View Full Version : How *NOT* to shorten your life as a vegan: b-12 & omega 3 efas

Aug 22nd, 2004, 12:04 PM

I just made a new personal web site to disseminate ( for free ) information about being healthy on a vegan or vegetarian diet.

The first link at the top of the site explains how to watch this free streaming video ( 60 min ):

Optimum Vegetarian Nutrition : Surprising New Research On Omega 3's and B12 by Dr. Michael Greger M.D.

It explains how some large sophisticated studies have been finding that despite positive health indicators vegans as well vegetarians have been having the same mortality rates, if not worse then omnivores. It explains how to make some small dietary changes with omega 3 fatty acids and adequte vitamin b-12 intake to prevent people from dying prematurely.

IMHO watching this video could be one of the best spent hours of your year:

I am posting about this issue again because I did not know that this resource was available and I think most veg*ns would find it interesting.

(Korn, if you watch this video I will read any freely available material you ask me to as long as the time required to read it does not exceed an hour)

Aug 23rd, 2004, 10:19 PM
I watched that video today and I must say it's really quite great. I knew omega 3's and B-12 were important, but Dr. Greger does a fantastic job of explaining everything in great detail without making it the least bit boring. Thanks a lot for the link!!!

Aug 25th, 2004, 11:18 PM
(Korn, if you watch this video I will read any freely available material you ask me to as long as the time required to read it does not exceed an hour)

I saw this a while ago, and wasn't really impressed. I'm against the style of some style that some pro-vegan health personal represents: as I mentioned to you in reply to your PM, some of them represent a kind of 'Eat-pills-or-die-young' attitude towards how they present their material.

Homocysteine has been known for 10-15 years. Omega-3 is no secret either. The obsessive interest for supplements often come from people who don't question if treating symptoms necessarily is a good thing (without looking at the causes), or even if treating symptoms isolated from 'treating' the cause actually helps. Many pill enthusiasts also blindly refuse to be interested in the critical look at supplements that others represent, the lack of of proof of their effect, possible side effects, amount of inactive B12 in supplements and non-vegan food (or fortified food) and so on.

Some health professionals either present veg'n food as a means to live longer and get less heart problems. Others concludes that vegans will live as long as omnis even without taking supplements. Some insist that vegans will live longer than all others, lacto-vegetarians included, if they take certain supplements. A few seems to give the impression that veganism is associated with 'premature dying'.

As you might have noticed, I'm critical against the 'spirit' of the message some of the sites you refer to represent. I understand that if people haven't heard about B12 or homocysteine before, they might get some sort of a-ha experience the first time they read about it. Micro-organisms, good bacteria and B12 IS important. But it's important HOW vegan sites present this information.

Sep 6th, 2004, 04:47 PM
Thanks for the link.

I watched three of the presentations - all very interesting and entertaining.

What are people's thoughts on this:

"B12 supplements can be treated as just another food. It is mainstream vegan philosophy that people should refrain from consuming animal and animal products because they don't need to - a balanced diet can be found. How is a B12 supplement less natural than fermented soy beans, for example? If B12 cannot be consumed in large enough doses without the supplement, how does that retract from the vegan argument?"


Sep 6th, 2004, 05:26 PM
Absolutely, I see supplements/fortified foods just like any other food that I eat. It's just another form of conveniece foods as far as I'm concerned.

In fact, I just ate a bowl of wholegrain pasta with broccoli plus calcium fortified orange/maracuya/peach juice and B12 pill... Veganism is beautiful. :)

Sep 6th, 2004, 05:41 PM
My thoughts are similar.

How does one explain the negative stigma surrounding the taking of B12 supplements then? What is so unnatural about supplements in this extraordinarily unnatural world?


Sep 7th, 2004, 07:08 AM
Do people who take supplements and/or medications, also take herbal remedies? There have been a few articles lately on the dangers of 'mixing and matching'. Even just today in the UK Independent, Professor Peter Houghton, a pharmacologist at King's College London, said that herbal remedies may be unsafe, especially when patients suffering from chronic illness take them alongside conventional medicines. Also that "there is a myth that because something is natural it must be safe," he told the Festival of Science in Exeter. Herbal products could be potentially toxic when taken in high enough quantities - but what is 'high enough quantities'? The problem is that some herbs, although quite innocuous on their own, could interact with conventional drugs to cause serious side effects. "Such adverse reactions are receiving much attention because of the large numbers of people who take herbal products and conventional medicines at the same time.
I once printed out a listing of herbal remedies that react when taken with medications.

Dec 19th, 2004, 02:17 AM
That man has the most annoying voice I've ever heard.

Dec 21st, 2004, 09:32 AM
That's what I thought.

It grows on you.

It's kind of endearing after an hour.

Or my ears have gone numb or something.

Dec 31st, 2004, 06:15 PM
beforewisdom- Great link. I sent it to some friends, who recently became vegans and this information should give them a good start. It helped me too..Thank you.