A new study now finds that vegetarians have a higher risk of stroke than meat eaters. According to a study carried out by scientists at the Oxford University, vegetarians and vegans had a 20 per cent higher risk of stroke than meat eaters, mainly due to a higher rate of haemorrhagic stroke. Notably, haemorrhagic stroke occur when blood from an artery start bleeding into the brain. The study was published in the British Medical Journal.
According to the story published in Daily Mail, study authors found that vegetarians and vegans in the study had lower circulating cholesterol and lower levels of key vitamins – such as vitamin B12 – which could explain the link.
While turning vegan and vegetarian have become global trends, scientists say those avoiding meat also had significantly lower levels of coronary heart disease – which cause heart attacks and angina.
Writing in BMJ, scientists revealed that overall studies have shown that adults who were fish eaters or vegetarians had lower risks of ischaemic heart disease than meat eaters, but that vegetarians had higher risks of stroke.
The study found that vegetarians had a 22 percent lower risk of heart disease than meat eaters and pescatarians, those who eat fish but not meat, had a 13 percent lower heart disease risk.
According to authors, the difference may be at least partly due to lower body weight, blood pressure and diabetes among vegetarians.
Speaking about the study, Lead researcher Dr Tammy Tong, from the Nuffield Department of Population Health at Oxford, said that additional studies in other large scale setting with high proportion of non-meat eaters are needed to confirm the generalisability of the results.
The research comes barely a week after a nutritionist warned that the growing popularity of veganism may be putting the next generation’s IQ at risk since plant-based diets lack key nutrients and affects an unborn baby’s brain development in pregnant women.