International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo

IVU News

Moscow Medical Report
by Dr.Irena Medkova
from IVU Newsletter, February/March 1996

Dr. Medkova, Director of the Medical Center of the Russian Vegetarian Society reports on the use of a vegetarian diet as a means of balancing the lipid metabolism in patients with cardio-vascular diseases.

Investigations showed that a vegetarian diet may prevent many diseases and in particular cardio-vascular, gastro-enterological and oncological ones. The prevention of these so called diseases of the century by adopting a vegetarian diet is made possible due to the improvement of the metabolical processes in the body.

The saturated fats which meat products contain in large amounts upset the balance of the lipid metabolism increasing the lipoproteid level in blood - lipoproteids of a very high density (the transport forms of cholesterine and triglicerides). It is these lipoproteids which are responsible for the morphological changes typical of aterosclerosis.

Only vegetable food does not contain cholesterine. That is why vegetarians have the aterogeneous classes of lipids in the norm and the risk of having cardio-vascular diseases is largely prevented.

It is clear that it is a matter of great importance to work out balanced vegetarian diets which will prevent and cure various diseases.

The Research and Practical Medical Centre of the Vegetarian Society in Russia started developing special purpose vegetarian diets aimed at balancing the lipid metabolism and preventing aterosclerosis and other diseases. The medical centre worked out a lacto-ova-vegetarian diet (the authors I.L.Medkova and L.I.Mosyakina); the diet is seasonal, consists of four meals but the distribution of food during the day is contrary to tradition. Breakfast consists of fruit - one kind of fruit: an apple, an orange or grapefruit - and a glass of juice according to season. The second meal at 12.0 - 1.0 o'clock included a large salad made of seasonal vegetables, a vegetable soup, a main course usually consisting of a mixture of corn or beans with vegetables. The bread contained protein and whole grains. Fruit juice was offered instead of a desert. Dinner at 5.0 - 6.0 o'clock consisted of a large salad again and curds (soft cheese) as a source of protein. This meal also contained some bread, tea with honey, dried apricots and prunes. The last meal - about two hours before going to bed - consisted of yogurt (kefir).

The diet contained the necessary amount of proteins and fats for people of a particular age and a particular profession but it also had an additional amount of hydrocarbons as compared to the norm. The diet contained very little salt but was rich in calcium, magnesium salts and fibre. The diet contained a large amount of vitamins: A, B, C, E and K. This is the first time such a special purpose vegetarian diet has been produced in Russia, intended for prolonged use which was tested in hospital Number 10 of the city of Moscow. The staff of the hospital took part in the experiment. A group of 20 patients was chosen and the treatment took 25 days.

The diagnosis of the patients was: ischiematic disease, sterosclerotic cardiosclerosis and second stage hypertonic disease. The patients did not take any medication for the correction of the lipid metabolism. The treatment included physical exercises on special equipment, long walks in the open air; some patients had their spine corrected. Blood tests were made before and after the treatment. As the tests showed, the cholesterine level of the patients decreased essentially after the treatment and so did the level of the low density lipoproteins. The aterogenous factor decreased visibly. Sixty percent of the patients had excess weight before the treatment and their body mass dropped by 3.4 kg on average. More than half the patients had their arterial blood pressure normalized. The results of the experiment prove that a vegetarian diet can be effectively used as a means of preventing and curing cardio-vascular diseases.

  • Russia from the Global Directory

Contributions to IVU News are welcomed. Material published does not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or the policy of the International Vegetarian Union.