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Thread: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans?

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    Arrow Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans?

    Dave Eastman Posted: Apr 1 2004, 06:21 PM


    The latest data on the dietary intakes of vegans was just published last month.[1] The diets of about 100 vegans were recorded for a week and were found deficient in calcium, iodine and vitamin B12. Using the same standards, though, the standard American diet are deficient in 7 nutrients! The diet of your average American is not only also deficient in calcium and iodine, it's deficient in vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber, folate, and magnesium as well.[2]

    Not only does the American public have over twice as many nutritional deficiencies in their diets, vegans were shown to have higher intakes of 16 out of the 19 nutrients studied, includeing calcium. The vegans were getting more than enough protein on average and three times more vitamin C, three times more vitamin E, three times more fiber. Vegans got twice the folate, twice the magnesium, twice the copper, twice the manganese.

    And of course the vegans had twice the fruit and vegetable intake and half the saturated fat intake, meeting the new 2003 World Health Organization guidelines for fat intake and weight control.[3] Almost 2/3 of Americans are overweight.[4] In contrast, only 11% of the vegans were overweight. Almost one in three Americans are obese.[4] Zero of the 98 vegans in this study were obese.

    So when a meateater asks you "Where you get your B12?" You can counter with "Where do you get your vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber, folate, and magnesium? And while you're at it, you can ask them how they keep their sodium, saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol intake under control (not to mention their weight).[5]



    REFERENCES

    [1] Results from the German Vegan Study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 57(August 2003):947.
    [2] USDA. Food and Nutrient Intakes by Individuals in the United States, by Region, 1994-96.
    [3] World Health Organization Technical Report Series 916. Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. 2003.
    [4] Centers for Disease Control.
    [5] Then you can finally answer their question and proudly say B12 fortified foods or B12 supplements Of course the fact that we're seriously deficient in B12 should not be taken lightly. Evidence suggests that our low B12 intakes make be shaving literally years off of the lives of vegetarians and vegans, so make sure you get your B12!--I recommend " Vitamin B12: Are You Getting It? "






    Source: http://www.veganmd.org/september2003.html


    "B12 Deficiency May Be More Widespread Than Thought By Judy McBride
    August 2, 2000

    Nearly two-fifths of the U.S. population may be flirting with marginal vitamin B12 status if the population of Framingham, Mass., is any indication.



    A careful look at 3,000 men and women in the ongoing Framingham Offspring Study found 39 percent with plasma B12 levels in the low normal range--below 258 picomoles per liter.



    While this is well above the currently accepted deficiency level of 148 pmol/L, some people exhibit neurological symptoms in the higher range, said study leader Katherine Tucker. She is a nutritional epidemiologist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.



    Nearly 9 percent of the study population fell below the current deficiency level. And more than 16 percent fell below 185 pmol/L. ńMany people may be deficient at this level, said Tucker. There is a question as to what the clinical cutoff for deficiency should be.



    ńI think there is a lot of undetected vitamin B12 deficiency out there, she said, noting that the study covered people from 26 to 83 years old. The research was funded by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDAÍs chief scientific agency.



    B12 deficiency can cause a type of anemia marked by fewer but larger red blood cells. It can also cause walking and balance disturbances, a loss of vibration sensation, confusion, and, in advanced cases, dementia. The body requires B12 to make the protective coating surrounding the nerves, so inadequate B12 can expose nerves to damage.



    The good news, said ARS administrator Floyd Horn, is that most people can improve their B12 status by eating more fortified cereals and dairy products. Dr. Tucker's findings show that these foods were nearly as effective as supplements containing B12 for getting people's blood levels above the danger zone.



    Tucker and colleagues looked at B12 levels spanning the adult population because most previous studies have focused on the elderly, who were thought to be at higher risk for deficiency. The results were surprising. The youngest group--the 26- to 49-year-olds--had about the same B12 status as the oldest group--65 and up. We saw a high prevalence of low B12 even among the youngest group, Tucker said.



    The researchers also expected to find some connection between dietary intake and plasma levels, even though other studies found no association. And they did find a connection. Supplement use dropped the percentage of volunteers in the danger zone--plasma B12 below 185 pmol/L--from 20 percent to 8. Eating fortified cereals five or more times a week or being among the highest third for dairy intake reduced, by nearly half, the percentage of volunteers in that zone--from 23 and 24 percent, respectively, to 12 and 13 percent.



    Oddly, the researchers found no association between plasma B12 levels and meat, poultry, and fish intake, even though these foods supply the bulk of B12 in the diet. ńItÍs not because people aren't eating enough meat, Tucker said. The vitamin isnÍt getting absorbed.î



    In the elderly, it's probably because they don't secrete enough stomach acid to separate the vitamin from the meat proteins that tightly bind it. But Tucker can only speculate about the reasons for poor absorption of the vitamin from meat among younger adults or why B12 appears to be better absorbed from dairy products than from meats.



    Fortified cereals are a different story. Tucker said the vitamin is sprayed on during processing and is more like what we get in supplements.



    Scientific contact: Katherine Tucker, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, Mass., phone (617) 556-3351, fax (617) 556-3344, tucker@hnrc.tufts.edu."


    http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2000/000802.htm
    Last edited by Korn; Sep 5th, 2009 at 01:18 PM.

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    Just noticed this post - how very cool! Most omnivorous people I know supplement with something or other but they still think that a vegan is going to be worse off...*sigh*

    The different industries do an effective job of encouraging everyone to think they need their products such as dairy, animal tissues and extracts; which elsewhere, are being downgraded as good foods.

