What is it?
The macrobiotic diet is a diet that stresses vegetarianism and eating whole, healthy foods. Some versions of the macrobiotic diet include dairy, fish, and occasional meat consumption.
People try the macrobiotic diet for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Insufficient Evidence to Make a Determination for …
- Diabetes. A specific macrobiotic diet called the Ma-Pi 2 diet has been evaluated in people with diabetes. Early research suggests that this macrobiotic diet might improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes when used short-term. But this diet is very low calorie, and there is evidence that using this macrobiotic diet short-term may cause rapid weight loss that might worsen bone health in people with diabetes. It’s also unclear if this macrobiotic diet is safe or effective when used long-term.
- High cholesterol. Early research found that a macrobiotic diet is linked to lower total cholesterol levels and an improved ratio of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol to total cholesterol in men. It’s unknown if the macrobiotic diet lowers cholesterol levels in people with high cholesterol.
- Colon cancer.
- Heart disease.
- High blood pressure.
- Hormone imbalances.
- Kidney stones.
- Menopausal symptoms.
- Metabolic disorders.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Swelling in the joints (bursitis).
- Swelling or infection in the digestive tract.
- Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of macrobiotic diet for these uses.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if the macrobiotic diet is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: Strict adherence to the macrobiotic diet is POSSIBLY UNSAFE in infants and children. This diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies. These deficiencies have been linked with reduced intelligence and reduced height for age in children. There isn’t enough reliable information to know if the macrobiotic diet is safe in infants or children when modifications are made to ensure nutritional needs are met.
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