Vegetarian Diets Linked to Genetic Mutation That Causes Cancer

vegetables wikimediaThe debate between meat eaters and vegetarians has been raging for years. One side has often claimed that the human body never evolved to eat meat. The other side points out that some nutrients are nearly impossible to obtain without a meaty diet. Truth be told there can be health consequences for both diets, especially in the modern world where most meats are processed and loaded with preservatives.

However, the health issues associated with vegetarian diets doesn’t receive nearly enough attention. While it can lower blood pressure, as well as decrease your chances of having diabetes and some forms of cancers, there is definitely a trade-off. Aside from the fact that you’ll be more likely to be deficient in zinc, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium, and protein, vegetarians are also known to have lower bone densities, lower sperm counts, and more mental health issues.

On top of that, there is an issue with vegetarian diets that has puzzled scientists for years. Even though past studies have linked excessive meat consumption with colorectal cancer, vegetarians are 40% more likely to have the disease. Recent research may be able to finally explain why this happens.

Researchers from Cornell University in the US compared hundreds of genomes from a primarily vegetarian population in Pune, India to traditional meat-eating people in Kansas and found there was a significant genetic difference.

“Those whose ancestry derives from vegetarians are more likely to carry genetics that more rapidly metabolise plant fatty acids,” said Tom Brenna, Professor of Human Nutrition at Cornell.

“In such individuals, vegetable oils will be converted to the more pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid, increasing the risk for chronic inflammation that is implicated in the development of heart disease, and exacerbates cancer.

“The mutation appeared in the human genome long ago, and has been passed down through the human family.”

Essentially, vegetarian diets have created a mutation in the human genome that becomes more prevalent with each generation of vegetarian eaters. The mutation helps digest plants, but it comes at a cost. Not only does it increase inflammation and cancer risks for vegetarians, but it also stifles the digestion of omega-3 fatty acids. The research points out that this could increase the risk of heart disease, but that’s not all. Omega-3 is responsible for preventing a host of health problems, such as depression, asthma, and Alzheimer’s.

The fact that this genetic mutation developed is very telling. It shows that being vegetarian isn’t the norm for our species. Our bodies had to adapt to it over many generations, and that adaptation is giving us health problems. Without this gene your body will have a harder time on a vegetarian diet, and with it you’ll be at risk for several diseases. This research proves that vegetarianism is not ideal for humans.

That’s not to say that a vegetarian diet is all bad, but it may not be a diet that you want to turn into a lifelong pursuit. Going on a vegetarian diet for a short period of time could probably help you sort out several health problems, but sticking to it is not going to be good for you, regardless of whether or not you carry this mutation.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 1st, 2016
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  • Davez

    More than 96 percent of Americans have a deficiency in Fibre, whereas most vegans and vegetarians do not. B12 is made by our body, we only need very small amounts. The study with the gene only included 545 people, 311 from the US, with only 18 percent gene increased, and 234 from India with over 68 percent gene increased. The study did not include environmental or other factors which could gene production. For a diet that millions of people follow, with only good benefits, this just seems too understudyed to be worried about. Just my 2 cents.

    • Joan Camara

      Your comment will do! It’s good enough. Read mine above?

  • L. A. McDonough

    Vegetarian eating is BS and very boring. My aunts and other I know lived to be around 100 and they ate meats daily to incl .my in laws who were 88 when they died. The main thing is to eat lean meats in smaller portions (3 to 6 oz).

  • Joan Camara

    I say this article is such HUGE BS! NO scientific links!! Whoever wrote this is one ignorant person!! You might as well be saying that horses are really cows!
    All you have to do is eat a variety of foods every day. Regular fruits and vegetables are sprayed heavily with some very nasty chemicals though….I’m 99% sure of THAT!! THAT is the cause of mental health issues, and a WHOLE lot more problems!!! Everyone heard of Roundup Ready, with the “possible” carcinogenic, (noooo, surely a chemical that is NOT found naturally in the human body would be THAT!) Glyphosate, that they spray on ALL crops? In 2007, glyphosate was the most used herbicide in the United States’ agricultural sector! They wouldn’t mention THAT, now would they?? Wouldn’t want to upset their god, Monsanto!! (or the agricultural business, for that matter) I stay away from regular fruits ad vegetables anyway, because I KNOW that they’ve been sprayed!! I eat ONLY ORGANIC fruits and vegetables!! Whoever wrote this article knows NOTHING about health, and needs to leave this subject alone! And so does some “researcher” from CORNEY Institution!! Vegetables and mental issues, MY BUTT!! Totally ridiculous!! They trying to keep people from eating healthy food, and keep them on processed, chemicalized, GMO’d…JUNK! PERIOD!! Ready Nutrition is about to lose a reader! I wouldn’t buy, and haven’t ever bought, any food from this site anyway with all the chemicals in THEIR food!

  • Synickel

    This is perhaps one of the most stupid articles I have ever read on “nutrition.” The extensive and lengthy studies done on vegetarian members of the Seventh-day Adventist religion find that vegetarians live many years longer, and most importantly, with a greater quality of life than meat-eaters. Many of the people in this long-term study, come from families that are 3rd or 4th generation vegetarians.

    The study of this article must have been funded by Westin foundation or a meat/dairy corporation. Cancer is virtually impossible to grow in a vegan, if they are strict in their diet, also avoiding sugars, coffee, processed food, they will have an alkaline body chemistry, which is impossible for cancer cells to survive in.

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