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Updated by Erika Yigzaw on Nov 21, 2020
Erika Yigzaw Erika Yigzaw
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Raw Foods and Nutrition

Journal of Nutrition

High consumption of vegetables and fruits is associated with reduced risk for cardiovascular disease. However, little information
is available about diets based predominantly on consumption of fruits and their health consequences. We investigated the effects
of an extremely high dietary intake of raw vegetables and fruits (70–100% raw food) on serum lipids and plasma vitamin B-12,
folate, and total homocysteine (tHcy). In a cross-sectional study, the lipid, folate, vitamin B-12, and tHcy status of 201
adherents to a raw food diet (94 men and 107 women) were examined. The participants consumed ∼1500–1800 g raw food of plant
origin/d mainly as vegetables or fruits. Of the participants, 14% had high serum LDL cholesterol concentrations, 46% had low
serum HDL cholesterol, and none had high triglycerides. Of raw food consumers, 38% were vitamin B-12 deficient, whereas 12%
had an increased mean corpuscular volume (MCV). Plasma tHcy concentrations were correlated with plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations
(r = −0.450, P < 0.001), but not with plasma folate. Plasma tHcy and MCV concentrations were higher in those in the lowest quintile of consumption
of food of animal origin (Ptrend < 0.001). This study indicates that consumption of a strict raw food diet lowers plasma total cholesterol and triglyceride
concentrations, but also lowers serum HDL cholesterol and increases tHcy concentrations due to vitamin B-12 deficiency.