Plant Based Diets Best for GI Hormones

 In Naturopathic News

Node Smith, ND

A new study has found that a vegan diet helps to support hormones produced in the gastrointestinal tract that are responsible for balancing blood sugar, hunger and weight.1 A vegan diet is one that consists of no animal products or byproducts, which includes the omission of eggs and dairy. The study was published in the journal Nutrients.

Study compared a vegan burger to a beef cheeseburger on hormone levels

The study compared a vegan meal consisting of a veggie burger to a beef cheeseburger on hormone levels of 60 men – 20 with obesity, 20 with type 2 diabetes and 20 healthy controls. The meals contained the same caloric and macronutrient composition.

Vegan meal increased beneficial gut hormones

In all of the groups the vegan meal increased beneficial gut hormones, compared with the beef cheeseburger. The hormones tested are involved in the regulation of blood sugar, insulin secretion, energy balance, hunger and weight management.

How beneficial gut hormones can help keep weight down

“These beneficial gut hormones can help keep weight down, enhance insulin secretion, regulate blood sugar, and keep us feeling full longer,” says study author Hana Kahleova, M.D., Ph.D., director of clinical research at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. “The fact that simple meal choices can increase the secretion of these healthy hormones has important implications for those with type 2 diabetes or weight problems.”

Roughly two-thirds of the adult population is considered overweight or obese in the U.S.

In the United States, roughly two-thirds of the adult population is considered overweight or obese, and 114 million of them have either diabetes or prediabetes. Previous research has demonstrated the benefit of a plant-based diet on these conditions. Some studies have concluded that everything else staying the same, a plant-based diet decreases the risk of developing diabetes by 50 percent.

Increasing evidence suggests plant-based diets can help treat and prevent type 2 diabetes and obesity

“This study adds to the mounting evidence that plant-based diets can help manage and prevent type 2 diabetes and obesity,” says Dr. Kahleova.

  1. Klementova, M.; Thieme, L.; Haluzik, M.; Pavlovicova, R.; Hill, M.; Pelikanova, T.; Kahleova, H. A Plant-Based Meal Increases Gastrointestinal Hormones and Satiety More Than an Energy- and Macronutrient-Matched Processed-Meat Meal in T2D, Obese, and Healthy Men: A Three-Group Randomized Crossover Study. Nutrients 2019, 11, 157.

Node Smith, ND, is a naturopathic physician in Humboldt, Saskatchewan and associate editor and continuing education director for NDNR. His mission is serving relationships that support the process of transformation, and that ultimately lead to healthier people, businesses and communities. His primary therapeutic tools include counselling, homeopathy, diet and the use of cold water combined with exercise. Node considers health to be a reflection of the relationships a person or a business has with themselves, with God and with those around them. In order to cure disease and to heal, these relationships must be specifically considered. Node has worked intimately with many groups and organizations within the naturopathic profession, and helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic Revitalization (ANR), which works to promote and facilitate experiential education in vitalism.

Node Smith graduated from the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) in 2017, and is currently licensed as a naturopathic physician in Oregon and working towards becoming licensed in Saskatchewan, Canada as well.

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