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Giessen Raw Food Study

Description

International recommendations for a healthy diet include a substantial consumption of fresh uncooked fruit and vegetables as a source especially for vitamins, minerals and other protective factors. Much research has been conducted on the effect of a low consumption of these foodstuffs, which is reflected by the average Western diet, but not on a high consumption. In order to examine the latter effect on humans the nutrition status of a group of raw food dieters whose diet consists almost exclusively of fruit and vegetables was examined. Such alternative dietary regimens are the so-called raw food diets which, though known under this one name, consist of a wide variety of different raw food diets, most of which are vegetarian regimens. Common to all is the high proportion of raw food in the diet: extreme forms consist of a nutrition comprised solely of raw foods, some including raw eggs, meat and seafood.

Objectives

Determination of the nutrition and health habits of people following raw food diets in Germany.
Determination of the consumption patterns of foods and beverages of raw food dieters who are omnivores (includes all food groups), vegetarian (exclusion of meat, fish, sea foods and products thereof) or vegan (as for vegetarian plus exclusion of dairy products and eggs).
Determination of nutrient intakes of people following a raw food diet and compare these to German recommendations, which differ slightly for some nutrients to international recommendations and RDAs.

Methodology

Recruitment took place by call-ups for project participation in 9 different nation-wide magazines and by flyers at appropriate lectures, congresses and self-help organisations. Participants were screened by a short pre-questionnaire. Health habits were investigated by means of a detailed questionnaire. Primary areas of interest over and above socio-demographic data were food preference and avoidance, health and disease as well as physical activity and relaxation. The questionnaire included a food frequency list over the past month for assessing food consumption patterns. A 7-day estimated food record was especially developed and validated for this study.

