Change in quality of life and immune markers after a stay at a raw vegan institute: A pilot study

Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, 722 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA. <>
Complementary Therapies in Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.55). 07/2008; 16(3):124-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctim.2008.02.004
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to explore changes in quality of life (QOL), anxiety, stress, and immune markers after a stay at a raw vegan institute.
Prospective observational study.
English-speaking attendees at Hippocrates Health Institute (Florida, US), a raw vegan institute, were recruited on arrival and typically stayed 1-3 weeks.
Participants completed questionnaires assessing overall QOL (SF-36), dietary QOL (QOL related to dietary change), perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale), anxiety, and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) upon arrival and 12 weeks later. C-reactive protein (CRP), lymphocytes, T cells, CD4 cells, CD8 cells, B cells, and NK cells were measured at baseline and 12 weeks in participants living in North America.
Of 107 attendees eligible for the questionnaire study and 82 for the blood marker substudy, 51 and 38 participants, respectively, provided complete follow-up data. Overall QOL improved 11.5% (p=0.001), driven mostly by the mental component. Anxiety decreased 18.6% (p=0.009) and perceived stress decreased 16.4% (p<0.001). Participants' ratings of the food's taste were unchanged, but their ratings of how well they were taking care of themselves improved. CRP, lymphocytes, T cells, and B cells did not change significantly, but CD4, CD8, and NK cells decreased slightly.
A stay at a raw vegan institute was associated with improved mental and emotional QOL. Studies are needed to determine the feasibility of conducting a clinical trial of the raw vegan diet among healthy people, and subsequently among patients with specific diseases.

Download full-text


Available from: Judith S. Jacobson, Jun 19, 2015
1 Follower
27 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Purpose . To determine whether a plant-based nutrition program in a multicenter, corporate setting improves depression, anxiety, and productivity. Design . A quasi-experimental study examined the impact of diet on emotional well-being and productivity. Setting . The study was conducted in 10 corporate sites of a major U.S. insurance company. Subjects . There were 292 participants (79.8% women, 20.2% men), with body mass index ≥25 kg/m(2) and/or previous diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Intervention . Either weekly instruction in following a vegan diet or no instruction was given for 18 weeks. Measures . Depression and anxiety were measured using the Short Form-36 questionnaire. Work productivity was measured using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire. Analysis . Baseline characteristics were examined by t-test for continuous variables and χ(2) test for categorical variables. Analysis of covariance models were adjusted for baseline covariates. Paired t-tests were used to determine within-group changes and t-tests for between-group differences. Results . In an intention-to-treat analysis, improvements in impairment because of health (p < .001), overall work impairment because of health (p = .02), non-work-related activity impairment because of health (p < .001), depression (p = .02), anxiety (p = .04), fatigue (p < .001), emotional well-being (p = .01), daily functioning because of physical health (p = .01), and general health (p = 0.02) in the intervention group were significantly greater than in the control group. Results were similar for study completers. Conclusion . A dietary intervention improves depression, anxiety, and productivity in a multicenter, corporate setting.
    American journal of health promotion: AJHP 02/2014; 29(4). DOI:10.4278/ajhp.130218-QUAN-72 · 2.37 Impact Factor