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Thread: Essential Amino Acids

  1. #1
    EyesWideOpen monkey60613's Avatar
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    Default Certain essential nutrient only found in red meat?

    I can't think of the name of it but a supposed health food specialist (who happens to be an omnivore) over the weekend said there was some nutrient (not sure if it's an enzyme, amino acid or what) that is crucial to brain function that you can only get from red meat. Have you ever heard of this?

    Sorry for being so vague.
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  2. #2
    Pilaf
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    Default Re: Certain essential nutrient only found in red meat?

    There's no enzyme in red meat that doesn't exist or can't be created by eating a variety of other enzymes in plant foods. I'm almost 100% certain of that.

    Meateating doctors and nutritionists use this kind of logic often to advocate eating red meat, regardless of its multiple negative health effects.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Certain essential nutrient only found in red meat?

    There is no such nutrient or enzyme. The only possibility would be b-12, but that would not be found only in red meat. I would be curious what the name of this "nutrient" is. There are so many myths perpetuated out there, this is just likely to be another myth.

    Best,
    Josh

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Certain essential nutrient only found in red meat?

    I've seen this nutrient mentioned a few times in strongly pro-meat sources. Strangely enough none of them have ever named it, presumably because it doesn't actually exist .

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Certain essential nutrient only found in red meat?

    An omni friend of my sister told my sister about this nutrient when my sister mentioned that I'm vegan. I forgot the name, but I'll ask her next time I talk to her. I'm sure that she's never looked for vegan sources of it, so how would she know that vegan sources of it don't exist? And besides, vegans live longer than omni's on average, so how "essential" could it be? It's just a way to justify meat-eating.
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  6. #6
    Pilaf
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    Default Re: Certain essential nutrient only found in red meat?

    Quote j&k
    There is no such nutrient or enzyme. The only possibility would be b-12, but that would not be found only in red meat. I would be curious what the name of this "nutrient" is. There are so many myths perpetuated out there, this is just likely to be another myth.

    Best,
    Josh

    Haha yeah...my youngest brother asked me where I got my B12 last time he was over..I go to the fridge and say "From this big bucket of Nutritional Yeast!".

  7. #7
    Gliondrach
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    Default Re: Certain essential nutrient only found in red meat?

    There definitely is something that is found only in certain meats and possibly milk - and has a vital role in the brain. It's called a prion.

  8. #8
    frugivorous aubergine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Certain essential nutrient only found in red meat?

    Vital if you want to damage your brain...

  9. #9
    Seaside
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    Default Re: Certain essential nutrient only found in red meat?

    I bet its carnitine, which is an amino acid. In supplement form, it is most commonly derived from meat (where it gets its name) but it is manufactured in the body from lysine, methionine, and vitamin C. Its also found in nuts and seeds. Lack of it can cause brain abnormalities, mostly in infants, but its usually because of an inability to synthesize it within the body, rather than a dietary deficiency caused by lack of flesh in the human diet.
    Some people will say anything to sell supplements, and justify extracting them from animals.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Certain essential nutrient only found in red meat?

    I found this from an omnivore reviewer on amazon.com trying to dissprove "The China Study", (excellent book BTW)

    "Meat, along with certain species of fish and seafood, is a rich source of taurine, an important amino acid whose concentration in eggs, milk, and plant foods ranges from negligible to none[Laidlow SA][Pasantes-Morales H]. Taurine is found in high concentrations in the heart, brain, and central nervous system, where it helps stabilize the cellular response to nervous stimulation. Taurine possesses antioxidant capabilities and has been shown in double-blind clinical trials to improve cardiac function in patients with congestive heart failure[Schaffer SW][Azuma J][Azuma J]. "
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    Default Re: Certain essential nutrient only found in red meat?

