According to a new study published in the medical journal American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, a vegan diet is linked to a fewer number of medications prescribed to older adults,. The study investigated the connection between diet and polypharmacy, where a person takes more than five prescribed medications.
Polypharmacy causes many health issues among seniors, being the potential adverse side effects of different interactions when taking numerous medications the main issue. The researchers pointed to the data showing that individuals who take more than five medications a day carry an 88 percent higher risk of adverse drug events as well as a higher mortality rate. The researchers hypothesized that consuming a plant-based diet and having healthy lifestyle choices decrease the number of medications needed and therefore reduce the risk of prescription side effects.
In the study, they gathered data from 328 participants who were 60 years or older. The information was collected through questionnaires and measurements at Loma Linda University Drayson Center in California, in 2016. Results suggest that a plant-based diet reduces the number of medications seniors were taking by 58 percent compared to meat-eaters. Vegetarian participants consumed fewer medications than meat-eaters. The study found that an increase in age, body mass index and presence of disease suggest an increased number of medications taken; but, a vegan diet showed the lowest amount of medications taken throughout the sample.
The researchers reach the conclusion that older adults that follow a healthy vegan or vegetarian diet are much better at protecting their health.
Less medication is just one health benefit of a plant-based diet, particularly if it is a diet abundant in fruits and vegetables. In a study published in the Journal of Urology evidence was found that greater overall consumption of plant-based foods is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer in men under the age of 65.
Another study, published in the scientific journal Foods, found that plant-based meats have a positive impact on gut flora and gut health. The study found that consumers who eat just five plant-based meals per week experience an increase in the levels of bacterias that produce butyrate, which is a fatty acid that promotes digestive health and lessens inflammation to protect against disease. Another study