Change in quality of life and immune markers after a stay at a raw vegan institute: A pilot study☆
Review articleOpen access
Abstract:

SummaryObjectiveThe purpose of this study was to explore changes in quality of life (QOL), anxiety, stress, and immune markers after a stay at a raw vegan institute.DesignProspective observational study.SettingEnglish-speaking attendees at Hippocrates Health Institute (Florida, US), a raw vegan institute, were recruited on arrival and typically stayed 1–3 weeks.Main outcome measuresParticipants completed questionnaires assessing overall QOL (SF-36), dietary QOL (QOL related to dietary change), perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale), anxiety, and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) upon arrival and 12 weeks later. C-reactive protein (CRP), lymphocytes, T cells, CD4 cells, CD8 cells, B cells, and NK cells were measured at baseline and 12 weeks in participants living in North America.ResultsOf 107 attendees eligible for the questionnaire study and 82 for the blood marker substudy, 51 and 38 participants, respectively, provided complete follow-up data. Overall QOL improved 11.5% (p = 0.001), driven mostly by the mental component. Anxiety decreased 18.6% (p = 0.009) and perceived stress decreased 16.4% (p < 0.001). Participants’ ratings of the food's taste were unchanged, but their ratings of how well they were taking care of themselves improved. CRP, lymphocytes, T cells, and B cells did not change significantly, but CD4, CD8, and NK cells decreased slightly.ConclusionsA stay at a raw vegan institute was associated with improved mental and emotional QOL. Studies are needed to determine the feasibility of conducting a clinical trial of the raw vegan diet among healthy people, and subsequently among patients with specific diseases.

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