    Vagetarian:

    This is all true regarding taurine. Taurine is a conditionally essential amino acid, not found in vegan foods. But, for almost all vegans, we make a sufficient amount in our bodies where we don't need pure sources of it from food. That being said, if an amino acid profile is taken of a vegan, and they are found to be deficient in an amino acid, it will most likely be taurine.

    In other words, taurine defiency is the most likely protein deficiency in a vegan, but it happens "very" rarely. This can quickly be overcome by taking a synthetic vegan taurine supplement.

    In other words, the omnivore's critique is meaningless.

    Best,
    Josh

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Certain essential nutrient only found in red meat?

    Quote Vagetarian
    "Taurine possesses antioxidant capabilities and has been shown in double-blind clinical trials to improve cardiac function in patients with congestive heart failure[Schaffer SW][Azuma J][Azuma J]. "
    If they were vegan, they wouldn't have congestive heart failure in the first place, so they wouldn't need taurine ot improve their cardiac function.

    Also, the omni reviewer doesn't even say to what extent taurine helps to improve cardiac function, so its effects are probably negligible.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Certain essential nutrient only found in red meat?

    For those interested, here was the rest of the omnivore's point which I don't really know much about. Maybe you do and can comment. Perhaps it's acceptable for vegans to have lower levels of these amino acids because we don't eat meat. Food for thought

    From Mr. Omnivore:
    "Taurine cannot be found in plant foods. Humans are able to manufacture their own taurine but with far less efficiency than herbivorous animals, as evidenced by significantly lower blood taurine levels in vegans and rural Mexican women reporting low meat intakes[Laidlaw][Pasantes-Morales H].

    Carnitine is a remarkable amino acid that plays a pivotal role in energy production, and is absolutely essential for the fat-burning process to proceed. Because of its pivotal role in energy production, high levels of carnitine are found in the heart and skeletal muscle. Clinical trials have observed markedly improved survival outcomes resulting from carnitine supplementation in patients with heart failure and coronary heart disease[Davini P][Rizos I][Singh RB][Iliceto S]. A review of the scientific literature shows that this versatile amino acid has been shown to benefit anorexia, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease, male infertility, sexual dysfunction and depression in aging men, and pregnancy outcomes. Exercise, even at moderate levels, can cause a significant drop in muscle carnitine levels; in patients with angina and respiratory disorders, carnitine enhances exercise tolerance[Kelly GS][Cavallini G][Gentile V].

    The richest food source of carnitine, by far and away, is meat. Compared to omnivores, vegetarians repeatedly exhibit lower blood levels of carnitine[Krajcovicova-Kudlackova M][Lombard KA]. Carnitine status appears to also be worsened by the high-carbohydrate diets recommended by folks like Campbell. In healthy men receiving the same amount of dietary carnitine, blood levels of this all-important amino acid rose significantly in individuals following a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, while no change in carnitine levels were observed in individuals on a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet[Cederblad G].

    Meat is the only food containing significant amounts of carnosine, an amino acid with some rather interesting and highly beneficial properties[Chan KM]. Carnosine is a potent antioxidant, being particularly effective in protecting cellular fats against free radical damage. Research shows carnosine may accelerate wound healing, boost the immune system, protect against cataracts, reduce gastric ulcer formation, rid the body of toxic metals, and even help fight against cancer[Hipkiss AR]. The most potent effect of carnosine however, appears to be its ability to prevent glycation, which, along with free-radical production, is a major contributor to degenerative illness and the aging process[Price DL, et al].

    The potent anti-glycation effects of carnosine may explain why a comparison of vegetarians, vegans and meat-eating omnivores revealed the latter to have significantly lower levels of nasty glycation end-products known as advanced glycosylation end-products (AGEs) circulating in their bloodstreams. The difference could not be explained by total carbohydrate intake, blood sugar, age or kidney function, as all these variables were similar between the vegetarian and omnivorous groups[Sebekova K].
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    Default Re: Certain essential nutrient only found in red meat?