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    Default Re: B12 Deficiency May Be More Widespread Than Thought

    From http://www.yourhealthbase.com/vitamin_B12.html :


    Vegetarians are vitamin B12 deficient
    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA. It is generally assumed that vitamin B12 deficiencies are rare among people consuming a varied diet. However, there is some question whether vegetarians get enough B12 as it is not present in plants. Researchers at the Sydney Adventist Hospital have just completed a study aimed at resolving this question. Their study involved 245 Adventist ministers who were either lactoovovegetarians or vegans. The average age of the ministers was 46 years (range 22 to 80 years) and most of them had been vegetarians for over 20 years. The study participants filled out a diet questionnaire and had a fasting blood sample drawn for a 20-test biochemical profile including vitamin B12 concentrations. The mean vitamin B12 level was 199 pmol/L and 73 per cent of the ministers had a level below the recommended lower limit of 221 pmol/L. Vitamin B12 concentrations were also measured in a control group of 53 ministers who consumed fish, poultry or red meat on a regular basis. In this group 40 per cent had vitamin B12 concentrations below the recommended lower limit; this indicates that vitamin B12 deficiency is widespread even among non-vegetarians.
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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: B12 Deficiency May Be More Widespread Than Thought

    From http://www.consumerreports.org/main/...Ecnt_id=368007 :

    But even with an ideal diet, everyone over age 50 should consume at least 2.4 micrograms per day of supplemental vitamin B12, from either fortified foods or a modest B12 or multivitamin supplement.
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    Default Re: B12 Deficiency May Be More Widespread Than Thought

    From http://www.infoaging.org/l-nutr-7-r-immune.html :

    A group of researchers in Bologna, Italy, studied 62 healthy people, aged 90-106. They found that these people, although appearing well-nourished, had deficiencies in a number of micronutrients, such as selenium, zinc, vitamin B6, Vitamin E, vitamin B12, and folate.
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    Default Re: B12 Deficiency Among Meat Eaters May Be More Widespread Than Thought

    my mum, who is in her 50s, has been diagnosed with a B12 deficiency after experiencing numbness in her hands. she eats meat, fish and dairy on a regular basis. she suffers from type 2 diabetes and has to have B12 injections now because apparently her body can't absorb it properly anymore.

    she said the first thing her doctor asked her, when discovering she had a B12 deficiency, was whether she was a vegan.
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    In a way, it's strange that people who eat other living beings' liver, muscles, fat and blood should be deficient in nutrients. After all, they eat the nutrient reserves other plant eating animals have built up. They even are observed eating some overcooked plants.


    But meat is 'food' that already has always been eaten once. It's a very unsuccessful recycling method, because it has been proven so many times that it doesn't work they way they wish it did: They get problems both because they consume 'too little of something' and 'too much of something' at the same time.

    The other explanation is a mathematical one, and obvious: If you, during one day, need/are able to consume a certain amount of food and liquids and you drink milk instead of water of fruit/plant juices, you eat meat which doesn't contain any fiber or vitamin C, you eat bacon in the morning and an omelette in the evening, and a burger in your lunch, you're simply not able to consume the plants you need in order to get enough fiber, folic acid, vitamin C, phytonutrients* and so on. Why? Because you're full, there's not more room for what you need, and you develop deficiencies. Of course, when the so called 'food' you eat often is heavy to digest, you're even less able to eat real food. Eating more of one thing simply eating less of something else, and eating meat definitely means eating less plants, because it takes so long time to digest. They develop diseases related to too low intake of anti-oxidants, enzymes, fiber and so on, in parallel with developing problems caused by too high intake of a lot of stuff they know are bad for them.

    And, while chewing on that processed meat that's proven to be both unnecessary and unhealthy, they warn us against not eating it. ("If not, you might develop diseases! Deficiencies!!!)

    They same people normally over-consume vitamin- and mineral killers. Their diet are to a large extent based on animals that aren't even raised on food, but on food substitutes with added supplements, or if they get real food, it is from soil with supplements of this and that. These people use the possible need for B12 supplements as an argument against living on a plant based diet (and don't seem to care at all about WHY plants, soil and water is B12 deficient).

    Hundreds of millions of them are low in B12, even after having been raised on a meat based diet (many of them even take supplements. They claim to know the B12 levels in 200,000-300,000 plants that never have been tested for B12, because humans have been so obsessed with eating what we were raised with (meat) that we haven't found out much about B12 levels in most plants yet. There's a lot of eatable plant's that aren't even considered food. The ones the sells the most are often the ones that's the most easy to make money on growing, not the ones that are most beneficial for vegans or meat eaters.

    Of course vegans can become ill or might develop deficiencies, just like them. There are vegans that live on junk food. We need to watch B12 (meat eaters need to watch a lot of things). Vegans even die, eventually. What are they so fanatically interested in the 'I've heard about an 80 year old guy who wasn't feeling well, and then he died due to heart failure'-kind of discussions. Guilt? Lack of knowledge? Are they expecting us to become 140 years or that our hearts should keep beating in the coffin?

    It has been proven that a healthy vegan diet is more healthy than what they eat, but what is it that makes it so difficult for them to just accept and admit it? Smokers who keep smoking at least admit that it's not very smart!

    Apropos nothing, does anyone know the origin of the word 'meathead'?


