|Enewsletter • Feb. 28, 2007|
Notes from Vegan Outreach
Vegans, Shows, and Rock-and-Roll
Musicians around the world are using their music to promote animal welfare and vegetarianism. Two Massachusetts artists -- Kyle Vincent and inblackandwhite -- shared with us their experiences distributing Vegan Outreach materials on their recent concert tours.
You can read the article, compiled by Jenna Calabrese, here.
New Study Answers Questions about the Vegan Diet, Calcium, and Bone Health
-Jack Norris, RD
If you’ve been a vegan for long, you’ve probably heard that:
Finally, you might have come to the conclusion that the lower levels of protein in a vegan diet protect against osteoporosis.
For almost ten years now, Vegan Outreach has cautioned vegans that the jury was still out on these issues and that vegans should try to meet the U.S. recommended intakes for calcium. In recent years, the evidence has been mounting against the above statements. In February of 2007, a study was released, the first study of its kind, that gives us pretty good answers to these questions. (1)
The EPIC-Oxford study recruited 57,000 participants, including over 1,000 vegans and almost 10,000 lacto-ovo vegetarians (LOV), from 1993 to 2000. They were asked to fill out a questionnaire to measure what they ate. About 5 years after entering the study, they were sent a follow-up questionnaire asking if they had suffered any bone fractures.
After adjusting for age alone, the vegans had a 37% higher fracture rate than meat-eaters. After adjusting for age, smoking, alcohol consumption, body mass, physical activity, marital status, and births and hormone replacement therapy for women, the vegans still had a 30% higher fracture rate.
That’s not good news; in fact, it’s something I’ve feared for some time now given the vegan propaganda about animal protein, calcium, and bones which has fostered complacency among vegans about calcium and vitamin D.
Yet, there is some good news in this study. When calcium intake was adjusted for, the vegans no longer had a higher rate of fractures. And among the subjects who got 525 mg of calcium a day (only 55% of the vegans compared to about 95% of the other diet groups), vegans had the same fracture rates as the other diet groups. (And if you’re wondering about how the other diet groups (meat-eaters, fish-eaters, and LOV) fared over all, none of them differed from each other in any of the analyses performed.)
Does this mean lower calcium intakes are the cause of the fractures? It could be that people who eat more calcium also eat more or less protein or get more vitamin D. The authors noted that fracture rates did not correlate with protein or vitamin D intake among the people in this study. For now, we should assume that calcium is what the vegans with higher fracture rates were lacking.
The study did not measure calcium
intake from supplements. I’m not
sure if this affected the results,
but for now I would assume it did
1. Appleby P, Roddam A, Allen N,
Key T. Comparative fracture risk
in vegetarians and nonvegetarians
in EPIC-Oxford. Eur J Clin Nutr.
2007 Feb 7; [Epub ahead of print]
Product of the Week
Pippi: For great taste -- www.buykind.com and it's fun. You go there and find a restaurant, or menu that tempts your tastebuds and order. . .Ta Da! Food arrives at your door! They also have vegan chocolates, organic/fair trade coffee, vegan wine and other fun stuff. Check it out! It's fun and it's super YUM!
Notes from All Over
On or around March 20 -- the first day of spring -- thousands of caring people in all 50 US states and around the world will hold informative and educational events for The Great American Meatout. Events will include colorful 'lifestivals,' street theater, lectures, public dinners, cooking demos, food samplings, leafleting, information tables, and a Congressional Reception in Washington, DC. You can learn more here; if you are going to distribute Vegan Outreach booklets for your event, please order them by tomorrow, March 1.