University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository


Internal Medicine


Dr. Nancy Reid



Purpose: The purpose of this article is to review the risks of nutritional deficiencies and the health benefits of the herbivorous diet in comparison to the omnivorous diet. While many people are suffering from chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes worldwide, this study highlights the consequences of animal-based diet versus plant-based diet.

Method: A PubMed literature and Knight Capron Library search were conducted with search terms vegetarian, nutritional deficiencies, omnivorous, plant-based diet, cobalamin deficiency. Originally, thirty-five pertinent articles were retrieved to guide this author to relevant information that was pertinent to this topic of interest.

Results: This author was able to find research studies that provide factual evidence in comparing benefits and risks in both diets. Some studies have shown evidence of health risks associated with an omnivorous diet in comparison to herbivorous diet. In regards to nutritional deficiencies, there are multiple studies that review various plant food sources and substitutes that provide ample nutrition to sustain an optimum healthy lifestyle.

Conclusion: Even though both plant-based and omnivorous diets show various differences in terms of nutrient adequacy, the plant-based option has been proven to lower the risk of chronic illness. While some studies have explored the nutritional adequacy of vegans, further research is still needed to explore the synthesis and bioavailability of Vitamin B12. Further knowledge is needed on plant-based food sources that can provide sufficient nutritional value of cobalamin, vitamin D, iodine, zinc, iron, plant-based protein, and omega-3.


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