According to a new researcher from the Cornell University, the Long-term vegetarian diet can lead to a genetic mutation that may increase the risk of cancer and heart disease.
The discovery by the Cornell University researchers, including the Indian-American scientist, Kumar Kothapalli provides the first evolutionary work that traces a higher frequency of a particular mutation to a primarily vegetarian population from Pune (about 70%), when compared to a traditional meat-eating American population, made up of mostly Kansans (less than 20%).
They analyzed frequencies of the gene variant with a vegetarian diet in these Indians and Americans, and concluded that the vegetarian diet can led to a gene mutation that could make Indians more susceptible to inflammation, thus increasing their risk of heart disease and colon cancer.
This variation is also found in some African and East Asian populations that have historically favoured vegetarian diets.
The findings have appeared in the online edition of the journal Molecular Biology Evolution.