A new study from the University of Glasgow has suggested that vegetarians are much healthier than meat-eaters, even when considering factors such as age, obesity, smoking, and alcohol consumption.
This research, which looked into the biomarkers of over 166,000 UK adults, looked at the association with h19 blood and urine biomarkers in relation to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, liver, bone, and joint health, and kidney function.
The participants – aged between 37 and 73 – were put into two categories, vegetarian, and meat-eaters. It was found that vegetarians had fewer ‘biomarkers’ connected with health conditions like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and kidney function issues.
However, vegetarians had lower levels of beneficial biomarkers, including Vitamin D and Calcium, which point to healthy bones and joints. Vegetarians were also found to have a higher level of fats in the blood and cystatin-C, which points towards poorer kidney conditions.
The lead behind the research, Dr. Carlos Celis-Morales shared, ‘These nutritional differences may help explain why vegetarians appear to have lower levels of disease biomarkers that can lead to cell damage and chronic disease.’.
The authors emphasised that the research was observational, so no conclusions can be made just yet. Researchers also noted that the study relied on participants to record their intake through a food frequency questionnaire, which is not always reliable.
These findings were presented at the European Congress on Obesity (ECO).