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This short review highlights the beneficial and adverse effects of vegetarian diets in various medical conditions, and the relationships between vegetarian diets and morality. It is becoming increasingly important to recognize that both values and scientific issues come into play in evaluating data on diet. An inverse association has been reported between nut, fruit, vegetable and fibre consumption, and the risk of coronary heart disease. An inverse association between fruit and vegetable consumption and stroke has been suggested. There is an inverse association between dietary fibre intake and incidence of colon and breast cancer as well as prevalence of colonic diverticula and gallstones. There are few adverse effects, mainly increased intestinal gas production and a small risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. The link between food and mood has been established by hundreds of scientific studies. Many of them show that vegetarian diets positively influence depression, anxiety, anger, violence, lethargy, and cravings.

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