New research has contradicted warnings from nutritionists and the dairy industry that a dairy-free diet can lead to the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis.

A team, led by Dr Luigi Fontana of the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, reports its findings in this week’s issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The study compared a group of vegans who had only eaten uncooked, unprocessed vegetables for several years, to another group who had a more average diet.

The vegans’ bones were thinner on average, but researchers said this was appropriate for their lower weight: the ‘average’ group was slightly overweight, unlike the vegans.

The vegans also had low levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory molecule that is becoming linked with the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic disease, and of IGF-1, a growth factor linked to risk of breast and prostate cancer.

(Source: ABC News In Science website)

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