Vegetarian Diet Might Increase the Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases, According to a Recent Study, Says Nutri-Med Logic Corp

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Nutri-Med Logic Corp: According to a recently published study by the Laboratory of Nutrition, Faculty of Pharmacy, University Louis Pasteur, France, vegetarian diet is promoting illness and mortality, more specifically cardiovascular disease, unrelated to vitamin B status but possibly due to sub-clinical malnutrition, and/or hyper-homocysteinemia.

Nutri-Med Logic Corp: Is the vegetarian diet causing cardiovascular illness and, if so, would a diet consisting of R-Alpha Lipoic be beneficial?

A recently published study suggests vegetarians are developing cardiovascular diseases due to their diet, particularly due to lack of the dietary sulfur, which is primarily found in animal products.

According to the study, the lack of sulfur in the diet of vegetarians is causing elevated levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that poses a considerable risk in the development of coronary heart disease.

Homocysteine is considered a key atherogenic marker (deposition of lipids, and calcium / formation of plaques). Homocysteine is not obtained from the diet, rather it is a byproduct of the metabolism of other amino acids.

The relation between high levels and homocysteine and coronary heart disease was first reported in 1976 by the Journal of Clinical Investigation. (1)

Normally, an organic molecule called methyl (carried by nutrients such as B6, B9, B12 and Choline) converts homocysteine to methionine, an essential amino acid. Therefore, up to now, supplementation of methyl donor nutrients were recommended to lower the elevated levels of homocysteine and, to a good extent, such diet has been beneficial.

However, this recent study is the first to link the elevated levels of homocysteine to the lack of sufficient dietary intake of sulfur, more specifically the study suggests that the methionine levels were normal, indicating that there were no deficiency of methyl donors nutrients. Elevated levels of homocysteine are normally associated with the low levels of methionine / methyl groups. (2)

The study indicates that while the methionine levels were normal but the levels of cysteine and glutathione (sulfur containing molecules) were significantly decreased in the study group, demonstrating deficiency of the trans-sulfuration pathway.

Glutathione is an endogenous anti-oxidant that its levels decrease by age and, while glutathione is found in food, but its levels do not increase, substantially, neither by food or dietary supplementation of glutathione.

In 1996, the Department of Molecular Biology of the University of Berkley, California, discovered that dietary intake of R-Alpha Lipoic increased the cellular levels of glutathione and, since then, there have numerous studies confirming such findings. (3,4,5,6)

Additionally, R-Alpha Lipoic has show to improve the utilization of cystine (a cysteine-cysteine compounds, which would be reduced to two cysteine molecules, since most cellular compartments are reducing environments). (7)

The study blames the higher levels of homocysteine are due to the decreased levels of glutathione and cysteine.

Dietary intake of R-Alpha Lipoic has been associated with the increased levels of glutathione and improved utilization of cystine.

The human body produces R-Alpha Lipoic but its production, also, decreases by age. R-Alpha Lipoic is a nutrient and found in variety of foods, such as spinach and broccoli, but its levels do not increase, significantly, through conventional food but only through its dietary supplementation.

In conclusion, Nutri-Med Logic Corp agrees with the recent study of Laboratory of Nutrition of the University of Louis Pasteur in France, but adds that for increasing the sulfur rich molecules, such as glutathione, vegetarians do not necessarily need animal sources. R-Alpha Lipoic is sulfur containing nutrient and it increases the internal production of sulfur containing molecules.

Nutri-Med Logic Corp is a producer of dietary supplements, including a R-Alpha Lipoic product.

Nutri-Med Logic's products are Formulated Based on Nutritional Logic, made from the highest quality raw materials that are manufactured in pharmaceutical facilities, encapsulated in pharmaceutical facilities and packaged in pharmaceutical facilities.

It must be noted that the studies, sources or statements, above and below, have not been evaluated by The FDA and, thus, one should not relate the cause of any diseases, stated herein, to lack of R-Alpha Lipoic in the diet ; nor equate its supplementation to prevention, treatment or cure.

1. J Clin Invest. 1976 Apr;57(4):1079-82
2. Thrombosis and Haemostsis. 2006 Oct;96(4):492-7.
3. Free Radic Biol Med. 2001 Nov 15;31(10):1149-55.
4. Curr Med Chem. 2004 May;11(9):1135-46.
5. Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Jan;113(1):154-64
6. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Oct;1790(10):1149-60.
7. Biofactors. 1997;6(3):321-38.


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H.R. Zadeh
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