    Vagetarian:

    Yes, all this person's points sound impressive on first glance, but are as meaningless as his points are on taurine. I said above, the first most common amino acid deficiency in vegans is taurine (albeit this is rare). Well, the second most common is carnitine (so you guessed it, this is even more rare).

    There are synthetic, vegan supplements for both carnitine and taurine which more than make up for any conceivable deficiency that the very rare vegan may face.

    But, the idea of eating meat for the sake of these two amino acids is laughable. Meat has been shown in 1000's of studies to increase risk of all sorts of cancers, heart disease, strokes, diabetes etc. So, is this person saying you have to eat one of the least healthy foods available to us to get the marginal benefits shown from two amino acids it contains?

    I don't buy the carnosine argument at all, by the way.

    This is a typical argument made by a person ignorant of health issues.

    Best,
    Josh

  15. #15
    Vagetarian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Certain essential nutrient only found in red meat?

    Josh,
    Yes I'd have to agree. I'm sure rat poison has something good in it, but I'm not going to eat it for the one or two good chemicals out of the thousands of bad ones. (That's kind of an ignorant vegan response, but you get my point). By the way, sort of off topic, I've been reading "Eat to Live" per your recommendation and plan on going through the 6 week "trial run" to see how well my body reacts. I'm in very good health, at my ideal weight, and don't have any food or substance addictions, so it should be an easy transition. My only concern is; I like variety and I like to cook and unfortunately I have a relatively high metabolism, so I don't want to lose weight or lose interest in the diet. Can you email me some suggestions or perhaps start another thread regarding this "superior" diet.
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    Default Being questioned - Amino Acids in Vegan/vegetarian diet - Help!

    A friend is asking me if I am getting enough amino acids in my vegetarian/vegan diet. A few months ago, I tried to research this topic but I could not find anything very useful.

    I THINK I read to eat nuts - which I do - but I cant remember if this had to do with amino acids :P.

    Can someone tell me if I need to take a supplement to get the proper amino acids in my vegetarian (almost vegan) diet?

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    Default Re: Being questioned - Amino Acids in Vegan/vegetarian diet - Help!

    Provided you are not just eating refined foods and fruits, and you are eating sufficient calories, you are getting all the amino acids you need on a vegan or vegetarian diet. On a vegan diet, the amino acids that can sometimes show up as a deficiency are carnitine and taurine. These are conditionally essential amino acids, meaning your body should produce them, but not everyone does in sufficient quantities. But, deficiencies in carnitine and taurine are very rare, and is almost never a concern.

    Best,
    Josh

  18. #18
    auntierozzi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Being questioned - Amino Acids in Vegan/vegetarian diet - Help!

    I am glad you asked this question! I have just read, in a criticism of the China Study on Amazon, about the apparent difficulty of getting and making sufficient amounts of creatine, taurine, carnitine and carnosine in our diet. How much of these do we need? I would be interested if anyone has information.

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Being questioned - Amino Acids in Vegan/vegetarian diet - Help!

    As I said before, amino acid deficiency in vegans is extremely rare. Most vegans need not concern themselves. The creatine and carnosine arguments are not legitimate. The taurine and carnitine can be a problem, as I said, for a very small population of vegans.

    The person who reviewed the China Study posted bad information.

    Best,
    Josh

  20. #20
    mangababe rianaelf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Being questioned - Amino Acids in Vegan/vegetarian diet - Help!

    Alfalfa sprouts have, i think, the complete range of amino acids
    holding onto the dream that we imagined and painted forever more: elvinridge.co.uk

  21. #21
    nervine
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    Default Re: Being questioned - Amino Acids in Vegan/vegetarian diet - Help!

    Same with green peas I think. Brocolli has also a wide range of amino acids.

    Look on http://www.nutritiondata.com

  22. #22
    auntierozzi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Being questioned - Amino Acids in Vegan/vegetarian diet - Help!

