(NaturalNews) Just five days on a vegetarian diet can significantly reduce the levels of antibiotics and toxic chemicals in the human body, researchers have found.
Scientists recruited 25 people to stay at a Buddhist temple for five days, living the same lifestyle as the monks residing there. This lifestyle included adhering to a strictly meat-free diet. The researchers did not state whether dairy products were included in the diet or not. Participants were also surveyed about their diet prior to beginning the study.
Researchers took urine samples from all participants both 48 hours before and immediately after the five-day Temple Stay. This urine was tested for antibiotics and their metabolites, as well as six chemicals produced by the body upon the breakdown of phthalates.
Phthalates are industrial chemicals used in the manufacture of pesticides and soft plastics. They have been proven to interfere with vertebrate hormonal systems, producing defects of the reproductive, nervous and other bodily systems. Because it is difficult to detect phthalates in urine, the researchers instead had to test for its metabolites.
All six phthalate metabolites were detected in every participant both before and after the study, but levels of five metabolites had significantly dropped over the course of the study. The findings suggest that food is one of several sources through which humans are exposed to phthalates. Nonetheless, the researchers found that participants who had eaten more beef, pork and dairy prior to the study started out with higher phthalate levels than participants who had eaten less of those foods.
At the beginning of the study, levels of various antibiotics were detected in nearly all participants; by the end, levels of all drugs had dropped dramatically. The scale of the decrease suggests that food is the major source of human antibiotic exposure.
Livestock raised for both meat and dairy production are regularly treated with large doses of antibiotics in order to promote quick growth.
Sources for this story include: http://www.environmentalhealthnews.....