The vegan twin is healthier! Identical twins are great for so many reasons. They have a special role to play when it comes to medical research because they share the same genetics. We can study how much genetics influences our health and how much our lifestyle choices do.
Although it’s well-known that a plant-based diet improves cardiovascular health, diet studies are often hampered by factors such as genetic differences, upbringing and lifestyle choices. By studying identical twins, however, the researchers were able to control for genetics and limit the other factors, as the twins grew up in the same households and reported similar lifestyles.
In a study, published in the American Journal of Medicine, with 22 pairs of identical twins, Stanford Medicine researchers and their colleagues have found that a vegan diet improves cardiovascular health in as little as eight weeks. According to one of the researchers, “this study provides a groundbreaking way to assert that a vegan diet is healthier than the conventional American diet which includes meat, fish, dairy and eggs.
The participants on a vegan diet had significantly lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels, insulin and body weight — all of which are associated with improved cardiovascular health — than their omnivore siblings. This study adds to the substantial amount of research that shows that, compared with an omnivorous diet, a vegan diet confers potential cardiovascular benefits from improved diet quality through the higher consumption of vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
Learn more how a plant-based diet can prevent and help treat cardiovascular disease.