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I posted my first message at the same time as you Josh, so sorry to make you repeat yourself! I was really surprized to read that scathing attack of the China Study and wonder now if it was posted by some person working for the meat industry..

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    Default Re: Being questioned - Amino Acids in Vegan/vegetarian diet - Help!

    seem to recall from school biology class that amino acids are the building blocks of protein.
    sounds like a re-hash of the old adage "where do vegans get protein?"
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    Default Re: Being questioned - Amino Acids in Vegan/vegetarian diet - Help!

    Quinoa is a grain that has a wide range of amino acids (all of the essentials, I think, but I'm not sure about taurine and creatine). I think between whole grains, nuts, and a wide variety of vegetables, you should be fine. I've never heard of anyone having an amino acid deficiency who wasn't actually starving.

    Cheers,
    rant
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    Default Re: Being questioned - Amino Acids in Vegan/vegetarian diet - Help!

    None of these foods (alfalfa sprouts, brocolli or quinoa) have appreciable amounts of taurine or carnitine. These amino acids basically are not found in vegetation. As I said, though, they are only conditionally essential because the body makes these amino acids from other substances.

    Protein deficiency though, is not a problem for vegans provided they eat a sensible diet and are eating sufficient calories.

    Best,
    Josh

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    Default Re: Being questioned - Amino Acids in Vegan/vegetarian diet - Help!

    Most humans can synthesise carnitine and taurine more than adequately if their overal protein intake is OK. Cats on a vegan diet need suplementation with both, on the other hand. So do Dogs, especially big old dogs. Most vegan dog foods contain neither, unfortunately. Some large breeds sufer from heart problems without supplementation if they are on a vegan diet.

    Assuming you are neither a dog or cat or other large carnivore you should be fine

    Cheers

    Mike

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    mangababe rianaelf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Being questioned - Amino Acids in Vegan/vegetarian diet - Help!

    holding onto the dream that we imagined and painted forever more: elvinridge.co.uk

  28. #28
    earthchild
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    Default Re: Being questioned - Amino Acids in Vegan/vegetarian diet - Help!

    Here is a neat website that gives indepth nutritional info for many whole foods. It gives very detailed info on which amino acids are present as well as vitamins, minerals, etc.

    http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php

    Just click the food of your choice. Then under the histogram plot, click nutritional profile, then under that there is an option for a more indepth nutritional profile.

    This is such a neat site, I find myself referencing it all the time. Hope this helps.

  29. #29
    DancingWillow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Being questioned - Amino Acids in Vegan/vegetarian diet - Help!

    i remember reading somewhere that soy is the only vegan product that contains all amino acids (although obviously there are many vegan foods that contain various combinations of some of the amino acids)...i don't remember where i read this though, so i'm not sure how true it is.
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    Default Re: Being questioned - Amino Acids in Vegan/vegetarian diet - Help!

    On my carton of Alpro soya milk it says "contains all 8 essential amino acids."
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

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    Default Re: Being questioned - Amino Acids in Vegan/vegetarian diet - Help!

    Yes, it contains all essential amino acids, but it doesn't contain all conditionally essential amino acids which are the ones that can (albeit rarely) present problems....

  32. #32
    veggirl77
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    Default vegan amino acid supplements - is there such a thing?

    I have been vegan for 35 years. I eat very healthy, yet I would like to supplement my diet with free form amino acids. I would like to begin working out and creating a little muscle definition. I'm 5'6 and 115 lbs., so fairly thin.....I could use a little muscle. I don't think I eat enough protein since my diet is probably about 75% raw (or more).

    Is there such a thing as "vegan" amino acid supplements or do they originate from animal products? Can they be made from soy?
    I have emailed several companies that sell free form amino acids but have not heard back.

    I know there are soy protein mixes but I'm not sure how good they are. Can anyone advise me to a good vegan soy protein mix?

    I would appreciate any advice.

    Thanks,
    susan

  33. #33
    Kiran's Avatar
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    Default Re: vegan amino acid supplements....is there such a thing?

