Vegetarian diets and diverticular disease

Vegetarian diets are associated with higher intake of fiber. Fiber intake affects the health of the gastrointestinal tract. On the other hand, inadequate intake of fiber increases the risk of constipation, the inflammation of the appendix and other intestinal conditions. Both males and females consuming a traditional, meat-based diet consume about half or less than half of the recommended fiber intake. The benefits of vegetarian diet in gastrointestinal health can be illustrated with the results of the EPIC-Oxford study, in which the risk for developing diverticular disease, one of the most serious gastrointestinal conditions, was assessed among individuals consuming vegans, vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets. The following quote explains the findings: “this finding of a possible protective effect of vegetarianism, regardless of the time of adherence to the diet, suggests that even in the short term, a vegetarian diet could be associated with a lower risk of diverticular disease.”