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Vegetarians May Need Vitamin B and Omega-3 Supplements

People that follow a vegetarian diet may benefit from supplementing their diet with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 according to a new study published in the February 2011 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Researchers from Zhejiang University in China analyzed studies spanning 30 years on vegetarianism and veganism compared to diets that include meat.

The research showed what many people already know; meat eaters have an increased risk of various cardiovascular risk factors such as higher blood pressure, cholesterol and waist hip ratio.

On the other hand, vegetarians showed lower levels of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. This can lead to a higher risk of developing blood clots and atherosclerosis, both of which increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Omega-3's and vitamin B12 have both been linked to numerous health benefits. This study shows that vegetarians may want to consider taking a supplement to make up for the lack of these compounds in their diet.

B vitamins play a very important role in many essential functions in the human body including nervous system function, red blood cell formation, and hormone function. Previous studies have also found a potential link between these important vitamins and reductions in the risk of stroke, hearing loss and birth defects.

Omega-3's have also been linked to numerous health benefits, most notably related to cardiovascular health. They have also been shown to decrease the risk of age-related cognitive decline, age-related macular degeneration and may even help boost your mood.

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