The health impacts of a meat vs vegan diet in identical twins

20 มีนาคม 2567

The popularity of plant-based diets is increasing due to the reduced environmental impact and health benefits associated with them. There is abundant evidence associating vegan diets with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes.  With the health of the planet and the population two of the major mega trends globally, new research is key to help us understand the impact of evolving diets.

A recent study was performed to investigate the cardio health effects of meat and vegan diets in identical twins. This was a randomised clinical trial in which 22 healthy, adult, identical twin-pairs either followed a healthy vegan diet or healthy omnivorous diet for 8 weeks. The study was comprised of two 4-week phases: in the first 4-weeks, the participants were provided with delivered meals by a delivery company and in the next 4-weeks, the participants prepared their own meals. The delivery company provided 7 days’ worth of breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals each week while participants could also purchase snacks to meet energy requirements following guidance given from health educators. Guidelines were given and reinforced, such as limiting consumption of processed foods and building a balanced plate with vegetables, starch, protein, and healthy fats. The diets of the participants were tracked via structured interviews which captured information about food and drink intake, as well as tracking meals via the Cronometer app.

The cardio health effects were investigated using blood samples taken before the trial (baseline), after 4 weeks (phase 1) and after 8 weeks (phase 2). Blood samples were tested for levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) concentration, fasting insulin and body weight. Compared to participants on a meat diet, those on a vegan diet showed larger reduction in LDL-C concentration from the baseline to 8 weeks. Fasting insulin levels and body weight were also significantly lower for twins receiving the vegan diet compared to those receiving the omnivorous diet. This investigation saw significant improvements in the cardio health outcomes (LDL-C, insulin, and weight) for those adopting a healthy vegan diet, highlighting the health benefits of a plant-based dietary approach.

For more details, see paper:

Cardiometabolic Effects of Omnivorous vs Vegan Diets in Identical Twins: A Randomized Clinical Trial – PubMed (

Back to top