    *Phytonutrients: Plant foods contain a variety of unique nutrients such as phytoestrogens, indoles, isothiocyanates, and flavonoids. Emerging research indicates that these nutrients may help prevent cancer, heart disease, and other degenerative diseases. (From 'The World's Healthiest Foods: Feeling Great
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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Two out Five People Have Vitamin B12 Deficiency-Study

    Nearly two out of five people of all ages tested by Dr. Katherine L. Tucker had B12 levels below normal – 17% low enough to cause symptoms of deficiency. Early symptoms include memory and balance disturbances, and reduced sensation in the limbs. More serious ones include severe nerve damage and dementia. Although vitamin B12 is obtained from meat, it's not well absorbed through digestion, so supplementation is the best way to prevent B12 deficiency.
    (This is from a non-vegan site: http://www.fi.edu/brain/micro.htm )
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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Fiber common deficiency among non-vegans:

    http://www.drmyattswellnessclub.com/fiberchoices.htm

    Fiber, the indigestible plant cell walls present in whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, is essential to healthy digestion and overall good health. Fiber is the part of plants and vegetables usually lost in processing. Fiber deficiencies are associated with numerous illnesses:


    obesity

    atherosclerosis

    diabetes

    gallstones

    varicose veins

    constipation

    diarrhea

    diverticulosis

    irritable bowel

    hemorrhoids

    colon cancer

    high blood pressure

    high cholesterol.



    Long-lived cultures always eat a diet that is high in fiber. A minimum daily intake of fiber is 20 grams, and 40+ grams is felt to be healthier. The S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) contains less than 10 grams of fiber per day. Fiber supplementation is a wise health choice for anyone consuming less than 20 grams of fiber per day.
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    The typical Western diet often supplies less than adequate amounts of several essential vitamins and minerals.
    Pao EM, Mickle SJ. Problem nutrients in the United States. Food Technology 1981;35:58–79.

    Recent nutrition surveys in the U.S. have found large numbers of people consume too little calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and, possibly, copper and manganese.
    Pennington JA, Young BE, Wilson DB. Nutritional elements in U.S. diets: results from the Total Diet Study, 1982 to 1986. J Am Diet Assoc 1989;89:659–64. and Pennington JA. Intakes of minerals from diets and foods: is there a need for concern? J Nutr 1996;126(9 Suppl):2304S–8S.

    The statistics from NFCS and NHANES tell much about the diets and state of the nutritional health of the population. They make possible the monitoring of the dietary status of the American population to identify populations at risk, problem nutrients, food and eating patterns, and diet determinants. They have shown that many American diets do not meet desired dietary standards [14]: many are short of recommended levels for certain nutrients such as calcium, iron, zinc, and folacin, some are short in vitamins A and C, and many exceed moderate levels of fat, sodium, and added caloric sweeteners.
    Read a lot more here: http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbook...e/80633E0a.htm
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    I can say from my own experience that I was more deficient as a vegetarian than I am as a vegan.

    I keep tracking my diet in www.fitday.com and always was deficient in calcium, zinc, magnesium, B12 (all severely), K, E and D.

    Now as a vegan, I am deficient in calcium (just), zinc, B12 (severely), K and D. Not bad, eh?

    littleTigercub

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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    I can't imagine eating a fiber supplement! It just got to be the easiest thing to make sure one get fiber in the diet. Some more veggies, multigrain, cereals, and bread should do the trick, no?
    "Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends". ~ George Bernhard Shaw.

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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Quote kriz
    I can't imagine eating a fiber supplement! It just got to be the easiest thing to make sure one get fiber in the diet. Some more veggies, multigrain, cereals, and bread should do the trick, no?
    The fiber supplement suggestion wasn't meant for vegans, who eat a lot of fibers, but of course, I agree that it's better for them to reduce the intake of animal products and increase the intake of plants. The question is if it's possible at all to create a balanced diet using animal products; for example are 2 out of 5 people living on a standard diet low in B12, if they should reduce the intake of animal products drastically, in order to get enough fiber, their B12 levels would decrease even more, because of all the B12 killers they are exposed to.


    Every time a non-vegan eats an animal product (which doesn't contain any fiber), his belly is filled up with 'food' that leaves less room for plants (which contain fiber). Fiber deficiency is common among non-vegans. Dietary fiber is only found in plant foods, not even eggshells contain fiber.

    All land plants (that are eaten for food) contain fiber.



    This page contains a list of foods ranked by their fiber density:

    http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?t...trient&dbid=59


    According to this site, 'the dietary fiber consumption of the average American is only one-fifth of what is was one hundred years ago. Many researchers believe that fiber deficiency is directly linked with the rise of chronic health problems in America. While the US Government recommends 25-30 grams of fiber per day, and many doctor's recommend 50 to 60 grams per day, the average American consumes just 10 grams per day.'
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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: B12 Deficiency Among Meat Eaters May Be More Widespread Than Thought

    According to this link, 34% of all meat eaters are B12 deficient:

    A large body of research has demonstrated that 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.

    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.
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    i have found it interesting that so many meat eaters are anemic.......I have heard so manytimes how meat is such a great source of iron...hmmm
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    I was never able to give blood (due to iron deficiency) until I became a vegan. As a vegetarian, it was always assumed that the iron deficiency was from being vegetarian and not eating enough animal protein. Now that I'm vegan, I know that that isn't true--I'm better-fortified than I've ever been without making significant changes in supplement intake!

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Quote sheri beri
    i have found it interesting that so many meat eaters are anemic.
    They also suffer more from dementia.

