Short-Term Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian Diet And Blood Rheology In Young Nigerian Adults
Background: Previous epidemiological studies have found a decrease cardiovascular disease risk and reduced level of haemorheological parameters in adult vegetarians. It is not quite known if the duration of consumption of vegetarian diet affects the level of these parameters.
Objective: To evaluate the effects of short term lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet on haemorheoogical cardiovascular disease risk factors in Nigerian young adults.
Design and Subjects: A longitudinal study of young Nigerian adults (16-25years). Participants were recruited from new intakes in a seven day Adventist University in South West Nigeria.
Methods: Blood samples were analysed for haematological and rheological parameters at baseline and after 10 weeks follow up using standard methods.
Results: A total of 41 students were studied (male/female 24/17). Mean age 20.4 + 3.7 for males and 19.6 + for females. Blood viscosity, plasma fibrinogen and erythrocyte sedimentation showed significant reduction from baseline values (p<0001), these reductions were more marked in males than females. The white cell count and the platelet count were not significantly different from baseline values (p>0.05). Contrary to earlier
reports, we observed an increment in the haematocrit after 10 weeks of lacto-ovovegetarian diet but the plasma viscosity was still lower than the pre-lacto-ovo-vegetarian values.
Conclusion: We conclude that short-term lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet lead to significant reduction in rheological parameters, a development which may confer a decrease cardiovascular risk in vegetarians.
Keywords: Short-term lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet