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Korn
Jan 11th, 2007, 10:46 AM
Studies show than vegans in general have lower B12 levels than non-vegans, but according to this (http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2000/000802.htm) article, 'nearly 40% of the U.S. population may be flirting with marginal vitamin B12 status'. This (http://www.yourhealthbase.com/vitamin_B12.html) study also found that in a group who consumed fish, poultry or red meat on a regular basis, 40 per cent had vitamin B12 concentrations below the recommended lower limit.

A study of elderly people in Italy (90-106 years old!), although appearing well-nourished, had deficiencies in a number of micronutrients, such as selenium, zinc, vitamin B6, Vitamin E, vitamin B12, and folate.

Other studies (http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80633e/80633E0a.htm) show that many are short of recommended levels for certain nutrients such as calcium, iron, zinc, and folacin, some are short in vitamins A and C (based on 'normal' people, not vegans).

According to this (http://www.ovarian-cysts-pcos.com/supplements-health.html) link, 34% of all meat eaters are B12 deficient, and most Americans are not getting what they need from their diet: "For example, in one recent U.S. Dept. of Agriculture survey of 20,000 people, not a single person was consuming adequate levels of all the vitamins and minerals. In this study, the percentage of Americans were found to be deficient as follows: 90% in vit. B6, 75% in magnesium, 68% in calcium, 57% in iron, 50% in vitamin A, 45% in vitamin B1, 41% in vitamin C, 34% in vitamin B2..." and the list goes on.

According to this (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=8327020&query_hl=2) study, "The matched subjects who ate meat (including poultry and fish) were more than twice as likely to become demented as their vegetarian counterparts".


In a study (http://1stholistic.com/Nutrition/hol_nutr-deficiency.htm) of 402 elderly Europeans living at home, the nutrient content of their diet was found to be low: folic acid intake was low in 100% of those studied, zinc in 87%, vitamin B6 in 83%, and vitamin D in 62%.

Here's a list of nutrient common deficiencies (again, not based on vegans) from the Hippocrates Institute, Volume 22, Issue 1: 80% are vitamin B6 deficient. 75% are magnesium deficient. 68% are calcium deficient. 57% are iron deficient. 50% are a deficient. 45% are B1 deficient. 41% are Vitamin C deficient. 34% are B12 deficient. And the list goes on like that.

(Maybe be that the definition of 'deficient' needs to be re-evaluated, or that 'low levels' are mixed up with 'deficient'?)

To quote on of the sources listed above, there are 'literally hundreds of medical studies to suggest it’s a virtual certainty that you and every member of your family are deficient in one or more essential nutrients' (addressed to 'normal' people, not vegans.)

Still, it seems that some people think that they need to be more concerned about nutrient deficiencies as vegans than they needed to be before they became vegans.

We already have a thread about this topic (here (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24)), but this time I'm posting a poll: Do you believe that vegans generally need to worry more about nutrient deficiencies/health than they did before they excluded animal products from their diet?

aubergine
Jan 11th, 2007, 11:05 AM
I voted no.

As an omni I always suffered from small problems related to vitamin and mineral deficiencies and also was overweight because of how much extra non-essential things I was eating.

Since going Vegan I feel really well most of the time. My immune system is much stronger and I feel like I've had a body upgrade.

Bic
Jan 11th, 2007, 12:43 PM
No. I tend to believe that bananas, carrots, apples, tofu, peanuts, rice, etc. are much more nutrient rich than say...McDonalds' food.
I have less to worry about now (even though I never ate much McDonalds).

auntierozzi
Jan 11th, 2007, 02:07 PM
I am a relatively new vegan, since July. I think more now about making sure I have enough iron, calcium and B12. I have always been in good health and feel especially good now that I am vegan. I voted yes but maybe I'm generalizing from my own experience. I so want to be a healthy vegan but am still pretty new at this.

steven1222
Jan 11th, 2007, 02:45 PM
I think it requires more thought (and 'worrying') for vegans to get enough of nutrients, but that is not the fault of a vegan diet. The reason is that the demand for animal products is too high. Animal products are so widely distributed that natural, non-animal sources of the nutrients are not as readily available.

auntierozzi
Jan 11th, 2007, 03:02 PM
I agree with you. I think maybe being surrounded by omnis gives you the impression that you are somehow worrying them!!! They are the ones that should be worrying about themselves really.

Korn
Jan 11th, 2007, 04:43 PM
I think it requires more thought (and 'worrying') for vegans to get enough of nutrients, but that is not the fault of a vegan diet. The reason is that the demand for animal products is too high. Animal products are so widely distributed that natural, non-animal sources of the nutrients are not as readily available.

Maybe the question wasn't very well formulated: I wasn't actually looking for opinions about whether certain products were hard to find or not, but whether there was a reason to be more or less concerned about nutrients (in general, not specific nutrients) in food free from animal products (given that one has access to vegan food).

Korn
Jan 11th, 2007, 05:32 PM
I am a relatively new vegan, since July. I think more now about making sure I have enough iron, calcium and B12.

Did you worry about the many nutrients meat eaters often are deficient in before you were a vegan?

