Effects of a Nutritional Intervention with the Japanese Vegetarian Food Guide on the Nutritional Characteristics of Japanese Vegetarian

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Journal of the Japan Dietetic Association

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It has been shown that vegetarians have significantly lower vitamin B 12 and D intake in comparison to non-vegetarians. In addition, vegetarians tend to have lower intake of calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin A and B 2 and n-3 fatty acids. The objective of our study was to determine the effect of intervention with the Japanese vegetarian food guide( JVFG) on the improvement of nutritional characteristics in Japanese vegetarians. A one-day dietary intake was assessed by pre- and post-intervention with JVFG for Japanese vegetarian men( n=24) and women( n=60). In addition, anthropometric measurements and biochemical markers, such as blood sugar( BS), uric acid( UA), ratio of albumin to globulin(A/G), sodium, potassium, calcium( Ca), phosphorus, iron, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein-cholesterol, triglyceride, hemoglobin (Hb) and prealbumin were determined in a subset of men and women( n=16). Results of nutrients show significant increase in vitamin B2( p<0.05)and zinc( p<0.01) in women. However, no significant increases were seen in vitamin A, D and B 12, calcium and n-3 fatty acids. Women had significant increase in A/G(p<0 . 01), Ca and Hb(p<0 . 05), with significant decrease in BS (p<0 . 01), UA, and triceps skinfold thickness (TSF) (p<0 . 05). In conclusion, especially for women, certain nutritional characteristics of Japanese vegetarians such as zinc, vitamin B 2 intake, A/G, Ca, Hb, BS, UA and TSF can be altered by nutritional intervention with JVFG.