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A Buddhist Monk's Vegetarian Diet to Minimize Chemical Exposure

by Jessica Root, Treehugger.com, June 5, 2010

Brooklyn, NY (USA) -- Weekday vegetarians ready to ramp up their meatless-ness may find inspiration in this recently released study in Environmental Health News. For five days, 25 study participants dwelled in a Buddhist temple and adopted a monk's lifestyle--including their oftentimes veggie-based diet.

Prior to their temple stay participants were asked to reveal what they had eaten during the previous 48 hours (consumables included beef, pork and dairy) and give urine samples. The results...

Though none of the participants had taken any antibiotics or pharmaceutical drugs in the previous month, levels of both antibiotics and phthalates were detected in their urine.

Unsurprisingly, after the five-day retreat, they found dramatic antibiotic and phthalate reductions in their post-urinalysis.

Note: Vegetarian diets vary (as do the diets of Buddhist monks) and the study author's don't go into detail regarding the type of vegetarian diet consumed by the participants nor the specifics of foods eaten (organic vs. conventional, fresh vs. packaged and processed, etc.)

Similarly, there are many lifestyle variables that are unaccounted for that may have played a part in addition to the diet. From the living conditions to any physical activities (yoga, meditation, etc.) that weren't detailed.

This being among one of the first studies to look at diet and its role with antibiotic and phthalate levels, further research is clearly needed. What is notable is this initial finding; that diet and lifestyle change can help minimize exposure to harmful chemicals--even over the short course of just five days!

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