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Article
August 7, 1981

Effect of Ingestion of Meat on Plasma Cholesterol of Vegetarians

Author Affiliations

From the Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston (Drs Sacks, Donner, Gronemeyer, and Kass); Heart Disease Epidemiology, Framingham, Mass (Dr Castelli); the Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, Worcester (Dr Pletka); the Department of Pharmacology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston (Dr Margolius); and the Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston (Dr Landsberg).

JAMA. 1981;246(6):640-644. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320060042020
Abstract

In a controlled trial, 21 strict vegetarians were studied prospectively for eight weeks: a two-week control period of the usual vegetarian diet was followed by four weeks, during which 250 g of beef was added isocalorically to the daily vegetarian diet and then by two weeks of the control diet. Plasma high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol did not change during the study, whereas plasma total cholesterol rose significantly by 19% at the end of the meat-eating period. Systolic blood pressure (BP) increased significantly during the meat eating by 3% over control values, whereas diastolic BP showed no major changes. Plasma renin activity, prostaglandin A and E levels, and urinary kallikrein, norepinephrine, and epinephrine excretions were within normal limits and did not change notably throughout the trial. The study suggests an adverse effect of consumption of beef on plasma lipid and BP levels.

(JAMA 1981;246:640-644)

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