Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D status of vegetarians, partial vegetarians, and nonvegetarians: The Adventist Health Study-2

Adventist Health Study-2, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA, USA.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 6.77). 04/2009; 89(5):1686S-1692S. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.26736X
Source: PubMed


Vegans and other vegetarians who limit their intake of animal products may be at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency than nonvegetarians, because foods providing the highest amount of vitamin D per gram naturally are all from animal sources, and fortification with vitamin D currently occurs in few foods.
We assessed serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [s25(OH)D] concentrations and factors affecting them in vegetarians, partial vegetarians, and nonvegetarians in a sample of calibration study subjects from the Adventist Health Study-2.
Food-frequency questionnaires and sun-exposure data were obtained from 199 black and 229 non-Hispanic white adults. We compared s25(OH)D concentration, dietary and supplemental vitamin D intake, and sun exposure in the different dietary groups.
We found no significant difference in s25(OH)D by vegetarian status for either white or black subjects. Among whites, dietary vitamin D intake and sun behavior were different between vegetarian groups, but there was no difference in skin type distribution. Among blacks, no significant differences were observed for any of these variables between vegetarian groups. The mean (+/-SD) s25(OH)D was higher in whites (77.1 +/- 10.33 nmol/L) than in blacks (50.7 +/- 27.4 nmol/L) (P < 0.0001).
s25(OH)D concentrations were not associated with vegetarian status. Other factors, such as vitamin D supplementation, degree of skin pigmentation, and amount and intensity of sun exposure have greater influence on s25(OH)D than does diet.

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Available from: Jacqueline Chan, Jun 17, 2015
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    • "According to the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a vegan diet can be healthful provided the individual follows a few precautions [13] . Recent studies have shown that vegans face nutritional problems with respect to vitamin B12 [17, 18], 25-hydorxyvitamin D [19, 20, 21], iodine [22, 23], selenium [24], and long-chain n-3 fatty acid status [25, 26]. The present study was undertaken to assess the nutritional status and supplementation habits of Finnish long-term vegans, whom we expected to adhere strictly to the diet and to possess good knowledge of a healthy vegan diet. "

    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Dietary patterns differed between Blacks and Whites in that Blacks tended to be more omnivorous than Whites which may have explained their significant differences in serum 25(OH)D levels. However vegetarianism, as in a similar study in this population [19], did not show association with vitamin D levels. The inverse association between serum 25(OH)D and systolic BP in Whites is consistent with findings of Judd et al., [4], and Scragg et al., [5],. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background and aims: Accumulating epidemiological and clinical studies have suggested that vitamin D insufficiency may be associated with hypertension. Blacks tend to have lower vitamin D levels than Whites, but it is unclear whether this difference explains the higher blood pressure (BP) observed in Blacks in a population with healthy lifestyle practices. Methods and results: We examined cross-sectional data in the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2), a cohort of non-smoking, mostly non-drinking men and women following a range of diets from vegan to non-vegetarian. Each participant provided dietary, demographic, lifestyle and medical history data. Measurements of weight, height, waist circumference, percent body fat and blood pressure and fasting blood samples were obtained from a randomly selected non-diabetic sample of 284 Blacks and 284 Whites aged 30-95 years. Multiple regression analyses were used to assess independent relationships between blood pressure and 25(OH)D levels. Levels of 25(OH)D were inversely associated with systolic BP in Whites after control for age, gender, BMI, and use of BP-lowering medications (β-coefficient -0.23 [95% CI, -0.43, -0.03; p = 0.02]). This relationship was not seen in Blacks (β-coefficient 0.08 [95% CI, -0.14, 0.30; p = 0.4]). Results were similar when controlling for waist circumference or percentage body fat instead of BMI. No relationship between serum 25(OH)D and diastolic BP was seen. Conclusion: Systolic BP is inversely associated with 25(OH)D levels in Whites but not in Blacks. Vitamin D may not be a major contributor to the White-Black differential in BP.
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, vegetarian diets have experienced an increase in popularity. A vegetarian diet is associated with many health benefits because of its higher content of fiber, folic acid, vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium, and many phytochemicals and a fat content that is more unsaturated. Compared with other vegetarian diets, vegan diets tend to contain less saturated fat and cholesterol and more dietary fiber. Vegans tend to be thinner, have lower serum cholesterol, and lower blood pressure, reducing their risk of heart disease. However, eliminating all animal products from the diet increases the risk of certain nutritional deficiencies. Micronutrients of special concern for the vegan include vitamins B-12 and D, calcium, and long-chain n-3 (omega-3) fatty acids. Unless vegans regularly consume foods that are fortified with these nutrients, appropriate supplements should be consumed. In some cases, iron and zinc status of vegans may also be of concern because of the limited bioavailability of these minerals.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2009 · American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
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