    From PubMed:

    We investigated the relationship between animal product consumption and evidence of dementia in two cohort substudies. The first enrolled 272 California residents matched for age, sex, and zip code (1 vegan, 1 lacto-ovo-vegetarian, and 2 'heavy' meat eaters in each of 68 quartets). This design ensured a wide range of dietary exposure. The second included 2,984 unmatched subjects who resided within the Loma Linda, California area. All subjects were enrolled in the Adventist Health Study. The matched subjects who ate meat (including poultry and fish) were more than twice as likely to become demented as their vegetarian counterparts (relative risk 2.18, p = 0.065) and the discrepancy was further widened (relative risk 2.99, p = 0.048) when past meat consumption was taken into account. There was no significant difference in the incidence of dementia in the vegetarian versus meat-eating unmatched subjects. There was no obvious explanation for the difference between the two substudies, although the power of the unmatched sub-study to detect an effect of 'heavy' meat consumption was unexpectedly limited. There was a trend towards delayed onset of dementia in vegetarians in both substudies.

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Here's some more info related to nutrient deficiency among non-vegans:

    From http://1stholistic.com/Nutrition/hol...deficiency.htm
    For example, in a 30-month study of 800 patients in two U.S. hospitals, who were admitted for conditions not normally associated with malnutrition (pneumonia, hip fracture, etc.), blood tests found 55% to be malnourished. The malnourished surgical patients stayed in the hospital an average of five days longer than the adequately nourished patients.

    In a study 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%.

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    This list from http://www.energywave.com/about-vita...ficiencies.htm shows that a lot of people are deficient in a lot of nutrients (this is not a study on vegans)...:


    Vitamin B6: 80% are deficient.
    Magnesium: 75% are deficient
    Calcium: 68%
    Iron : 57%
    Vitamin A: 50%
    Thiamine (B1): 45%
    Vitamin C: 41%
    Vitamin B12: 34%
    Riboflavin (B2): 34%
    Niacin: 33%
    Phosphorus: 27%

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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    I wonder on what they base the idea of what is ideal or a minimum below which things are counted as a deficiency?

    If it is an average of what can be found in a very large population - then that is going to be based on what people of an omnivorous diet are getting. I would assume that they would use and average of what is considered healthy - based upon another average - so it would be curious to compare the averages for vegans once a standardised vegan level was found.

    From a group of 30 vegans involved in an omega 3 study the definitie answer to a standard vegan diet was; there is no such thing. There was very little common amongst the diets of the participants! A larger study would be necessary.

    The China Study is one of those studies teasing out the ideas of what are minimum levels of things like cholesterol - which were much lower than the accepted western levels of healthy - yet the people were not showing signs on deficiency ailments.

    Nutrition science still has a long way to go.
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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    When articles and studies describe B12 deficiencies among non-vegans, which this thread is about, they are often based on blood serum testing, and not on a complete test of B12, MMA and homocysteine levels. Testing serum levels alone may give a false impression of the actual levels of active B12 in the blood stream. I've recently read that the study showing that 39% of 3000 tested objects were B12 deficient or in the low, normal range was based in testing B12 levels in blood only, so the real numbers were most likely higher.

    Vegans don't want to give a false impression about how healthy we are, so normally make sure that MMA and homocysteine levels are taken into consideration when test B12 levels - but for a realistic comparison with levels among non-vegans, the same standards should of course apply to tests performed on non-vegans as well. Some sources that inform about vegan nutrition are very good at reminding us that inactive B12 analogues in plant foods may compromise the accuracy of traditional methods for measuring B12 levels, but fail to mention that B12 tests performed on meat eaters normally are not using the same high standards we prefer to use when discussing the real B12 levels among vegans.

    There's more info about B12 analogues in animal products in this thread:
    B12 analogues in multivitamins, animal foods and spirulina

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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    I'm worried about this actually, Korn; I recently got blood tests done but they only did what I presume to be the blood serum level, not MMA and homocysteine. The level was excellent, exceeding the therapeutic range, but as I understand it we need these three tests - blood serum, MMA and homocysteine, is that right?

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    From what I've heard, taking all three tests is recommended, especially if the B12 test itself shows low results or if you expect your levels to be low.
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    PhilipBawa
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Why would you expect B12 low results? Soy is a B12 cookbook in itself... I mean soy is a natural carrier of B12,

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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Quote PhilipBawa View Post
    Why would you expect B12 low results? Soy is a B12 cookbook in itself... I mean soy is a natural carrier of B12,
    Yes, B12 has been measured in soy beans (look here), but that doesn't mean that soy always is a reliable source, that all vegans eat soy, that the B12 is soy (always) is bioavailable, that the amount of B12 in soy beans is providing enough B12 or that all soy products contain B12!
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Quote fiamma View Post
    I'm worried about this actually, Korn; I recently got blood tests done but they only did what I presume to be the blood serum level, not MMA and homocysteine. The level was excellent, exceeding the therapeutic range, but as I understand it we need these three tests - blood serum, MMA and homocysteine, is that right?
    hi fiamma, when you go for blood tests, aren't you able to first tell the doc which tests to run? Of course sometimes cost comes into it - eg when I get annual testing for such as iron, calcium, cholesterol, b12, glucose levels etc, it is all done for free. But the MMA and homocysteine levels costs around $20 (the last time).
    Eve

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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Hi eve, I asked my doc to test my B12 because of my veganism but I now realise he was only half listening, if listening at all, because the tests showed slight anemia, and he told me to eat meat to bring my iron levels up I'm just not sure what tests they did, but if they'd done MMA and homocysteine they would have shown up as separate values, and I'm sure you'd need to request them. I was unaware they needed to be tested and so did not ask for them.