I'm know some people - like you - worry more about getting enough nutrients as vegans, and maybe we could have a poll about that too. This poll is about whether we actually need to be generally more worried about nutrients than meat eaters, not if are more worried. ;)

Another interesting topic is that people who eat meat basically only eat meat from plant eating animals (not from wolves, bears or tigers), so if 'eating plants that already have been eaten once' should cause less worries (a bit simplified, one could say that meat is made of plants), there is a little paradox going on: if omnivores get a nutrient from eating meat, that animal has gotten it's nutrient from plants (or fortified animal food/supplements/nutrients added to the soil).

[Waiting for a comment about cows having four stomachs and insect poo on grass... :) ]

kriz
Jan 11th, 2007, 06:03 PM
I voted "NO", because I'm not worried at all about my diet. I'm confident I get what I need - my immune system is better than ever, and I think that's a pretty good indication that I'm doing OK. I've never felt better!:)

However, I think that new vegans with little experience should worry a bit about vitamin and mineral intake. I've seen newbies who has no clue about the importance of a balanced diet ending up feeling not so good, and evetually go back to meat eating. It's sad, but I've witnessed this too many times. I think food ideas and lack of knowledge on how to navigate in a non-vegan world (how to find and prepare a variation of v foods and how to deal with difficult situations, which do come up) also play a big role. Many simply cut meat and dairy out of their diet without replacing them with healthier alternatives. Not a good idea, these people should worry.

Korn
Jan 11th, 2007, 06:10 PM
NOT a good idea, these people SHOULD worry. I agree. They should worry, just like a meat eater eating junk food or other nutrient poor should worry about his diet.

I can see that there's room for at least 2 or 3 related polls here...

kriz
Jan 11th, 2007, 06:29 PM
I wonder if some ex-vegans are using their lack of knowledge about nutrition as an excuse and don't want to know MORE. I mean, if you REALLY want to adopt a vegan lifestyle and succeed wouldn't you educate yourself enough and try to handle situations effectively so that you'll do well?... Not long ago there was a new vegan on here who was even willing to consult a nutritionist. That's great! I would also give credit to all the new vegans or "almost vegans" who come on here and are asking for advice and are willing to educate themselves.

auntierozzi
Jan 11th, 2007, 06:50 PM
Korn,
If the question is do we need to worry, if we are eating well as a vegan then I would definitely vote NO!! :-) I am convinced that our vegan diet is the best one for everybody and there is nothing missing. It's better in every way. I feel as though part of being vegan is being pretty strong willed. I don't think that there is any way that anybody could be half hearted about it.

eve
Jan 12th, 2007, 04:26 AM
I also agree that we don't need to worry, because a vegan lifestyle is far more nutritious than that of a meat-eater. However, I do have some concerns when I see post after post about vegan cakes etc. Someone used their very first post to say that he/she intends to go vegan, and asked for cake recipes! Cake recipes! I'm sure we wouldn't have so many vegans posting about their sicknesses etc, if they simply ate plant foods, raw or cooked, and forgot about cakes and biscuits. ;)

Bic
Jan 12th, 2007, 05:14 AM
I for one like making cakes. But then again, I have a tendency to give them to omnis and go, "And by the way, it's vegan." later. Yummy sweet things from the "vegan realm" (as one friend likes to call it) tend to give a more favorable impression than eating salad all the time. :)

pavotrouge
Jan 13th, 2007, 12:00 AM
I voted Yes, not because I think and omni or whatever other diet is healthier, but vegans surely need to have a better knowledge on nutritients and the like.

There are a lot of meat eaters who have defiencies because they eat crap, but I still believe it is easier to get all the nutritients "accidentally" in a balanced omni diet than in a vegan one.

rianaelf
Jan 13th, 2007, 12:09 AM
According to this (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=8327020&query_hl=2) study, "The matched subjects who ate meat (including poultry and fish) were more than twice as likely to become demented as their vegetarian counterparts".



hahahahahahahaha
best joke i've heard for ages
what do they expect eating flesh <blech>
yeah for veganism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

eve
Jan 13th, 2007, 06:06 AM
what's even better, rianaelf, is that it is no joke! :)
pavotrouge, how on earth can you believe, as you say, that it is easier to get all the nutritients "accidentally" in a balanced omni diet than in a vegan one? What about a balanced vegan diet? :)

cookey
Jan 13th, 2007, 11:15 AM
I voted no because everyone needs to check that they are getting enough nutrients whether vegetarian,vegan or not.
Meat does not satisfy many of our nutritional needs and therefor not eating it shouldn't be a cause for concern.
I would be more concerned for people who choose not to eat fruit and vegetables, which seems to be a large portion of the population!

pavotrouge
Jan 13th, 2007, 11:28 AM
Eve, I didn't say anything against a balanced vegan diet, I just find it much harder- a balanced vegan diet requires much more knowledge about which nutritients are in which food, or at least that's what it feels like for me.

