I love instagram. (But who doesn’t right?) And for some reason I follow many people from Australia who are either vegan, vegetarian, or raw vegan. They all rave about it, and are all very fit. Many times when they speak about it they claim that they turned to veganism to help rid them of some condition or disease. Many of these vegans have said that they knew they felt very unhealthy, went to the doctor, and were told that they have a variety of conditions such as candida, asthma, arthritis, chronic headaches, severe acne etc. Then once they went vegan they found that all of their symptoms disappeared and they were left feeling healthier and more energetic than ever before. I’m not quite sure what to think of this phenomenon as it seems plausible, stop eating chemical ridden and processed foods and many of your ailments will go away, but I am also very skeptical, how can something like arthritis be “cured” just by not eating any animal related products? I decided to investigate.
I decided to look at HOW exactly veganism helps with ailments. One study I found looked at how going raw vegan, meaning that you don’t eat any cooked foods, helped relieve pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The study was randomized, although unfortunately it doesn’t state the size of the experiment or length, where some patients were put on a raw vegan diet high in lactobacilli and chlorophyll. The patients on the raw vegan diet noticed relief of their arthritis symptoms during the trial. Some patients felt some side affects like nausea and vomiting during their diet and decided to go back to eating cooked foods and meat. These patients felt that their symptoms flared back up upon returning to their non-vegan diet. Source
This study seems to be well done, but it’s just one study and I don’t know the size of the trial. We can rule out reverse causation, clearly their reduced pain isn’t causing them to eat raw vegan. And we can’t rule out third variables, or chance ever, but the study states that all of the patients are going about their day exactly as they would’ve, just some are now eating raw vegan. Maybe eating raw vegan causes some other habits that lesson the arthritis pain? Who knows.
The various other studies I read are basically the same as this one. A randomized group with certain ailments is studied, part of the group is given a vegan regiment and the others aren’t. Those on the vegan regiment start to feel a sense of relief of their ailments, and with some with things like acne are completely rid of acne after a few months. The answers are still unclear to scientists, the only answers they have are that by cooking foods we take out certain nutrients and aren’t using those foods full health capacity. Also, fruits and vegetables don’t have much cholesterol, which is the main cause of heart disease, and are rich in fiber and antioxidants which help fight lots of diseases and promote overall wellness.
With all of the real non paid testimonies from people on social networks saying that they’re more energized, have clearer skin, lost weight, etc. I would say that if you have one of these ailments it absolutely does not hurt to try going vegan, you have nothing to lose!