Vegan Diet Linked to Stroke Risk?

Vegan Diet Linked to Stroke Risk?


(audience clapping) Listen up my vegan friends cause there’s a new study in town that’s got a lot of people talking. Check it out. (upbeat electronic music) Can a vegetarian or vegan diet increase the risk of a stroke? That’s what a lot of people are asking after recent headlines began to swirl following a new study. At Oxford University a study found that vegans and vegetarians aged 18 to 45 had a 20% higher risk of stroke than meat eaters. The study alternately found that vegetarians and vegans had lower circulating cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease. But given this new piece of information, should vegans and vegetarians continue loading up their plates with just fruits and veggies or join the herd and become meat eaters? Joining us via Skype to help make sense of all of this is renowned cardiologist and vegan Dr. Joel Kahn. Dr. Kahn, welcome back to the show.
(audience clapping) Welcome Dr. Kahn. [Male Doctor On Right At Table] Hello Joel, how are ya? Thank you for joining us. I’m good, thank you very much. So just talk to us a little bit about this study and look, what I love about what you do is you talk about food is medicine but tell us how we should read into this study. Sure, the best you can do in nutrition science is see relationships. 50,000 people, there were 1,800 vegans, there actually were only eight strokes that were alerted to the public in these headlines. There actually was a major reduction in heart attack and only eight strokes that are called hemorrhagic strokes. It wasn’t what we call statistically significant. There shouldn’t be headlines for non-statistically significant findings cause they’re likely due to chance not due a relationship between the diet. With all that said just to conclude, four months earlier a study four times larger said vegan and vegetarian diets reduce stroke rate. So when you put it all together there really isn’t any alarm. We should keep an eye on the topic, but we take absolute confidence that there’s a statistically significant drop in heart attack risk by putting plants on your plate instead of animal product as often as you can. What I tell people is look, if you’re going to enjoy meat do it the way that centenarians or in the communities like the blue zones eat it. It’s a treat, it’s something they enjoy, it’s not their go to every meal. When you look at a study like this, does it at least lend some credence to, hey, these people who are eating these meat-based products as treats probably just fine when it comes to their health? I would agree with you. Some people call it a condi-meat. The little thing on the side next to the big plate of fruits, vegetables– I like that (laughs). And legumes. Yeah it is a nice little term and it does match these pockets of longevity. Studies from Harvard show shifting three to five percent of your calories from animal to plant is actually identifiable as a benefit for your heart. So, you wanna jump into the pool, jump in. You wanna put a toe in, it’s a good health progress anyways.

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