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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Guess I don't have to tell you the non-haem veges and fruit that restore iron level and get slight anaemia to disappear. All the best.
    Eve

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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    If you posted them I'd be very grateful

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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Here's what the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada says about nutrient levels in vegans and vegetarians:

    It is the position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada that appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Approximately 2.5% of adults in the United States and 4% of adults in Canada follow vegetarian diets. A vegetarian diet is defined as one that does not include meat, fish or fowl. Interest in vegetarianism appears to be increasing, with many restaurants and college foodservices offering vegetarian meals routinely. Substantial growth in sales of foods attractive to vegetarians has occurred, and these foods appear in many supermarkets. This position paper reviews the current scientific data related to key nutrients for vegetarians, including protein, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B-12, vitamin A, n-3 fatty acids and iodine. A vegetarian, including vegan, diet can meet current recommendations for all of these nutrients. In some cases, use of fortified foods or supplements can be helpful in meeting recommendations for individual nutrients. 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. Vegetarian diets offer a number of nutritional benefits, including lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein as well as higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals. Vegetarians have been reported to have lower body mass indices than nonvegetarians, as well as lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease; vegetarians also show lower blood cholesterol levels; lower blood pressure; and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer. Although a number of federally funded and institutional feeding programs can accommodate vegetarians, few have foods suitable for vegans at this time. Because of the variability of dietary practices among vegetarians, individual assessment of dietary intakes of vegetarians is required. Dietetics professionals have a responsibility to support and encourage those who express an interest in consuming a vegetarian diet. They can play key roles in educating vegetarian clients about food sources of specific nutrients, food purchase and preparation, and any dietary modifications that may be necessary to meet individual needs. Menu planning for vegetarians can be simplified by use of a food guide that specifies food groups and serving sizes.
    Maybe I should add the 'planning' part of it disappears when eating healthy becomes a habit, and that even 'well planned' diets based on animal products are associated with a number of health problems. The article is interesting, although it gives a mild impression that vegans need to be more concerned about eating healthy and about getting the right amount (not too little, not too much) of nutrients, which is highly discussable (but which of course functions as a useful reminder for new vegans who may just remove animal products from their own diet without of replacing them with tasty, nutrient rich vegan food they'll need to learn to make.)
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Fiamma, just noticed your postings

    Food Serving mg content
    Cashew nuts 2 tbsp 1.0
    Pumpkin seeds 2 tbsp 2.5
    Tahini 2 tbsp 1.2
    Sunflower seeds 2 tbsp 1.1
    Molasses 1 tbsp 3.3
    Licorice 50 g 4.4
    Marmite (fortified) 5 g 1.8
    Apricots (dried) 1/4 cup 1.5
    Raisins 1/4 cup 1.1
    Avocado 1/2 1.0
    Prunes 1/4 cup 0.9
    Parsley (raw) 50 g 4.7
    Spinach (cooked) 1/2 cup 1.5
    Broccoli (cooked) 1/2 cup 1.0
    Brussels sprouts (cooked) 1/2 cup 0.9
    Bread, whole wheat 1 slice 0.9
    Rice, brown (cooked) 1/2 cup 0.5
    Tofu 1/2 cup 6.2

    There are heaps more, such as beans of all descriptions, tempeh, split peas etc
    Eve

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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Thank you so much Eve, that's really kind of you.

  33. #33

    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Those are all good sources of iron except spinach. From everything I've read, iron is not absorbed from spinach because of the naturally occuring oxalates also in spinach...though lots of vegan sources mention spinach as a good source I also think the soymilk I drink has a good amount of iron. Also, it's important to have a good amount of vitamin C in your diet to help digest the non-heme iron that we vegans get...as well as avoiding calcium and caffeine for at least a couple of hours before an iron-heavy meal or supplement. Anyway, here's a link to more info: http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm#table1
    When you are guided by compassion and loving-kindness, you are able to look deeply into the heart of reality and see the truth.--Thich Nhat Hanh

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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Quote eclectic_one View Post
    Anyway, here's a link to more info: http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm#table1
    thanks for that link, eclectic. it had interesting and good info. do you have any other links that you could post about spinach not being a good source of iron because of oxalates?
    You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
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  35. #35

    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    When you are guided by compassion and loving-kindness, you are able to look deeply into the heart of reality and see the truth.--Thich Nhat Hanh

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Here's another site referring to general (non-vegan) studies of nutrient deficiencies.

    One study shows the difference between nutrient values in organic vs. non-organic food, the other shows percentages of essential nutrients that are lost when whole wheat grain is turned into white flour. The study most relevant to this thread are based on two government sponsored surveys measuring intake of 13 out of 45 essential nutrients in tens of thousands of people: The "Health and Nutrition Examination Survey" (1971-1974) and "The Nationwide Food Consumption Survey" (1977-1978).


    Nutrient / % who get less than RDA
    Calcium: 68
    Biotin: 10
    Folacin: 10+
    Chromium: 90
    Iron : 57
    Copper: 85-90
    Magnesium: 75
    Manganese: 20-30
    Phosphorous: 27
    Pantothenic acid: 25
    Vitamin A: 50
    Selenium: 50-60
    Vitamin B1: 45
    Silicon: 30
    Vitamin B2: 34
    Vitamin D: 10
    Vitamin B3: 33
    Vitamin E: 20-40
    Vitamin B6: 80
    Vitamin K: 15
    Vitamin B12 : 34
    Omega 3 fatty acids: 95
    Vitamin C: 41
    Zinc: 35-60
    The various studies are collected by Gabriella Juris, Ph.D.