As an omni, I never worried about nutritients (and the way I was omni for the last seven years before becoming vegan consisted of phases of vegetarianism, and then phases in which I eat meat maybe once a month, fish once a week and almost no dairy and egg products because I never really liked it) and was fine.
When I switched to veganism, I felt pretty soon that I wasn't getting all I needed and am now always checking what I get...and even on days I think I eat pretty good, I often still lack certain nutritients.

Korn
Jan 13th, 2007, 11:52 AM
a balanced vegan diet requires much more knowledge about which nutritients are in which food, or at least that's what it feels like for me. This is true for at least one nutrient, but when looking at other nutrients, it seems that meat eaters have more to worry about than vegans, doesn't it? It's a mathematical fact that the more meat people eat, the less plants they eat... There are many nutrients only found in plant food. Meat eaters eat plants as well (to some degree), but the nutrients they are low in, are often those found in plants only, which seem to suggest that eating meat causes people to consume too little plants food.

I hear that you are saying that this is 'what it feels like', pavotrouge, and I know this is the case for some (especially new) vegans. But have you or anyone else seen any studies/facts that back this up?



As an omni, I never worried about nutritients I've know many meat eaters don't (although lots of take some sort of supplements or multivitamins/fortified milk etc.), but based on a lot of studies (some of them are mentioned in the first post in this thread, you should definitely have been worried/concerned about nutrients when you were a meat eater.



When I switched to veganism, I felt pretty soon that I wasn't getting all I needed and am now always checking what I get...
Since there is a myth that humans need to eat animals (animals which get all their nutrients from plants), lots of people 'feel' that they don't get enough nutrients when letting go of meat.



and even on days I think I eat pretty good, I often still lack certain nutritients. Do you lack nutrients, or do you feel that you lack nutrients? If you know that you actually lack nutrients, the interesting question is: do you lack more nutrients than you did before you became a vegan?

Healthy vegans eat a lot more varied food then eg. cows and sheep, and I wonder how people think that they can get so many nutrients - in healthy amounts - eg. from animals that basically only eat grass and leaves - nutrients that some people think we can't get from a balanced diet consisting of nutrients from 10-20 different plants (or more) every day.

fiamma
Jan 13th, 2007, 12:02 PM
I think this is a really interesting topic! I'm with pavotrouge - I voted yes in the poll because I feel I need to take a much more proactive approach to nutrition when I'm vegan to get all the nutrients I need, whereas when I was veggie I never thought about it. But as you say Korn, there don't seem to be any studies to back up the idea that meat-eaters have less to worry about than vegans. I guess it is all the conditioning I have received over the years that "meat and dairy are healthy and you'll get sick if you don't consume them" :D Health-wise, though, I feel much healthier as as vegan than I ever did as a non-vegan, perhaps that should speak for itself.

sindii
Jan 13th, 2007, 12:20 PM
i voted no too.
Since i've been vegan everyday feels like i have been through a detox. My body feels so healthy and clean. I eat loads and never feel fat, bloated, greasy etc. The b12 issue is overrated in my view. I could go into it but can't really be bothered.

On the issue on eating cows, sheep etc, they are designed to be very efficient in how they use the poor foods they eat to produce nutrients, mass etc. It's a whole science topic which i did at college ie like how horses get so lean on plant diets etc because of how they digest foods and the bacterias they have inside them.

pavotrouge
Jan 13th, 2007, 01:59 PM
I was talking about what it is like for myself mainly, and at first I lost a lot of weight going vegan and still have trouble getting enough protein and fat - I don't have an eating disorder but was born with a dislike for fatty foods (eg never ate cheese, cream etc), so I also tend to neglects oils, nuts and the like in my diet though I know I shouldn't.

There are a lot of things concerning my health that have extremely improved since going vegan (actually, that was the bone of contention to try veganism at first), but as said above, I lost some weight and lack minerals and other trace elements. I regularly check my nutrition intake, and if I compare it to what I would have eaten, say, two years ago, the vegan day loses.

Maybe the fact that I didn't know it any better as a meat eater also plays a role in this, plus, I didn't have much of a choice back then, living with my mother.

But I've never felt that meat is neccessary- I've had veggie periods ever since I've been 12, eating 100&#37; vegetarian for a couple of months and omni for another period.

What I still believe is that, whatever diet you follow, your body shows you (and be it through cravings) what you need/lack.

And I'm into the theory that humans are designed omnivores; that, for me, does not mean a vegan diet is impossible, but harder for sure.

Korn
Jan 13th, 2007, 08:56 PM
And I'm into the theory that humans are designed omnivores; that, for me, does not mean a vegan diet is impossible, but harder for sure.
We have a threads about whether humans are designed omnivores here (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7466&highlight=humans+meat) and here (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1194&highlight=humans+meat), but why is it harder to be a vegan for you (besides the fact the switching from one habit/lifestyle/diet to another always requires a little effort)? If there are certain nutrients you constantly miss, while you didn't miss any (or missed less) nutrients before?

pavotrouge
Jan 13th, 2007, 09:32 PM
I didn't want this turn out in such a long discussion or make my post sound as if I'm secretly against veganism.

I don't mean come of as arrogant or not capable of dealing with critic- but I'm out of this discussion now because any further arguments might be too unscientific and too personal or might be misinterpreted in a couple of ways.