Unalike Identical Twins

Soup or Salad? Give me two of the same!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Eating less meat improves heart health. Research has shown. However, diet studies are often muddled by differences in genetics and lifestyle choices among individuals. So why don’t we compare TWINS instead?

Enter Mathew Landry from Stanford University and team. They studied twenty-two pairs of healthy IDENTICAL twins.

The researchers matched one twin from each pair with EITHER a vegan OR omnivore diet. Both diets included vegetables, legumes, fruits, and whole grains. The omnivore diet included animal protein. Their dietary intake was recorded for eight weeks.

Results? Vegan participants had significantly less low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the BAD CHOLESTEROL. The vegan diet also caused a decrease in INSULIN and BODY WEIGHT. The most exciting part? All these factors contribute to better heart health!

Even in genetically identical twins, diet was key! Eating less meat can reduce heart disease risk.

Identical twins… No longer two peas in a pod!

Reference: Landry, M. J., Ward, C. P., Cunanan, K. M., Durand, L. R., Perelman, D., Robinson, J. L., Hennings, T., Koh, L., Dant, C., Zeitlin, A., Ebel, E. R., Sonnenburg, E. D., Sonnenburg, J. L., & Gardner, C. D. (2023). Cardiometabolic Effects of Omnivorous vs Vegan Diets in Identical Twins: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA network open, 6(11), e2344457. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.44457