Einstein famously talked about a “twin paradox,” where one identical twin gets sent out into space in a high-speed rocket, and the other remains on Earth. In the experiment, due to spatial relativity, the Earth twin would age more. The question here is, what kind of identical twins would we use for such an experiment? The answer: the Turner Twins, Hugo and Ross, who do expeditions across all continents, climb mountains, do treks, and go on other kinds of adventures together.

More info: Instagram | theturnertwins.co.uk | twitter.com | youtube.com | Facebook

“For 12 weeks, from January to March, Hugo (left) only ate vegan diet, while Ross (right) only ate omnivorous, meat-heavy diet”

Image credits: theturnertwiins

Now, they have ventured to explore the world of diet. For 12 weeks, from January to March, Hugo ate only a vegan diet, while Ross ate an omnivorous, but meat-heavy diet. They had help from scientists at King’s College, who tracked their weight, cholesterol, and body fat levels, among other things. Their thinking was that since they’re genetically identical, comparing diets could be deemed more legitimate than in other cases. On top of that, they have done endurance training five to six times a week because they have to prepare for their future expeditions. The experiment has now ended—cue the drum roll, for we’re going to discuss the results.

Example of Ross’s meat-based meals

Example of Hugo’s vegan meals. They ate the same amount of calories

Image credits: theturnertwiins

Scientists have tracked their weight, cholesterol and body fat levels, among other things

Image credits: theturnertwiins

Hugo had started the experiment weighing 185 lbs with 13%, and ended up weighing 4 pounds less, and has trimmed his body fat down to 12%

Image credits: theturnertwiins

His blood cholesterol levels have dropped. After 12 weeks of a vegan diet, Hugo reported higher and more consistent levels of energy, probably because his blood sugar levels didn’t drop as often as they did before. On a vegan diet, Hugo’s mental focus was also much better due to the same reason. However, there were some negative side effects as well. For reasons unknown to him, he said he “just lost” his libido, though he notes that this side effect may not occur to everyone.

Hugo’s vegan diet gave him more energy and helped losing fat

Image credits: theturnertwiins

Ross started smaller with 175 lbs and 13% body fat, he had gained 10 pounds of muscle and 4 pounds of fat, increasing his body fat levels to 15%, and ending up weighing 189 lbs

Ross, who was always the slightly bigger guy between the two, ended up no different in this experiment. His blood cholesterol levels remained consistent during the 12 weeks.

Image credits: theturnertwiins

The twins have pondered over the results

Image credits: theturnertwiins

In the aftermath, they admitted that they would want to make the experiment longer if they attempt it again in the future to get more definitive results. They want another experiment to take at least 6 months to a year. Scientists also collected fecal samples before and after the experiment and found out some other interesting things. Turns out Hugo’s gut microbiome has gained more resilience towards chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes and obesity, which proves that vegan diets help reduce these risks by helping the microbiome. However, most surprisingly, both Hugo’s and Ross’s gut microbial diversity has suffered due to their diets. Although Ross’s, the omnivore’s, microbiome changed only slightly, it remained much more consistent than Hugo’s, the vegan’s.

“Surprisingly, both Hugo’s and Ross’s gut microbial diversity has suffered due to their diets”

Image credits: theturnertwiins

Hugo on the left, Ross on the right

Image credits: theturnertwiins

Image credits: theturnertwiins

They both agreed to incorporate more vegan substitutes, especially snacks, into their diet, as they’ve noted that it gives certain benefits. They’ve also learned to plan and incorporate plant-based foods in their diet. Ross and Hugo refrained from making radical changes to their dietary lifestyle—in other words, they haven’t become vegans. Yet.

Image credits: theturnertwiins

Image credits: theturnertwiins

Image credits: theturnertwiins

Image credits: theturnertwiins

They’ve summarised that diversity and flexibility in the diet is the key of a healthy diet

Image credits: theturnertwiins