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STUDY: Vegan diet could help people lose nearly a pound a week and slash their diabetes risk

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The study found that as the people lost weight there was an increase in levels of a 'good bacteria' that is thought to boost the immune system and low levels of it may be linked to obesity and Crohn's disease.

SAM BLANCHARD: ‘Going on a vegan diet could help people lose almost a pound a week and slash their risk of diabetes, according to a study. People who switched to a plant-based diet high in carbohydrates lost an average of 13lbs (5.8kg) in the space of just four months. Scientists suggested changes to bacteria living in the gut could have been responsible for boosting the people’s digestive health. And they said the diet could make their bodies more able to absorb sugar from food, reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Scientists at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington DC tested the effects of a vegan diet on a group of 148 people. Some 73 of them had to abide by a meat- and dairy-free diet for 16 weeks and have tests to measure their weight, body fat, gut bacteria and insulin sensitivity. The remaining 75 made no changes to their diets but had the same tests.

All the vegan participants lost weight during the study, shedding almost a stone on average, with the most weight lost 15.2lbs (6.9kg) and the least 10.3lbs (4.7kg). Most of the weight loss was through fat burnt, and their insulin sensitivity ‘increased significantly’. Being more sensitive to insulin means the body is more efficient at absorbing sugar from food, reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes…

In a summary of their paper published ahead of the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, the scientists also gave an overview of bacterial changes in the participants’ guts. They found that as the people lost weight there was an increase in levels of a ‘good bacteria’ called Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and the vegans had an ‘abundance’. F. prausnitzii is thought to boost the immune system and low levels of it may be linked to obesity and Crohn’s disease’. SOURCE…

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