Sorry, Steak Lovers: Vegetarians Live Longer

Plus: Testosterone prescriptions triple over last decade, and more health news.

People who eat a vegetarian diet live longer than meat eaters, according to a study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers from Loma Linda University in Calif. followed members of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, which encourages a vegetarian diet. The 73,308 people studied were followed for six years. During that time period, there were 12 percent fewer non-hazard deaths among vegetarians over that period compared to meat-eaters, the researchers reported. Vegetarians were found less likely to die from heart disease, diabetes, and kidney failure. Even more interesting is that the vegetarian diet seemed to be work better for men. [Discovery]

Television commercials are causing men to seek out prescriptions for testosterone. Despite weak research and health risks aplenty, the bombardment of “feel young again” ads touting a fountain of youth effect from taking testosterone have increased sales and prescriptions of the drug. Prescriptions have tripled in 10 years despite the risks of prostate cancer and liver damage. Doctors warn that men that this is nearing epidemic proportions because walk-in clinics are prescribing the drug without checking if the men really need it. [ABC]

Bone strength starts in the womb. Researchers followed 3,000 expectant mother’s diets to see if what they ate was later linked to their children’s bone mass. Researchers measured concentrations of vitamins in their blood and had the women write down everything they ate. When the children turned six, researchers used imaging technology to look at their bones. The study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that the children whose mothers consumed more protein, phosphorus, and vitamin B12 when they were pregnant had the greatest bone mass and bone mineral content. But one interesting question is that the study doesn’t take into account what the mother’s fed the children after they were born. So does that not count? [New York Times]