View Full Version : Do vegans need to worry about vitamins and minerals?

Apr 21st, 2007, 10:42 PM
My mom said that it's possable to die from being vegan. Is this true? If so how do I get all of the vitamins, minerals, etc. that I need. (she is seriously thinking abouting taking me to an eating dissorder clinic)

Apr 21st, 2007, 10:48 PM

No, it's not possible to die from being a vegan.

You do need to make sure you get all the vitamins etc. you need in order to have a healthy lifestyle but this is the same case with ANY diet.

Here's a good article on vegan nutrition - http://www.viva.org.uk/goingvegan/vegannutrition.html

I'm sure someone else will be along soon that can give you a much better answer than me :)

Apr 21st, 2007, 11:19 PM
I don't know if my I can give a better answer Risker, maybe just a slightly different one! :) I don't hear about any vegans dropping dead because of their diet, but I DO hear about a lot of meat eaters dropping dead because of their diet!

Apr 22nd, 2007, 12:28 AM
I would think that it's almost impossible to die from following a vegan diet. As long as you follow reliable info on nutrition, you'll almost certainly feel healthier than you did when you consumed meat, eggs, milk etc. That's what I've found in my own experience. Personally I probably eat a less nutritionally rich diet than many of the people on this forum, but I still feel more alive now than I did before I went vegan in late 2004. Since then I've never suffered from any major illness, and in fact any illness whatever is extremely rare. That's just me but I think on the whole a vegan diet promotes health.

Apr 22nd, 2007, 01:36 AM
There have been some scare stories in the press about children (usually infants I think) getting ill and even dying after being fed a very restricted diet (nothing but fruit, stuff like that) - I wonder if that's what your mother is thinking of. But I agree with the others here that it's not going to happen on a "normal" vegan diet that includes a variety of vegan foods.

There is loads of information on vegan nutrition on the web, for example on the UK Vegan Society's web site
You're right to want to research the question, so you can respond to your mom's concerns and also make sure you eat well.

You could also ask her to read this paper from the American Dietetic Association, which says "Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence."


Printable version (with French translation!) here:


Apr 22nd, 2007, 01:41 AM
Thanks everyone. Risker, thanks for the link, that should help for my side of the arguement.

Apr 22nd, 2007, 01:58 AM
Glad I helped, your mum is probably just concerned, if you were taken to an eating disorder clinic then it could actually be a good thing. If they know there stuff they'd probably put your mum right.

Apr 22nd, 2007, 02:00 AM
Unfortunatly it is possible to die as a vegan! :D

Apr 22nd, 2007, 02:06 AM
Unfortunatly it is possible to die as a vegan! :D

What the?! I was told it made you invincible! I want a refund!! :D

Apr 22nd, 2007, 07:37 AM
My mom said that it's possable to die from being vegan. Is this true? If so how do I get all of the vitamins, minerals, etc. that I need. (she is seriously thinking abouting taking me to an eating dissorder clinic)


Humans can die from any kind of diet if we don't get enough of that diet, or enough of certain nutrients. I think the myth that one can die from being vegan was created by Dr. Victor Herbert (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=136193&postcount=2), who wrote that the vegan diet was lethal unless one was making sure one got enough B12 (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=196). There are many reason people can get low in B12, and B12 is one of the nutrients vegans need to pay extra attention to. On the other hand, there's also a long list of nutrients non-vegans need to pay extra attention to... Maybe your mom would be interested in this thread:

Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24)

Here's another interesting thread, about Donald Watson (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=912), one of the main founders of the vegan movement. When he died, 95 years old, he had been a vegetarian for over 80 years, and a vegan for over 60 years. He lived a much longer and more healthy life than most people.

Good luck!


Apr 22nd, 2007, 07:56 AM
Yes, perhaps you could print out some information for your mom about the health benefits of a vegan diet. You could always take a vegan multivitamin for a while until you're both sure that you're getting the vitamins and minerals you need.

Apr 22nd, 2007, 11:14 AM
Hi again Vismund,

I just created a couple of new subforums which may make it easier to find some useful info for you and your mom - lots of people ask questions about vitamins/minerals because they believe that meat eaters are 'safe' but that a plant based diet means an increased risk for nutrient deficiencies:

Vitamins, minerals and supplements (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=100)

No animal products - why? (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=98)

Oct 5th, 2009, 03:57 PM
no, you can't die from being vegan XD
(actually, you can die from eating meat...heart disease? cancer?)

you can get anything you need in this diet...i'm vegan for 6 years now (and vegetarian for almost 17 years), i do blood tests every year and i never had any problems. in fact, my b12 and hemoglobin is really high (i don't take any supplements either).

and i even dont eat healthy! XP

Oct 7th, 2009, 03:31 PM
Unfortunatly it is possible to die as a vegan! :D

Of course it's possible to die as a vegan... if you live on potato crisps and beans on toast then I doubt you would last too long... :D I just think it's important to bust the myth that "all vegans are healthy and all omnivores are not." There are healthy and unhealthy people in both camps...

Oct 15th, 2009, 08:46 PM
Hi there - just agreeing with Korn - make sure you to get your B12! Personally, I take a multivitamin and also a B12 pill. If you have a well planned and executed diet full of variety - AND you take a B12 pill - they've got nothing on you. You'll probably live the longest of all the meat eaters you know! :)

tombenarye1234 (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/member.php?u=12694) - that's awesome if you don't need a supplement!

Anyway, in my experience B12 is the one nutrient that keeps coming up with most health professionals. With good reason.

Nov 26th, 2013, 09:47 AM
Just before I went vegan in 2008, I went to the doctor to get my nutrient levels tested, specifically to see how going vegan would affect it. I just had another test a few weeks ago.

Most of my nutrients have gone up, including iron and calcium. My B12 is on the high end. The only thing I'm deficient in is vitamin D, which I was in 2008 too (it's an epidemic in my country - 30% of Australians are deficient in vitamin D). My cholesterol, of course, has gone down.

I eat a pretty healthy diet consisting of mainly wholefoods, which inludes lots of Nuts, seeds and dried fruit. But I don't particularly stress about diet or nutrition - I just eat stuff I like. I eat junk food from time to time. I eat some organic stuff, but it's a minority. I take a daily multivitamin, when I remember.

My health in general is good. In general, I feel better, have more energy, and am happier. Part of that is probably due to other factors, but I'm sure part is due to veganism. I'm also stronger and musclier, and find pleasure in excercise (I despised excercise before).

Nov 27th, 2013, 03:52 AM
Chances are that the original poster has already died in the meantime from kashviorkor or some other terrible vegan-induced sickness, but I hope not :-)

best regards,