HealthDay News — Plant protein intake is associated with a lower risk for all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality, according to a review published online in The BMJ.

Sina Naghshi, from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies that reported the risk estimates for all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality in adults, along with data about protein intake.

The researchers identified 32 studies with follow-up lasting 3.5 to 32 years for 715,128 participants and included 31 studies in the meta-analysis. In total, 113,039 deaths occurred (16,429 from cardiovascular disease and 22,303 from cancer). Total protein intake was associated with a lower risk for all-cause mortality (pooled effect size, 0.94). Neither total protein intake nor animal protein intake was significantly associated with the risk for cardiovascular disease or cancer mortality. There was an even greater effect associated with intake of plant protein (pooled effect size, 0.92) and cardiovascular disease mortality (pooled hazard ratio, 0.88). There was no association observed between plant protein intake and cancer mortality; 3% additional energy per day from plant proteins was associated with a 5% lower risk for death from all causes.

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“Replacement of foods high in animal protein with plant protein sources could be associated with longevity,” the authors write.

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