    Here's a link to another site discussing similar studies - again. an excerpt:
    "Lacking vitamins, the system can make use of minerals, but lacking minerals, vitamins are useless." -- Senate document 264, 74th Congress, 1936

    The same document went on to quantify the extent of mineral deficiency:

    "99% of the American people are deficient in minerals, and a marked deficiency in any one of the more important minerals actually results in disease."

    Congressional documents are not generally highly regarded as scientific sources, and other reference texts cite other percentages. The figures quoted by Albion Laboratories, the world leader in patents on supplemental minerals, are somewhat lower, but the idea begins to come across:

    Deficiency -- U.S. Population

    Magnesium: 75%
    Iron: 58%
    Copper: 81%
    Manganese: 50%
    Chromium: 50%
    Zinc: 67%
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  37. #37
    Yogini
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    What a great thread - I just discoverd it this evening. I hear a lot of stuff about "well, it must be so hard on your diet to ensure you're getting all your required nutrients" (said in a self-important tone of voice.) I've always responded that omni or herbi, balancing your diet properly takes a little effort - you can't just stuff anything in your mouth be it animal or plant and expect things to take of themselves. But no one ever believes me! Now I have proof!

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Quote Yogini View Post
    I hear a lot of stuff about "well, it must be so hard on your diet to ensure you're getting all your required nutrients" (said in a self-important tone of voice.)
    Yes, it's amazing to see how many non-vegans who believe that vegans need to be more worried about healthy nutrient levels than non-vegans. OTOH, we can't really blame them, because balanced info about plant based nutrition was harder to find a few decades ago than it's now, so most of us have received the info we have from parents and teachers and journalists that didn't much about veg*nism at all.

    I'll start another thread about folate (B9) soon, but here's some info about folate from newstarget.com:

    Folic acid deficiencies are widespread; here's why nearly everyone needs more folate:

    Despite its range of health benefits, many Americans are deficient in the vitamin, coming nowhere near the government's recommended daily allowance of 200 micrograms daily. "The average American gets only 61 percent of the old Recommended Dietary Allowance, which is too low anyway," says James Duke, PhD in Anti-Aging Prescriptions. Part of the reason for the shortfall is that more Americans are choosing to eat more animal foods – which are a poor source of folic acid – rather than folic-acid rich plant foods, like dark green vegetables, legumes, root vegetables and whole grains.

    Dr. Andrew Weil, in Ask Dr. Weil, recommends the use of supplements to make up for the deficiency. "As many as 90 percent of Americans don't get that protective 400 micrograms in their diet – for example, you'd have to eat two cups of steamed spinach, a cup of boiled lentils, or eight oranges every day. So it's important to take a supplement, especially if you're a woman and considering having children someday." As Dr. Weil suggests, for women who are deficient in this essential vitamin, the health costs can be especially high.
    However, when taking folic acid supplements, it is important to remember that folic acid and vitamin B-12 work most effectively together, so you should make sure you are getting enough vitamin B-12, as well. Vegans often struggle with this balance since their diets are very rich in folic acid but not in B-12.
    In general, I don't like general statements (oops - I just made one!), and I don't think all vegans have very high folate levels, simply because a vegan diet can consist of anything (eg. popcorn, white pasta with canned tomato sauce and chocolate - daily). Nevertheless - it's generally known that vegans generally are better off than meat eaters in when it comes to folate levels.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    http://www.vegetarian.org.uk/factshe...factsheet.html

    Several reports single out vegetarians, and particularly vegans, as a high risk group for vitamin B12 deficiency. (16, 17, 18). One extensive UK study described the nutrient intakes of over 65,000 people including 33,883 meat-eaters, 10,110 fish-eaters, 18,840 lacto-ovo vegetarians and 2,596 vegans (19). This EPIC-Oxford cohort currently includes the largest number of vegetarians than any comparable study in the world. The study concluded that vegans had the highest intakes of fibre, vitamin B1, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium and iron, and the lowest intakes of retinol, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium and zinc. But this does not necessarily mean they were deficient in any of these nutrients.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  40. #40

    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    I know you already mentioned this Korn, but I thought it worth repeating since people often "pick on" veganism because they think it causes B12 deficiency:
    However, when taking folic acid supplements, it is important to remember that folic acid and vitamin B-12 work most effectively together, so you should make sure you are getting enough vitamin B-12, as well. Vegans often struggle with this balance since their diets are very rich in folic acid but not in B-12.
    So even if it is true that vegans might have to be concerned with B12, omnivores have to be concerned with folic acid or they will end up with many of the same problems as B12 deficient people will have...
    When you are guided by compassion and loving-kindness, you are able to look deeply into the heart of reality and see the truth.--Thich Nhat Hanh

  41. #41
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Quote eclectic_one View Post
    I know you already mentioned this Korn, but I thought it worth repeating since people often "pick on" veganism because they think it causes B12 deficiency:
    However, when taking folic acid supplements, it is important to remember that folic acid and vitamin B-12 work most effectively together, so you should make sure you are getting enough vitamin B-12, as well. Vegans often struggle with this balance since their diets are very rich in folic acid but not in B-12.
    Sure... Vegans need to pay extra attention to B12 just like non-vegans need to pay extra attention to folate - both nutrients are needed. Even if eg. folate may be helpful for people who are low in B12 eg. in terms of lowering homocysteine levels, folate can't replace B12.