    Hey Veggirl77,

    You can put on mass even from a raw vegan diet. Most vegetables, greens, seeds, beans and nuts provide the protien your body needs. Protiens are made of amino acids and technically your body's requirement is for amino acids to get the protien. I understand you are mostly on a raw vegan diet and it is essential to remember that a predominant fruit diet will not provide amino acids. If you eat a varied range of food you should have enough protien to control your weight and muscular build. Soyabeans, spinach and leafy veggies will provide high quality protien. Certain food may lack in specific amino acid(s) but might be high in others, and if you eat a varied diet some other food will be able to compensate for this, hence offering a balance. It is not at all difficult to get amino acids from a vegan diet.
    Life is like a boomerang: What goes around comes around - "Karma"rocks!

  34. #34
    veggirl77
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    Default Re: vegan amino acid supplements....is there such a thing?

    Thanks for the reply.

    I eat mostly fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. I dont' eat beans (I don't like them) I can't help but worry about my protein intake. I'm not skinny, but slender and would like to add some muscle. How do I do that?

    If I don't supplement with amino acid supplements, then I would like to
    add a soy protein shake....do you know of any good ones out there? I have tried some and have not found one that tastes good.

  35. #35

    Default Re: vegan amino acid supplements....is there such a thing?

    I would not recommend supplementing protein. Have you already started with weight training?

  36. #36
    New Jack sp00ki's Avatar
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    Default Re: vegan amino acid supplements....is there such a thing?

    Why wouldn't you? I've found that muscle recovery following strenuous workouts is much faster when protein supplements are used, especially slow twitch workouts. Soreness also seems to be reduced.
    Here's the supplement i use. Lots of protein as well as vitamins and other essentials... i make one shake a day prior to ~1.5 hour in the gym-- seems to work quite well for me.

    *ed: this one isn't very tasty, but it's tolerable.

  37. #37

    Default Re: vegan amino acid supplements....is there such a thing?

    There is no reason to supplement protein on a healthy diet; you'll be getting plenty. Besides that, protein supplements are usually protein isolates or protein concentrates, which are not healthy. Humans do not store excess protein, and trying to eliminate the large, unused amounts puts a terrible and unnecessary strain on the kidneys.

    As long as your caloric intake is high enough and made up of healthy, whole foods, then you should be great.

  38. #38
    New Jack sp00ki's Avatar
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    Default Re: vegan amino acid supplements....is there such a thing?

