The study, which was published online by the British Medical Journal and looked into the eating habits of 47,033 British adults (15,459 vegetarians), revealed that vegetarians were a third less likely to suffer from diverticular disease, which is a disorder that is thought to be caused by a lack of fibre.
The study began over a decade ago, with experts conducting a study on the participants before following up eleven and a half years later to see how their eating habits had effected their lives and overall health.
The researchers found that during the 11 and a half year gap, 812 individuals had developed diverticular, though few of these cases were among vegetarians.
The researchers concluded that the vegetarian group had a 30% reduced risk of developing the disease compared to those who ate meat, fish or both.
Though the exact reason for the difference is unknown, experts believe it could be linked to the consumption of meat altering the metabolism of bacteria inside the colon, resulting in the weakening of the colon wall and an increase in the risk of a common bowel disorder.
Researchers added that the potential benefits of being a vegetarian could be achieved in just a short time and patients who consumed the highest amount of fibre also saw a reduced risk.
View the original Daily Mail article.