    ---


    Here's something about Omega-3 levels in the average population. One of the studies cited above mentioned that 95% of all people are Omega-3 deficient, but other sources claim that the number of people who get too little Omega-3 from their is lower:

    http://www.triplepundit.com/pages/gu...nt--002402.php
    Could it be that these ailments are far more prevalent now because our food has changed? As a matter of fact, according to Dr. Artemis Simopoulos, M.D., who headed the NIH Nutrition Committee for nine years, 90% of Americans are omega-3-deficient. Kids with asthma and allergies typically have lower plasma levels of omega-3s, as do many kids with ADD. Since all those problems are greatly helped by omega-3s, shouldn’t we increase omega-3 foods in the schools?
    Omega-3 Supplement Alleviates Dry Eye Symptoms:
    An estimated 83% of Americans do not receive enough Omega-3s in their diet. North Americans have among the lowest dietary intake of Omega-3s in the world.
    http://ezinearticles.com/?Omega-3-Fa...urce&id=227030 :
    One nutritional supplement that nearly everyone needs is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids to counterbalance the excessive amounts of omega-6 oils that are in the average diet. Although the ideal dietary ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats is 1:1, it's commonly in the range of 1:20 to 1:50. An estimated 85% - 95% of North Americans are omega-3 deficient. The increased level of inflammation in our bodies caused by this imbalance is a common factor in many forms of chronic disease, including arthritis and heart disease.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  42. #42
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Here's some new information about Vitamin D deficiency, published last week:

    A study of middle aged British adults showed that the majority, 60%, have hypovitaminosis D [less than optimal levels of vitamin D], and 90% have less than optimal levels during winter and spring.

    Previously hypovitaminosis D has been considered to be a public health problem that affects mainly ethnic minority groups living in Britain, but the current study shows that the problem is very real also among the Caucasian population.

    Participants living in Scotland were twice as likely to have low vitamin D concentrations compared to others.

    Obese participants were twice as likely to have hypovitaminosis D compared to others.
    According to this article, "statistics show that about 40% of the United States population is vitamin D deficient and indicate that in Great Britain the majority of adult population are in the same condition." I guess one reason the number is lower in USA is that fortifying milk with vitamin D is more common there.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    "As many as 90 percent of Americans don't get that protective 400 micrograms [folate] in their diet – for example, you'd have to eat two cups of steamed spinach, a cup of boiled lentils, or eight oranges every day. So it's important to take a supplement, especially if you're a woman and considering having children someday."


    ...and - also from http://www.newstarget.com/016208.html
    Despite its range of health benefits, many Americans are deficient in the vitamin, coming nowhere near the government's recommended daily allowance of 200 micrograms daily. "The average American gets only 61 percent of the old Recommended Dietary Allowance, which is too low anyway," says James Duke, PhD in Anti-Aging Prescriptions.
    That quote looks like people would have to get folate from either only eating spinach or only eating oranges. What's wrong with these people? Are these the same guys who tells vegans how many cups of organic spinach, barley or soy we'd have to eat to get enough B12? Vegans may not get enough B12 from their diet, but there are some very valid reasons that many vegans and non-vegans have low B12 levels if they don't take supplements.


    Anyway, if it's correct that 90% of Americans don't get the amount of folate (I don't know if this number is correct - do any of you have more info on this?) needed to avoid the health risks low folate levels are assoicated with, the folate deficiency problem among people on a mixed diet (meat + plants) is much more severe than the problem with vegetarians and vegans having low B12 levels. Look here: http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/cgi/con...ll/12/11/1222: "Low folate has been associated with an increased risk for a number of gastrointestinal cancers (1) , including esophageal (2, 3, 4) and stomach cancers". In addition, folate is known for other severe problems - here's some info from an article posted at Emory University's site:

    Recent research has shown that almost all people who do not consume supplemental folic acid are folate deficient. Plasma homocysteine concentrations are a marker of folate-deficiency. Approximately 90 per cent of people in the Framingham study population and 90 per cent of the people in NHANES III (Nutrition and Health Assessment Examination Survey) --a national representative sample of non institutional people in the United States in the late 1980s and the early 1990s-- have elevated plasma homocysteine because their plasma folate is too low. A cross sectional study in Irish hospital workers suggests that 70% have plasma homocysteines that are reduced by supplement folic acid consumption.

    Folate deficiency each year causes 500,000 severe birth defects that can be prevented by supplemental synthetic folic acid.

    In 1991, the MRC folic acid study was published showing that most cases of spina bifida and anencephaly—common and severe birth defects with major mortality and paralysis—are a result of folate deficiency. CDC scientists estimated that world –wide there are each year 500,000 pregnancies affected with folic acid-preventable spina bifida and anencephaly. In late 1999, scientists from Bejing Medical University and CDC published the results of a large community trial showing that consumption of only 400 microgram of synthetic folic acid above the amounts in the diet would prevent 85% of these birth defects in the highest prevalence areas and 40% in lower prevalence areas. Thus, increase consumption of synthetic folic acid by all women of reproductive age would not only prevent folate deficiency anemia, but it would also prevent 500,000 severe birth defects.