Results

  • Garcia AL, Koebnick C, Dagnelie PC, Strassner C, Elmadfa I, Katz N, Leitzmann C, Hoffmann I
    Long-term strict raw food diet is associated with favourable plasma β-carotene and low plasma lycopene concentrations in Germans.
    Brit J Nutr, in press (Epub 12/2007)
  • Koebnick C, Garcia AL, Dagnelie PC, Strassner C, Lindemans J, Katz N, Leitzmann C, Hoffmann I
    Long-Term Consumption of a Raw Food Diet Is Associated with Favorable Serum LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides but Also with Elevated Plasma Homocysteine and Low Serum HDL Cholesterol in Humans.
    J. Nutr 135, 2372–2378, 2005
  • Koebnick C, Hoffmann I, Strassner C, Leitzmann C: Raw Food diet is related to elevated total homocysteine. Poster auf der 3rd Conference on Hyperhomocysteinemia, Saarbrücken, April 2003
    Clin Chem Lab Med 41(3), A27, 2003
  • Hoffmann I
    Ernährungsempfehlungen und Ernährungsweisen: Auswirkungen auf Gesundheit, Umwelt und Gesellschaft. (in German: Dietary recommendations and dietary patterns: effects on health, environment and society.)
    Habilitationsschrift Department 09: Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Home Economics and Environmental Management of the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, 2002
  • Hoffmann I, Leitzmann C
    Raw food diet: Health benefits and risks.
    In: Watson (ed) Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs in Health Promotion.
    CRC Press, Boca Raton, 293-308, 2000
  • Hoffmann I, Koebnick, Leitzmann C
    Gesundheitliche Vorteile und Risiken einer dauerhaften Rohkost-Ernährung. (in German: Health benefits and risks of a permanent Raw-Food Diet.)
    Zeitschrift für Ernährungsökologie 1 (3), 141-145, 2000
  • Koebnick C, Strassner C, Hoffmann I, Leitzmann C
    Consequences of a long-term raw food diet on body weight and menstruation:
    Results of a Questionnaire Survey.
    Ann Nutr Metab 43(2), 69-79, 1999
  • Ganss C, Schlechtriemen M, Klimek J
    Dental erosions in subjects living on a raw food diet
    Caries Res 1999;33(1):74-80
  • Strassner C
    Die Gießener Rohkost-Studie: Ernährungs- und Gesundheitsstatus von Rohköstlern
    unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von Protein und Energie. (in German: Giessen Raw Food Study: the health and nutritional status of persons following a longterm Raw Food Diet under special consideration of protein und energy.)
    Dissertation, Heidelberg, Verlag für Medizin und Gesundheit, 1998
  • Koebnick C, Strassner C, Leitzmann C
    Bewertung der Rohkost-Ernährung in der Ernährungsberatung. (in German: Assessment of raw food diets in nutrition counselling.)
    Ern Umschau 44 (12), 444-448, 1997
  • Strassner C, Koebnick C, Leitzmann C
    Rohkost-Ernährung: Teil 2 - Die Giessener Rohkost-Studie. (in German: Raw food diets: Part 2 - The Giessen Raw Food Study.)
    Auswertungs- und Informationsdienst für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Forsten (aid) e.V.
    42 (11), 268-274, 1997
  • Koebnick C, Strassner C, Leitzmann C
    Rohkost-Ernährung: Teil 1 - Überblick und Bewertung der theoretischen Grundlagen. (in German: Raw food diets: Part 1 – overview and evaluation of theoretical basics.)
    Auswertungs- und Informationsdienst für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Forsten (aid) e.V.
    42 (10), 244-250, 1997
  • Koebnick C, Dorries S, Fuhrmann P, Kwanbunjan K, Strassner C, Leitzmann C
    Ernährungs- und Gesundheitsverhalten von Menschen mit überwiegender Rohkost-Ernährung. (in German: Nutrition and health habits of persons consuming predominantly raw food.)
    Der Vegetarier 48 (6), 252-257, 1997
  • Strassner C, Doerries S, Kwanbunjan K, Leitzmann C
    Raw food eaters: health habits and nutrient intake.
    Poster on the 16th IUNS International Congress of Nutrition, Montreal, Canada, 1997
  • Strassner C, Doerries D, Kwanbunjan K, Leitzmann C
    Vegetarian raw food dietary regimens: health habits and nutrient intake.
    Poster on the Third International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition, Loma Linda, California, USA, 1997
    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 70 (9), 632, 1999
  • Strassner C, Weirich B, Koebnick C, Leitzmann C
    Die Giessener Rohkost-Studie. (in German: The Giessen Raw Food Study.)
    Erfahrungsheilkunde 8, 429-434, 1997
  • Strassner C
    Die Giessener Rohkost-Studie. (in German: The Giessen Raw Food Study.)
    Erfahrungsheilkunde 45, 776, 1996
  • Strassner C, Koebnick C, Szyperski T, Leitzmann C
    Kochen ist tabu: Die Giessener Rohkost-Studie. (in German: Cooking is taboo: The Giessen Raw Food Study.)
    UGB-Forum 13 (6) 340-343, 1996
  • Kwanbunjan K
    Ernährungsverhalten und Gesundheitssituation von Rohköstlern unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Eisenstatus und der hämatologischen Parameter. (in German: Nutrition behaviour and health situation of people practising raw food diets: under consideration of iron status and hematological parameters.)
    Dissertation, Institute of Nutritional Sciences, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, 1996
  • Kwanbunjan K, Strassner C, Dörries S, Leitzmann C
    Eisenstatus von Rohköstlern. (in German: Iron status of raw food dieters.)
    Z Ernährungswiss 35 (1) S.90, 1996
  • Strassner C, Kwanbunjan K, Dörries S, Leitzmann C
    The Giessen Raw Food Study.
    Poster on the 17th European Nutrition Conference, Vienna, Austria, 1995
    Annals of Nutrition an Metabolism, 45 (1), 263, 2001
  • Dörries S, Strassner
    Die Giessener Rohkost-Studie. (in German: The Giessen Raw Food Study.)
    7. UGB-Kongress, UGB-Verlag, Giessen, 15-17, 1995
  • Strassner C, Dörries S
    Die Giessener Rohkost-Studie - Erste Ergebnisse. (in German: The Giessen Raw Food Study - first results.)
    Fit fürs Leben 7 (2), 29, 1995
  • Strassner C, Koebnick C, Dörries S, Kwanbunjan K, Leitzmann C
    Ernährungs- und Gesundheitsverhalten von Menschen mit überwiegender Rohkost-Ernährung. (in German: Nutrition and health habits of predominantly raw food.)
    Z Ernährungswiss 34 (1), 53, 1995
  • Kwanbunjan K, Koebnick C, Strassner C, Dörries S, Fuhrmann P, Leitzmann C
    Die Giessener Rohkost-Studie. (in German: The Giessen Raw Food Study.)
    Fit fürs Leben 6 (6), 23-25, 1994
  • Koebnick C, Dörries S, Fuhrmann P, Kwanbunjan K, Strassner C, Leitzmann C
    Die Giessener Rohkost-Studie. (in German: The Giessen Raw Food Study.)
    Der Naturarzt 134 (4), 44-45, 1994

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