    I'm not too sure where you're getting your information, but i'd consider re-evaluating your sources-- what you're saying simply isn't true. There's lots of mis-information supporting both sides of the argument out there, but the findings from University/medical studies consistently provide overwhelming evidence which supports that a significant increase in protein is required for resistance and endurance atheletes alike.
    A study by Dr. Peter Lemon (just google his name in combination with terms like "protein", you'll find plenty of references to the study) showed the following:
    A team of researchers from Kent State University, Ohio, and McMaster University, Ontario, led by Dr. Peter Lemon studied a group of 12 male subjects during two months of resistance training. They found that a protein intake of 81 grams per day (0.99g per kg of bodyweight for a 180 lb male) resulted in a negative nitrogen balance. Nitrogen balance is a measure of protein metabolism. A negative nitrogen balance indicates that the protein needs of the body are not being met and protein is being scavanged from tissue elsewhere in the body to maintain essential body functions. This may lead to reduced gains in muscle mass and strength
    Another medical publication published an article by Dr. Enette Larson (specifically about vegetarians and nutrient intake) says:
    Strength trained athletes (weight lifters, wrestlers, football players or field throwers), or those with high training levels or low energy intakes need to include more protein-rich foods. This is easily accomplished by encouraging the athlete to add 1 to 3 servings of protein-rich foods to their current diet (e.g., soy milk shake, lentils onto spaghetti sauce, tofu added to stir-fry or garbanzo beans to salad).
    And while not completely relevant, Dr. Paul Flakoll found that protein supplements actually prevented injury during rigorous exercise:
    His study measured the impact of protein supplements on the health and performance of the 400 recruits. One group took a daily protein and energy supplement developed by Flakoll. Another group took an energy supplement, and a third group received a placebo, which had no nutritive value at all.
    "We measured the changes in their fat, lean mass and functional activities, such as rifle scores. We also tracked how often they were treated for various medical conditions," he said.
    "The differences between the supplemented group and the group taking placebos were quite striking. And, there were huge effects in the group receiving the supplement with protein," Flakoll said.
    In the group that received protein supplements, there were 33 percent fewer reports of treatment for colds, upper respiratory illnesses, fractures and muscle ailments. In the group that received protein, only one person was treated for heat stroke, compared to 13 in the other groups, he said.
    That's simply evidence supporting the need for an increase in protein consumption. But that leaves the question: how much protein is actually needed by someone to strength train properly?
    For years, athletes have ignored the published protein guidelines and consumed amounts far in excess of the government's recommendation.2 Some quality research has demonstrated that RDA levels for those involved in athletics are inadequate and may impede recovery or limit muscle growth.3 It is generally accepted that endurance athletes should consume 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.3 Strength and power athletes are recommended to consume protein between 1.4 and 1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.3 Although there are no recommendations for people with musculoskeletal injuries, hospital guidelines have been published.4 For general surgery, it is recommended that protein levels be 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. For cases of multiple trauma, levels are between 1.5 and 2.0 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. Finally, for burns and severe sepsis, protein levels are recommended at 2.5 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.
    I don't know how much protein you already consume, but it's unlikely that a vegan diet alone would provide enough to prevent the issue discussed in my first quote. That's not to say you NEED a suppliment, but eating enough to supply the ammount of protein required is pretty tough in my opinion. In fact, even meeting the daily recommended minimum protein intake level of 0.8 grams per Kg of body weight (as recommended by the National Academy of Sciences, the organization responsible for setting national health guidelines and recommended daily intake of nutrients in the United States, as well as the Food and Drug Administration) is relatively difficult on a vegan diet. Use this calculator to see if you actually are getting what you need:
    http://www.healthcalculators.org/cal...rs/protein.asp

    It's likely you're not. Honestly, the most efficient way to do that is a protein shake. Again, it's NOT essential-- it's actually more healthy to get proteins from food over the course of the day-- but as you know, that's not always easy.
    What i find works for me is consuming a 25 gram-of-protein shake (i linked to it above) thirty minutes before working out for 60/90 minutes, then sip a second one over the course of the day. That with a normal, well rounded diet prevents soreness (i definitely feel-- and regret-- the day after a workout or a hard ride with no protein shake) and promotes faster recovery. I don't know if that works for everyone, but it definitely works for me, and evidence shows that it works for atheletes of many different calibers. That's the reason pro and collegiate atheletes and trainers swear by supplements-- atheletes need increased ammounts of protein to allow their bodies to adapt to being active, and supplemens do a great job of making that happen.
    Just do a bit of research about it, you'll find tons of medical evidence explaining exactly why.

    *Sorry, looks like that link might not work; if it doesn't, just search for "Vegan Complete Meal Replacement Protein Powder by Pure Advantage" on veganessentials.com... good luck!

  39. #39
    veggirl77
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    Default Re: vegan amino acid supplements....is there such a thing?

    Thanks sp00ki. I will try the protein powder you recommended.

  40. #40

    Default Re: vegan amino acid supplements....is there such a thing?

    sp00ki, just to clarify; you are saying that it is difficult to obtain adequate protein on a vegan diet alone, and that protein supplementation is an acceptable way to meet our protein needs.

    First, I want to say that the protein needs you cite are greatly inflated. The World Health Organization recommends people consume 0.5g of protein per kg of bodyweight. However, we can use yours as an example.

