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Please find below a selection of statistics about veganism and health.

Disclaimer: This is a collation of third party sources about topics connected to veganism. Some of the links are not to the original sources; we are sharing them to help journalists or researchers with their research and because they may form a helpful starting point.


  • A global move to a vegan diet would avert 8.1 million premature deaths per year. Sources: [1][2]
  • In 2022, YouGov found that 70% of vegans say that their health has improved as a result of their diet. Source
  • The World Health Organization's first step to healthy eating is: "Eat a nutritious diet based on a variety of foods originating mainly from plants, rather than animals". Source
  • In a 2021 survey, 56% of vegans said that they had seen an improvement to their digestion since starting a vegan diet. 55% felt their sleep had improved and 53% felt like they had more energy. Plus, 52% said they were able to walk or run better or further, 34% said they have a shorter recovery time between exercise sessions and 31% said they were able to lift heavier weights. Source 
  • A 2019 study, totalling over 300,000 participants, by Harvard scientists, discovered that eating a vegan diet can cut your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by almost a quarter (23%). Sources: [1][2]
  • A 2019 study of more than 12,000 people found those who ate mostly plant-based foods were 32% less likely to die from heart disease. Sources: [1][2]
  • Eating a vegan diet may help people who are overweight reduce body fat and promote weight loss without restricting calories. Sources: [1][2]
  • We could feed twice as many humans with today’s global harvest (in 2019) if we did not feed farmed animals but, rather, consumed the yield ourselves. Source
  • In 2016, the World Cancer Research Fund reported that vegan diets have been linked to a 35% lower risk of prostate cancer. Source
  • A World Health Organization report in November 2015 ranked processed meat as a group 1 carcinogen (the same category as cigarettes, alcohol, and asbestos). Eating just 50g per day (two rashers of bacon) increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. It also classified red meat as a group 2A carcinogen. Source
  • Research from 2014 found that those who eat seven or more portions of fruit and vegetables per day have a 33% reduced risk of premature death, compared with people who eat less than one portion. Source
  • In 2013, research found that body mass index and cholesterol levels are lower among vegans. Source
  • Research from 2002 found that high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, is less common among vegans. Source


  • One to support vegan nutrition, including B12, Vitamin D and Folic Acid.
  • VEG 1 demand more than doubled between 2017 and 2020, showing the increase in popularity, as well as the increase in trusted vegan supplementation.
  • The Vegan Society members are eligible for a 10% discount on VEG 1. When logged in to the ‘members area,’ a 10% discount will automatically be applied at checkout. For more information about becoming a member, please click here.


  • In June 2021, the British Medical Journal published a report showing plant-based and pescatarian diets were associated with lower odds of moderate-to-severe COVID-19. Source
  • In April 2020, during the first pandemic lockdown, The Vegan Society discovered 1 in 5 people had cut down on meat consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic. Source
  • The survey also found 15% have reduced their dairy/egg intake over the lockdown period. Source
  • A repeat of this survey in May 2021, discovered 1 in 4 Brits had reduced the amount of animal products they were consuming since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Source
  • A huge number of statistics relating to how people from the UK are switching to vegan food and drink products during the lockdown period can be found in our 2021 report – Changing Diets During the Covid-19 Pandemic. Source
  • A Mintel study found that 25% of young British Millennials (aged 21-30) say that the COVID-19 pandemic has made a vegan diet more appealing. Source
  • Another Mintel study found that a quarter of people polled said the pandemic had made eating vegan or plant-based food and drink more appealing to them. For the under-35s that figure rose to 38%. Source
  • Writing in an open letter to Viva!, 15 doctors advised that going vegan is the quickest and cheapest way of fighting obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease – major risk factors for COVID-19. Source.
  • The letter was signed by clinicians including Emanuel Goldman, a world-renowned professor of microbiology and consultant haematologist, Dr Shireen Kassam, nursing expert Baroness Watkins of Tavistock and Professor Richard Kock, emerging diseases specialist at the Royal Veterinary College at the University of London. Source.
  • As all vaccines are currently tested on animals, at this stage it is impossible to have a vaccine that has been created without animal use, including the covid-19 vaccination. Source


  • Almost 75% of the most commonly prescribed medicines in the UK contain animal-derived products.
  • In 2017, The Vegan Society co-ordinated a letter to the then Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP, from the All Party Parliamentary Group for Veganism and Vegetarianism calling for more action to protect vegan rights when it comes to taking medicines.
  • All medicine is lawfully required to be safety tested using non-human animals. This occurs prior to testing on humans in order to identify potentially lethal side effects. Therefore no medicine, regardless of its composition and ingredients list, is cruelty-free or technically vegan-friendly. Source
  • The most common animal-derived ingredient is lactose, which is used as a carrier and a stabilizer in order to transport the medication’s active ingredient into the body
  • Animal-derived gelatine is also an issue – unless your medicine is certified as vegetarian.
  • Other animal-based derivatives in tablets include magnesium stearate, cochineal dye, insulin, amino acids and anticoagulants.

The Vegan Society’s Guide to Ingredients

  • Magnesium Stearate – Manufacture requires animal fat hydrolysis
  • Steric Acid – Manufacture requires animal fat hydrolysis
  • Gelatine (E441) – Extracted from animal tissues
  • Lanolin (E913) – Fat extracted from sheep’s wool
  • Glycoholic Acid – Bile acid derived from mammals
  • Lactic Acid – Manufactured using animal sources
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