Could the apparent increased stroke risk in vegetarians be reverse causation? What about vegetarians versus vegans, and does vitamin D deficiency play a role?

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So far in this series we’ve looked at what to eat ( and not eat ( for stroke prevention, and whether vegetarians really do have a higher stroke risk (

It may be worth reiterating that vegetarians don’t have a higher risk of dying from a stroke but do appear to be at higher risk of having a stroke. How is that possible? Meat is a risk factor for stroke, so how could cutting out meat lead to more strokes? There must be something about eating plant-based that so increases our stroke risk it counterbalances the meat-free benefit. Might it be because we don’t eat fish? We turn to omega 3’s next:
• Vegetarians and Stroke Risk Factors—Omega 3s? (
• Vegetarians and Stroke Risk Factors—Vegan Junk Food? (
• Vegetarians and Stroke Risk Factors—Saturated Fat? (
• Vegetarians and Stroke Risk Factors—Animal Protein? (
• Vegetarians and Stroke Risk Factors—Vitamin B12 & Homocysteine? (

If you want to just get to the conclusion, these videos are all available on a digital download at

There certainly are benefits to vitamin D, though. Here is a sampling of videos where I explore the evidence:
• Will You Live Longer if You Take Vitamin D Supplements? (
• Do Vitamin D Supplements Help with Diabetes, Weight Loss, and Blood Pressure (
• How Much Vitamin D Should You Take? (
• The Optimal Dose of Vitamin D Based on Natural Levels (
• The Best Way to Get Vitamin D: Sun, Supplements, or Salons? (
• The Risks and Benefits of Sensible Sun Exposure (
• Should Vitamin D Supplements Be Taken to Prevent Falls in the Elderly? (

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Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution!
-Michael Greger, MD FACLM

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