    10 million deaths from heart attacks and strokes probably preventable by increasing consumption of synthetic folic acid:

    In the last 10 years it has become clear that plasma/serum concentration of homocysteine is a major, independent risk factor for occlusive cardiovascular disease. A meta-analysis from the University of Washington in 1995 suggested that increasing consumption by 400 micrograms of synthetic folic acid among the American population would prevent annually 50,000 deaths each year from heart attacks. Since the publication of that data even stronger observational data have strengthened the link between low folates leading to increased homocysteiene concentration and increased risk for stroke and heart attacks. For example in the prospective cohort Nurses Health Study, women who consumed supplement folic acid had about a 25% reduction in coronary heart disease. A randomized control trial in Chinese men who consumed 800 micrograms of synthetic folic acid had a 50% reduction in stroke mortality. Using the University of Washington data to project to the world from the United States data would suggest that at approximately 10 million heart attack deaths might be prevented each year in the world if there is sufficient increase in synthetic folic acid consumption. In addition such increased consumption would be expected to prevent 10 of thousands of deaths from stroke, also.
    It almost looks like this university is controlled by the supplement industry (but that could be said about the US Government as well - I recently heard that up to 1000 lobbyists from the pharmaceutical industry was trying to influence the members of the Congress before important decisions about the medical industry were made)...


    Folate deficiency is associated with with birth defects, heart disease and many types of cancer, so if almost all meat eaters are folate deficient, I somewhat understand their enthusiasm for synthetic folate supplements, but it's kind of ironic that people who warn us against living on a vegan due to an increased B12 deficiency risk live on a diet that's known for a lot of deficiencies. They may know that if they would have switched to a vegan diet, they would have no problems with getting enough folate without taking synthetic supplements - but I doubt that most meat eaters know that by going vegan they would get higher levels of other important nutrients as well.

  44. #44
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Here's an excerpt from a study that compares the anti-oxidant levels in vegans, and compares it with both the US recommended dietary allowances (RDA) and meat eaters:

    Antioxidant status in long-term adherents to a strict uncooked vegan diet

    AL Rauma, R Torronen, O Hanninen, H Verhagen and H Mykkanen
    Department of Clinical Nutrition, University of Kuopio, Finland.

    Antioxidant status was investigated in 20 Finnish middle-aged female vegans and in one male vegan who were following a strict, uncooked vegan diet ("living food diet"), by means of a dietary survey and biochemical measurements (blood concentrations of vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, and the activities of the zinc/copper-dependent superoxide dismutase and selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase). Values were compared with those of omnivores matched for sex, age, social status, and residence. Antioxidant supplementation was used by 4 of 20 female vegans and by 11 of 20 control subjects.

    Based on dietary records, the vegans had significantly higher intakes of beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, and copper, and a significantly lower intake of selenium than the omnivorous control subjects. The calculated dietary antioxidant intakes by the vegans, expressed as percentages of the US recommended dietary allowances, were as follows: 305% of vitamin C, 247% of vitamin A, 313% of vitamin E, 92% of zinc, 120% of copper, and 49% of selenium.

    Compared with the omnivores, the vegans had significantly higher blood concentrations of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as higher erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity. These differences were also seen in pairs who were using no antioxidant supplements. The present data indicate that the "living food diet" provides significantly more dietary antioxidants than does the cooked, omnivorous diet, and that the long-term adherents to this diet have a better antioxidant status than do omnivorous control subjects.

  45. #45
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Here's a study concluding that a vitamin B12 deficiency (<150pg/mL) was detected in only 2.0% (males) and 1.0% (females) of the Korean adults. This was not a study on vegans, but it would be interesting to know the difference between the lifestyle and diet of these Koreans and the diet/lifestyle of most other non-vegans that have been studied, because very few B12 deficient people were found in this study. The god results may not come from the amount of B12 in their diet - it could also come from the lack of being exposed to B12 reducing factors.

  46. #46
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    According to this study on 150 Japanese female students aged 21-22, "46.7% of the females showed sufficient intake for vitamin A, 28.7% for E, 80.7% for B1, 92.7% for B2, 54.7% for B6, 99.3% for niacin, 76.0% for B12, 34.0% for folate, and 54.0% for C".

    In other words, circa 53% of these people were deficient in vitamin A, circa 71% were vitamin E deficient, and 66% were folate deficient. 24% did not have sufficient levels of B12.

  47. #47

    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    i find all of this very amusing
    The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool.

  48. #48
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans

    Folate is found in many of plants - in generous amounts, but people on a mixed (plants/meat) diet often have a problem getting enough folate, which this study documents:

    The effect of folic acid supplementation on plasma homocysteine in an elderly population

    "Our data suggest that, if the vitamin B12 intake is adequate, an intake of about 900 µg folate per day would be required to ensure that 95% of the elderly population would be without cardiovascular risk from folate deficiency. This corresponds to a daily supplement of 600 µg of folic acid. This is considerably higher than the level of fortification in the US, where 140 µg folic acid per 100 g cereal is estimated to increase the folic acid intake of most women by 80 µg per day. It is also higher than the level of fortification recommended in the COMA report of 240 µg/100 g of flour, which would increase average intake of folic acid by 201 µg/day.30 Whether the daily supplementation of folic acid is administered as a tablet or by food fortification is a policy issue for debate elsewhere."

  49. #49
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans?

    I'm starting to believe more and more that although it is important to make sure we are getting the correct nutrients from our food, it is more important that our bodies are working properly and are able to convert the nutrients into substances we need.
    Last edited by sandra; Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:50 AM.
    I like Sandra, she keeps making me giggle. Daft little lady - Frosty

  50. #50
    patientia
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    Default Re: Nutrient deficiencies more common in meat eaters than in vegans?

    In this document, on the page 8, you can see the percentage of Americans not getting the EAR (intake of nutrients satisfying the needs of half of the population) of various nutrients:

    http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles...les2001-02.pdf

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