    A potato is about 10% protein, beans are about 28%, and broccoli is about 47%. On a 2,000 cal/day diet consisting of these foods, a man of about 150lb will easily meet the 0.8g per kg of body weight. If the same person starts rigorous exercise and requires more calories, his protein will also increase with all other nutrients while maintaining the same ratio. Of the foods I listed, potatoes are the lowest in protein. If you ate just potatoes, you would get 50g of protein from those 2,000 calories. If you started working out and ate 3,000 cal, you would get 75g of protein. 4,000 cal = 100g of protein. As you can see, getting adequate protein on plants is a non-issue. But, does the extra protein help?

    Getting adequate protein is important, but it's also important to get plenty of carbohydrate. I don't think anyone argues that athletes need extra nutrition, including protein. However, by consuming protein instead of other nutrients will not be better than increasing all nutrients. It's been found many times that increased protein does not increase performance, but may actually inhibit it if consuming protein in place of carbohydrate.

    *borrowed from Dr. McDougall's website
    Level of dietary protein impacts whole body protein turnover in trained males at rest by Patricia Gaine in the April 2006 issue ofMetabolism found in five male endurance runners that, “a protein intake of 1.2 g/kg or 10% of total energy intake is needed to achieve a positive nitrogen balance.” The source of protein was beef and vegetarians were excluded from the study. No advantage was found for consuming higher levels of protein. The high protein diet (30% protein, 30% fat, and 40% carbohydrate—like the Zone diet) provided insufficient carbohydrates to replenish muscle glycogen and may result in fluid imbalances and dehydration according to the researchers.
    Regarding protein shakes, you should read about protein isolates and you'll discover why they are a bad idea. The relationship of protein isolates to increased IGF-1 levels, and IGF-1 to cancer growth is enough to deter me. Besides that, they are pointless anyway. If you want to get the most out of your protein, increase the healthy - whole foods in your diet and carbohydrate ratio. This way your body will use carbohydrate for its intended use (fuel) and protein (tissue repair) instead of having to convert protein to fuel to make up for carbohydrate deficiency.

    If you still feel that you need extra protein, then adding an extra cup of lentils or a bit of tofu is acceptable, but protein supplements are the wrong direction.

  41. #41
    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    Default Re: vegan amino acid supplements - is there such a thing?

    Fifty9, I know we talked about this in another thread, but what exactly is an "IGF-1" level?

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    Default Re: vegan amino acid supplements - is there such a thing?

    IGF-1 is short for "Insulin-like Growth Factor 1". It's a powerful growth hormone made in the body. IGF-1 levels are simply the amount of IGF-1 you have in your body. The primary job of IGF-1 is to promote growth, but it will promote the growth of both healthy and diseased tissues. During certain stages of our lives, growth is important, but after that stage we don't need as much. People with lower IGF-1 levels have a longer lifespan, and a more youthful appearance.

    Diet can play a large role in our serum IGF-1 levels, and therefore the dietary choices we make can help us control this. Vegans typically have a lower IGF-1 level than omni's and lacto-ovo veg' people. Drinking milk boosts IGF-1 levels a lot however, protein isolates have been shown to boost it much more than milk; as I discussed in the other thread.

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    Default Re: vegan amino acid supplements - is there such a thing?

    Right....I think I've got it. Thanks so much for the explanation!

    So IGF-1 can boost the growth of healthy cells as well as bad cells? So if you had cancerous cells in your body, then eating too much soy protein isolate could cause the growth of these cells because the IGF-1 levels have been boosted by the soy protein isolate?

    Am I following?

  44. #44

    Default Re: vegan amino acid supplements - is there such a thing?

    ^ Correct. Our bodies can eliminate cancer in early stages, but IGF-1 prevents these cells from dieing while promoting their growth. Very tall people have a naturally higher IGF-1 level, and taller people get more colon cancer, breast cancer and die younger. You don't see too many old giants, do you?

