This paper begins by exploring the prior research that has shown how eating a plant-based diet can affect the human body. Some of these effects include: improved mood, energy levels, gut health, alkalized urine pH, as well as, lowering the risk of hormonal imbalance, kidney stones, diabetes, cancer, and coronary artery disease. The worries that generally accompany eating a fully vegan diet, which include, malnutrition and protein deficiency, are also addressed in the background research. In attempt to build upon previous research, a weeklong experiment was conducted testing 3 different factors, which include: gut health, improved mood, and urine pH. Mood states were measured quantifiably using a POMS (profile of mood states) test. Gut health was measured using several factors, including consistency and frequency of bowel movements, as well as, GI discomfort. Two 24-hour urine samples were collected from each of the subjects to compare the pH of their urine before and after the study. The sample size of this study included 15 healthy, non-smoking, subjects, between 18-30 years of age. The subjects were split up into 3 stratified random samples, including, an omnivore control group, vegan control group, and experimental vegan group. The experimental vegans had eaten meat/eggs/dairy regularly for their whole lives before the start of the study, and had consented to eating a vegan diet for the entirety of one week. While the data from the control groups remained mostly constant as predicted, the results from the experimental group were shown to have a significantly better mood (P<0.05) after one week, as well as, a significantly higher urine pH (P < 0.025) than they did before the study. However, the experimental group did not show a significant change in stool frequency, consistency, or GI discomfort within one week. The vegan control group, which included subjects who had eaten a plant-based diet for 1-3 years, had much better gut health scores. This leads us to believe that the vegan gut microbiome takes much longer to transform into than just one week unlike urine pH and mood, which can take as little as one week. These findings warrant further investigation.
- The Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet on the Human Body and Mind
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