Table 2: Overview of the health benefits resulting from vegan diets.


Health benefits (abbreviated) & important results (in extracts, abbreviated)



Higher life expectancy and lifespan: Eating vegetarian for > 17 years has been connected to + 3.6 years, particularly vegans have been reported to have the highest life expectancy

Reduced mortality risk and lower risk of most main causes of mortality

Lower all-cause mortality (up to - 20%, maximum with fresh fruit - 21%)

Lower mortality from CVD

[89,90,92,96,133,149,164,288-307], [83]

(pp. 92, 189)


Resting heart rate (associated with longevity, distinct gain in lifespan) in order to protect, maintain and improve heart health and cardiovascular health



✓ Plant protein is adequate to meet protein requirements at all ages (balanced vegan diet, when energy intake is adequate)

✓ Total and daily protein intake is adequate (intake: 10-12% in vegans)

✓ Current protein recommendations and also protein needs are met or exceeded without the use of additional protein supplements

[9,19,20,22,26,88,170,174-176], [163]

 (pp. 15, 67, 77-79)


↑ Better up to highest rated diet compared to mixed diets considering quality of diet contribution to healthy eating (Alternative Healthy Eating Index, Healthy Eating Index 2010 and the Mediterranean Diet Score)

✓/ Good/high quality of plant protein (grains, legumes, pulses, beans)

✓ Plant protein provides all amino acids

✓ Plant protein beneficial to (sustainable) health

↑ Plant protein healthier than animal protein: Supplies almost no saturated fatty acids, no trans-fatty acids, no dietary cholesterol, good source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, iron, zinc, resistant starch, antioxidants, phytochemicals

↓ Plant protein associated with

✓/ Good health of gastro-intestinal tract and heart

✓/ Good bone health (mineral density, no higher risk for osteoporosis and fractures)

✓/ Good muscle health (preserving muscle mass and strength, metabolic health, functional capacity)

↓ Lower blood pressure

↓ Reduced blood lipid and LDL levels

↑ Improved insulin sensitivity

↑ Improved menopausal symptoms and female osteoporosis

↓ Reduced risk, lower incidences of certain cancers, and prevention (reversal) of cancer

↓ Lower mortality risk and lower mortality from (1) CVD (- 12%) and (2) all-cause (- 10%), a calculated reduction of up to - 10% in global deaths with 8.1 million lives could be saved per year

[26,31,88,146,149,162,172,175,177,178,188,243,249,308-318], [2] (pp. 388-389, 402, 410-413, 416), [27] (p. 43),

[163] (pp. 65, 74, 77-79)



Fewer biological hazards, toxic substances and noxious residues of chemicals (agricultures, life stock farming)


[154] (p. 103)


↑ Naturally provides high nutrient density, and high amounts of complex carbohydrates

✓ Meets nutrient recommendations

↓ Less calorie-dense, lower total calorie intake, less saturated fat, cholesterol intake (than non-vegan diets)

✓/↑ Naturally provides the highest alkalizing potential (low-PRAL: specific fruits/vegetables down to - 23 mEq/day; vegan meal down to - 22.9 mEq/dish; vegan diet down to - 39 mEq/day)



✓ Species-appropriate diet

✓ Adequate diet for all ages (pregnancy to elderly), and for athletes

✓ Recommended as diet for permanent adherence (wholesome, natural, vegan diet), counted among alternative diets, with vegetables, fruits, whole grains (products), potatoes, legumes, nuts and herbs as central food groups

[26,88,187], [2,55],

(pp. 36-37, 62-65, 133-138),

[83] (p. 38)


✓/Inexpensive and safe intervention (dual, integrated guidelines: Vegan diet permanently linked to daily moderate sports and exercise)


[2] (pp. 418-419)


✓ Good state of health is sound

✓ Health status more often within normal range

↓ Lower BW and lower BMI (vegans are leaner)

Better BW control/management

↓ Lower blood pressure

↓ Lower blood levels of total and LDL cholesterol (with lower risk of CVD)

Healthier than non-vegans

↓ Suffer markedly less frequently from illnesses, infections and chronic diseases

Increased antioxidant status (to prevent LDL oxidation; to reduce exercise induced oxidative stress; plant polyphenols protective to cardiovascular system)

Improved (significantly lower) biomarkers of inflammation and immune defense (serum CRP, fibrinogen,

interleukin-6; total leukocyte levels; lymphocyte responsiveness; natural killer cell functionality)

↓ Less micro inflammation and reduced chronic systemic inflammation

↓ Associated with fewer allergies than with vegetarian diets

Lower morbidity


[83] (p. 92)