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    Default Re: vegan amino acid supplements - is there such a thing?

    Just a quick point sp00ki, I do agree that sometimes protein shakes are a good option (just like sometimes fast food is a good option), however, I would definitely not recommend them on a regular basis... I am a very keen sports person and I work out for at least an hour a day. I eat LOADS when I work out and in those times of the year when I do weight training. It is true that sometimes you may not have time to eat and a protein shake can be a quick fix to help recovery, but it is also true that they are hard to digest and they have some negative side effects (I have to agree with fifty9 there!)

    Veggirl77, you need to increase the amount of calories you eat (and if you like raw food, I would suggest lots of hummus and avocadoes, guacamole, nuts...) you also need to do weight training if you want more muscle (although, to be honest, unless you are quite disciplined about it, some naturally slender/thin people find putting on muscle difficult)... the plus side is that not being male, you probably will only want a bit of definition as opposed to being BIG

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    Default Re: vegan amino acid supplements - is there such a thing?

    Quote Fifty9 View Post
    ^ Correct. Our bodies can eliminate cancer in early stages, but IGF-1 prevents these cells from dieing while promoting their growth. Very tall people have a naturally higher IGF-1 level, and taller people get more colon cancer, breast cancer and die younger. You don't see too many old giants, do you?
    Thanks for all that info! It's all new to me and I'm glad I know about it now.

  47. #47

    Default Re: vegan amino acid supplements - is there such a thing?

    I'm glad you found it interesting.

    It's important that vegans (and everybody else) know the significance of a healthy diet. Exclusion of animal products does not equal health, and too many new vegans fall down that path of diets high in mock meats, white flours, sugars, salt and oils. I don't necessarily care what people choose to eat, but people who make an effort to eat healthy should have the right information.

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    Default Re: vegan amino acid supplements - is there such a thing?

    Quote veggirl77 View Post
    I have been vegan for 35 years. I eat very healthy, yet I would like to supplement my diet with free form amino acids. I would like to begin working out and creating a little muscle definition. I'm 5'6 and 115 lbs., so fairly thin.....I could use a little muscle. I don't think I eat enough protein since my diet is probably about 75% raw (or more).

    Is there such a thing as "vegan" amino acid supplements or do they originate from animal products? Can they be made from soy?
    I have emailed several companies that sell free form amino acids but have not heard back.

    I know there are soy protein mixes but I'm not sure how good they are. Can anyone advise me to a good vegan soy protein mix?

    I would appreciate any advice.

    Thanks,
    susan
    I recommend tofu. Tofu is the most healthy and protien dense food you can eat.
    It is also the best "soy protien mix" and is completely natural and vegan of course.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

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    Default Re: vegan amino acid supplements - is there such a thing?

    Veggiegirl77 why don't you try logging your food intake at www.mypyramidtracker.gov (I use this and it is free) or fitday to see if you are meeting your protein/other needs? I always get around 76-96 grams of protein a day. At your weight I wonder if you are getting enough calories?
    it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble

  50. #50
    veggirl77
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    Default Re: vegan amino acid supplements - is there such a thing?

    Thanks for all the great advice. I appreciate it.

    I would like to say, I do agree Fifty9, that eliminating animal products does not equal a healthy diet. I have been vegan since I was 12 years old and have read a lot on the subject......and at 47, I do know a lot about a healthy diet. I have 7 children, and most of my children were over 10 lbs! I am back to my weight before I had kids and that all came about from my healthy diet.
    I am however looking to develop just a little muscle definition in my arms and chest and was looking for the best way to go about that. I thought supplementing with aminio acids or soy protein shakes would be the way to go.

    My diet has evolved over the years into one that is about 75% raw. I do eat a lot of nuts and seeds, daily, but do not eat tofu (dont' like it).

    Thanks again for all the advice.
    Susan

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