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Nutrients Help Vegan and Other Women

October 22, 2021

By Campbell's Nutrition

Vitamin D, calcium reduce fracture in vegans

Meat and dairy-free vegan diets can provide all essential nutrients, and have many health benefits, but may lack key nutrients including vitamins B12 and D, calcium, iron, and zinc. Food manufacturers are beginning to fortify non-dairy beverages with calcium and vitamin D, but this is a relatively recent practice. In this study of hip fracture, doctors followed 34,542 non-Hispanic, white, men and peri- and post-menopausal women, aged at least 45 years, for an average 8.4 years and determined that female vegans were 55 percent more likely to have had a hip fracture than non-vegetarians. When doctors compared calcium and vitamin D in the diets, female vegans taking both supplements had no greater chances for hip fracture than those with other diets, including non-vegetarians.

Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2021, Vol. 114, No. 2, 488–95

Folate protects against colorectal cancer

Some doctors are concerned too much folate can increase chances for cancers, particularly after the 1998 U.S. mandatory food-fortification laws. In this study, doctors measured all forms of folate in the diets of 86,320 women who had entered a larger study in 1980. Each increase of 240 mcg of folate per day, measured from 12 to 24 years prior, reduced chances for colorectal cancer by 7 percent, and 20 to 24 years prior, by 13 percent. Doctors concluded folate—taken much earlier in life—reduced chances for colorectal cancer developing later, and that higher folate levels after 1998 did not increase chances.

Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2021, Vol. 114, No. 1, 49–58

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