You think that the vegetarians are very healthy? This research says something else!
The vegetarian diet on long pats could cause genetic mutations that increase the risk of heart diseases or cancer, claim the scientists from the Cornell University in USA.
The scientists have found that the population in which with generations have been represented vegetarian diets, have better chances to transmit a DNA which will make the next generation vulnerable on inflammations.
The US scientists believe that the mutations appeared in order to make the absorption of fatty acids easier from the vegetables to the vegetarians.
However, it caused domino effect and increased the production of arachidonic acid (Omega-6 fatty acid), which is also known as a cause of inflammatory diseases and cancer. In combination with a diet rich with vegetable oils, such as the sunflower oil, the mutant gene quickly transforms the fatty acids into dangerous arachidonic acid.
This discovery could help resolve the previous research that found that the vegetarian population has 40% more chance to suffer from colon cancer, than the people that eat meat. This surprised the doctors, because it is known that the red meat increases the chance of getting cancer.
The researchers from the Cornell University conducted hundreds of genomes from primarily vegetarian orientated populations who live in India, to populations who are traditionally orientated to meat, such as the people from the Kansas environment and found that there are differences in their genes.
“Those whose forefathers were vegetarians, mostly have genes that quickly metabolize the fatty acids from the vegetables”, says Tom Brena, professor of human nutrition at the Cornell University.
At these people, the vegetable oils are transformed into arachidonic acid, which increases the risk of chronic inflammations that appear during the development of heart diseases and deterioration of the cancer.
This mutation appeared in the human genome long time ago and transmits to the next generations.
For making this problem worse, the mutation also disturbs the production of the useful Omega-3 fatty acids that protect the heart of diseases. It didn’t have a big connection when the mutation started to develop, but now the situation changed, because during the industrial revolution, the healthy Omega-3 diets changed.
“The dietary changes in the balance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 could contribute to increase of the chronic diseases in some countries”- says doctor Brena. He adds that the message for the vegetarians is clear: “Use vegetable oils that are not rich with the Omega-6 linoleic acids, such as the olive oil.”
The mutation is called rs66698963 and it is found in the FAD32 gene, which controls the production of fatty acids in the body.
The previous studies have shown that the Vegetarianism and Veganism could cause problems with fertility and decrease of the sperm count.
Also, many vegetarians are fighting to intake enough proteins, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and calcium in the organism which are very important for the health.
From the other side, some studies show that the Vegetarianism decreases the risk of diabetes, stroke and overweight.
This study is published in the diary of Molecular Biology and Evolution.