Dr. John Young, MD
(727) 545-4600
Largo, FL

I have been doing some studying for a talk I am working on. I have been looking at vegan and carnivore diets. There are a number of studies out there that I found very interesting. There was a study in the South Pacific where one of the islands has two tribes that live on it. The coastal tribe lived off what they caught from the sea. The mountain tribe lived off what they grew on their hillside plot of ground. The two tribes would trade with each other. Fish for veggies & fruit and vice versa.

Then something happened, and the two tribes began warring against each other. What was most interesting was that during the war each tribe picked a few people to go back and forth from hillside to coast and coast to hillside. The coastal tribe would go and get fruit and vegetables from the mountain tribe while the mountain tribe would also send a couple of people to get fish from the coastal tribe even though they were enemies. Their carriers were never captured or killed. Why is this? That is because each tribe knew that to be healthy, they had their own food source, but they needed something else besides just their fruit and veggies or caught fish. They needed a more complete diet of animal protein and fruits and vegetables.

Then there was a 2006/2007 Austrian study in which they studied 1,320 people. They divided them into two groups of either carnivores or vegans.

The study found that vegetarians drank less alcohol, had lower body mass index, but their overall physical and mental health was poor. The group on the vegetarian diet had lower cholesterol and saturated fats due to increased intake of fruit, veggies, and whole grains. But it carried an increased risk of cancer, allergies, depression, and anxiety.

Although the study could not say what is the cause and effect of this diet. There was no difference between the two groups for cardiovascular disease. All of the studies had flaws but it is interesting to note that there is no perfect diet.

We live in an imperfect world, and we all will have some illness. Each diet carries some type of risk with it.