A Smart and Healthy Veggie

Couple of news items. First one found by Jane O.

Via the Beeb:

High IQ link to being vegetarian

Intelligent children are more likely to become vegetarians later in life, a study says.

A Southampton University team found those who were vegetarian by 30 had recorded five IQ points more on average at the age of 10.

Researchers said it could explain why people with higher IQ were healthier as a vegetarian diet was linked to lower heart disease and obesity rates.

The study of 8,179 was reported in the British Medical Journal.

Twenty years after the IQ tests were carried out in 1970, 366 of the participants said they were vegetarian – although more than 100 reported eating either fish or chicken.

Men who were vegetarian had an IQ score of 106, compared with 101 for non-vegetarians; while female vegetarians averaged 104, compared with 99 for non-vegetarians.

Full story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6180753.stm

Via Yahoo News:

Low-protein diet might reduce cancer risk

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Researchers studying a group of vegetarians who’d maintained a diet relatively low in protein and calories found that they had lower blood levels of several hormones and other substances that have been tied to certain cancers.

A comparison group of distance runners also had lower levels of most of these substances compared with sedentary adults who followed a typical American diet — that is, relatively high in protein from meat and dairy.

However, the low-protein group also had a potential advantage over the runners: lower levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a body protein that helps cells grow and multiply. High IGF-1 levels in the blood have been linked to breast, prostate and colon cancers.

It’s not clear that this all translates into lower odds of developing cancer, but the findings are a “first step” in showing how lower-protein diets might alter cancer risk, according to the researchers….

…. Many people are eating too many animal products,” Fontana said, as well as too many processed foods and sugars.

He advised that people try to eat more fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, beans and fish, and less red meat. Doing so could bring the amount of calories and protein the average American eats closer to recommended levels — and possibly lower IGF-I levels, according to Dr. Luigi Fontana, an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis.

“We hope to further clarify what happens to cancer risk when we are chronically eating more protein than we need,” he said.

Full story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061213/hl_nm/low_protein_dc_1

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