How do health risks of vegans and meat eaters compare?
At least one major study found that B12 deficiency is common, yet few of those studied complained of symptoms or were diagnosed with B12 deficiency or its more drastic complication, pernicious anemia. Vegans may have an elevated risk of B12 deficiency, but the degree of this risk has yet to be determined. In fact, what we know about health and veganism is more certain regarding heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. We know surely that people who eat an abundance of animal products are at higher risk of heart disease, stroke and other diseases affecting the blood vessels including high blood pressure. Dr. William Castelli, the physician in charge of the largest heart disease study in the United States, the Framingham Heart study, looked at the impact of diet and came out solidly on the side of vegetarians. He wrote, Vegetarians have the best diet. They have the lowest rates of coronary disease of any group in the country… they have a fraction of our heart attack rate and they