Consumption of plant protein can elongate human lifespan

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A team of researchers in the United States (U.S) has found that older people who eat more plant protein tend to live longer lives. According to their paper published in ‘JAMA Internal Medicine,’ after their analysis of a database compiled by a team working on the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study, the same effect cannot be achieved by persons that consume meat-based protein. The researchers from the U.S National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute looked specifically at protein consumption.

The ‘Medical X press’ reported that protein can be found in red meat, pork, chicken, seafood and eggs. But it can also be found in plant foods such as peanuts, chia seeds, tofu, broccoli and oats. However, the researchers wanted to know if eating animal versus plant-based protein made a difference on longevity. They found that those people, male or female, who consumed more than average amounts of plantbased protein, had a five per cent lower than average mortality rate.

Similarly, they found that the more plant-based protein a person ate, the longer they tended to live. And they found that those who swapped just three per cent of the animal-based protein in their diets for plant-based proteins, saw a 10 per cent reduction in mortality risk.

In addition, the researchers also found that swapping animal-based protein for plant-based protein foods led to reductions in cardiovascular disease. “Switching just three per cent of such proteins resulted in an 11 per cent reduction in cardiovascular- disease related deaths in men and 12 per cent in women. The team accessed data from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, which has been compiling diet and health information on people age 50 to 71 over the past 16 years. The database has information on 179,068 women and 237,036 men from several states and two major cities, Detroit and Atlanta. The median age of the people when they entered the database was 62.

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