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Thread: Veganism, Babies and Cholesterol

  1. #1
    jasminschade's Avatar
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    Smile Veganism, Babies and Cholesterol

    Hi everyone,
    I am not pregnant but am planning to have children in the next 2 years (I am 23 yrs old) after I marry my fiancÚ. Obviously, I intend to raise my children Vegan.

    In a previous thread (sorry, can't remember which one!), someone posted about how infants do not produce cholesterol in their first 2-3 years of life and get it from breast milk - and since cholesterol is absolutely necessary for life, and does not exist in the plant world - it would be a natural conclusion that baby will have to breastfed for that period of time. Which means breastfeeding for up to 3 years. ???

    Is this in any way true? I tried to find information on it but cannot find it anywhere. It goes without saying that if this is the only way to assure that my baby will be Vegan and healthy - then no problem! But I wanted to know if anyone can shed light on this information. I do intend to breastfeed for at least a year.

    Vegan parents, what did you do about this situation? Is the cholesterol found in soy formula Vegan? What if a vegan mom stops lactating after a year? So many questions...

    Are there any Vegan parenting books you can recommend? Any information is most appreciated! Thank you so much!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Veganism, Babies and Cholesterol

    Wow. I don't know if babies need all that. I just don't know.

    But... we do have two vegan kids who are 3yo and 5.5yo right now, and both were vegan since before conception. They are really healthy. They were breastfed until at least 2yrs old. Never a problem.

    So I don't know if you concern is that warranted. We never worried. We just had them checked by our pediatricians, fed them lots of different foods from the plant, and fungal kingdoms, and the kids are as happy as clams. We'll, they can be grumpy, but that has more to do with regular tantrums of 3yo's. The 5yo isn't as grumpy since he turned 4.5yo.

    Good luck! I think that with kids, there is a lot possible to worry about... but none of the worries are really worth having. Kids turn out fine pretty easily. What's more important than food, is love an attention. That's much more scarce than any vitamin or mineral. And vastly more important for health and growth.
    context is everything

  3. #3
    Prawnil
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    Default Re: Veganism, Babies and Cholesterol

    (I'm no parent either, but I'm looking out for information on this now you've mentioned it, because it's an interesting question. In the mean time, though, I have a strong hunch that the no cholesterol for 2-3yrs statement is not true.)

  4. #4
    jasminschade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Veganism, Babies and Cholesterol

    Hi again, thanks for your lovely responses!

    I also believe it is not true. Especially since all the information on cholesterol and children it does not state anywhere that they need cholesterol; especially since milk/meat is so high in it I am sure the diary industry would all over that fact like white on rice!


    Ok so I found the thread. Actually, it doesn't state that infants don't produce cholesterol but rather they need a dietary source of it for the first 2-3 years of life. ?? Anyway I guess my question still remains and if anyone knows for sure it'd be great to hear from you.

    http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23467&highlight=breastfeed

  5. #5
    cookey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Veganism, Babies and Cholesterol

    I have two daughters who I feed vegan and only breastfed for a few months each. After that I used a soya formula.
    As they've got older they have decided to eat vegetarian when they're away from me, but the older one certainly was pure vegan for the first few years and seems to have lived to tell the tale.

  6. #6
    raisingsevenvegans
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    Default Re: Veganism, Babies and Cholesterol

    I have seven vegan kids (inc.newborn triplets). My four oldest boys all natually weaned themselves at about a year and a half. They are all healthy and to be honest i've never heard anything about a lack of cholesterol.
    I wouldn't worry too much! Just make sure you eat a balanced diet.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Veganism, Babies and Cholesterol

    The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for a MINIMUM of 2 years for optimal health.
    "Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. A recent review of evidence has shown that, on a population basis, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the optimal way of feeding infants. Thereafter infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond."
    http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/...astfeeding/en/
    Obviously a child can live if given a soy formula. But they do not produce what is considered to be "optimal" cholesterol internally until 2-3 years of age. Cholesterol is important for optimal brain growth...therefore vegan children should receive human breastmilk, either from their mother or from a donor.

    "For their first two years, children need dietary cholesterol to form myelin nerve coatings. Breast milk is high in cholesterol. After age two, cholesterol requirements decline, and children can make all the cholesterol they need in their livers."
    http://www.chiro.org/nutrition/ABSTR...an_Child.shtml

    Remember, breastfeeding is the biological norm for mammals, humans included, and breastmilk is high in cholesterol. Interestingly female cholesterol levels rise during pregnancy and lactation to accomodate the growing infant.
    http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...ng.html?cat=52
    http://parenting.ivillage.com/newbor...,,3wx3,00.html

    ...regarding head size (which would indicate proper brain development):
    "
    women with very low cholesterol were more likely to give birth to babies with a smaller head size"
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7021579.stm

    "
    Breast milk has cholesterol, which is needed to make nerve tissue in the growing brain."
    http://www.007b.com/wonders_breastmilk.php

    "Cholesterol is another ingredient found in breast milk. Cholesterol helps the body build tissue in the nervous system and tissue in the brain. It is very important that [COLOR=#006699 ! important][COLOR=#006699 ! important]babies[/COLOR][/COLOR] get [COLOR=#006699 ! important][COLOR=#006699 ! important]cholesterol[/COLOR][/COLOR] in the first two years."
    http://www.articlealley.com/article_1048517_28.html

    "One of the most important constituents of human milk is cholesterol. Formula does not," Lawrence said. "There are many people who think that probably one of the problems with cholesterol today occurs because infants have not had any cholesterol in the first few months of life; perhaps the body doesn''t learn to deal with it. There are studies that show that young adults have much lower cholesterol levels if they were breast-fed than if they were bottle-fed."
    http://www.medicineonline.com/news/1...with-Time.html

    "Cholesterol is another ingredient found in high concentrations in breast milk. It is needed to build tissue in the brain and nervous system. Babies need cholesterol in the first two years of life. (Incidentally, there is evidence that points to a connection between cholesterol in breast milk and the ability to handle dietary cholesterol in adulthood.)"
    http://www.intelligencetest.com/articles/article10.htm

    http://www.breastfeeding-mom.com/nut...east-milk.html
    mama to Ryan (7), AJ (6), Nate (3), Maia (1), all born at home.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Veganism, Babies and Cholesterol

    Well, adult humans make chelesterol from fats.

    So then advice would be for pregnant woman to eat lots of fats, and to continue doing that through nursing an infant... and to nurse an infant until at least 2 years of age?

    Well, that's what we've done, we just didn't know it. My daughter is 3.5yo and still nurses, but just for bonding now.
    context is everything

  9. #9
    jasminschade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Veganism, Babies and Cholesterol

    Thanks for the info, Veganf - much appreciated!!

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