Change in quality of life and immune markers after a stay at a raw vegan institute: A pilot study

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Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore changes in quality of life (QOL), anxiety, stress, and immune markers after a stay at a raw vegan institute. Design: Prospective observational study. Setting: English-speaking attendees at Hippocrates Health Institute (Florida, US), a raw vegan institute, were recruited on arrival and typically stayed 1-3 weeks. Main outcome measures: Participants completed questionnaires assessing overall QOL (SF-36), dietary QOL (QOL related to dietary change), perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale), anxiety, and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) upon arrival and 12 weeks later. C-reactive protein (CRP), lymphocytes, T cells, CD4 cells, CD8 cells, B cells, and NK cells were measured at baseline and 12 weeks in participants living in North America. Results: Of 107 attendees eligible for the questionnaire study and 82 for the blood marker substudy, 51 and 38 participants, respectively, provided complete follow-up data. Overall QOL improved 11.5% (p = 0.001), driven mostly by the mental component. Anxiety decreased 18.6% (p = 0.009) and perceived stress decreased 16.4% (p < 0.001). Participants' ratings of the food's taste were unchanged, but their ratings of how well they were taking care of themselves improved. CRP, lymphocytes, T cells, and B cells did not change significantly, but CD4, CD8, and NK cells decreased slightly. Conclusions: A stay at a raw vegan institute was associated with improved mental and emotional QOL. Studies are needed to determine the feasibility of conducting a clinical trial of the raw vegan diet among healthy people, and subsequently among patients with specific diseases. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Link, L. B., Hussaini, N. S., & Jacobson, J. S. (2008). Change in quality of life and immune markers after a stay at a raw vegan institute: A pilot study. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 16(3), 124–130. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2008.02.004

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