Vegan Diet
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Vegan Diet Side Effects and Warnings

Written by FoundHealth.

Safety Issues

With the exception of vitamin B 12 a vegan diet can in principle provide all necessary nutrients. However, in practice, vegans are frequently deficient in calcium , iron , vitamin D , selenium , phosphorous , and zinc . 1 Vitamin B 12 presents a special issue. This vitamin is not provided to any meaningful extent by non-plant foods. (The algae spirulina contains B 12 , but in a non-absorbable form.) Deficiency in B 12 is therefore inevitable among those who follow a strict vegan diet and do not take supplements. 2 3 4 5 Such deficiency has led to serious health consequences among vegans as well as breast-fed infants of vegan mothers. 6 When severe, B 12 deficiency can cause irreversible nerve damage. Mild deficiency leads to anemia and, in association with other common deficiencies, increased risk of bone thinning and fracture..

There is an additional potential issue for athletes to consider: A vegan diet is very low in the non-essential nutrient creatine . It is possible that creatine supplements may be particularly helpful for vegan athletes. 7

References

  1. Turner-McGrievy GM, Barnard ND, Scialli AR, Lanou AJ. Effects of a low-fat vegan diet and a Step II diet on macro- and micronutrient intakes in overweight postmenopausal women. Nutrition. 20(9):738-46.
  2. Obeid R, Geisel J, Schorr H, Hübner U, Herrmann W. The impact of vegetarianism on some haematological parameters. Eur J Haematol. 69(5-6):275-9.
  3. Kwok T, Cheng G, Woo J, Lai WK, Pang CP. Independent effect of vitamin B12 deficiency on hematological status in older Chinese vegetarian women. Am J Hematol. 70(3):186-90.
  4. Herrmann W, Knapp JP. Hyperhomocysteinemia: a new risk factor for degenerative diseases. Clin Lab. 48(9-10):471-81.
  5. Turner-McGrievy GM, Barnard ND, Scialli AR, Lanou AJ. Effects of a low-fat vegan diet and a Step II diet on macro- and micronutrient intakes in overweight postmenopausal women. Nutrition. 20(9):738-46.
  6. Weiss R, Fogelman Y, Bennett M. Severe vitamin B12 deficiency in an infant associated with a maternal deficiency and a strict vegetarian diet. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 26(4):270-1.
  7. Venderley AM, Campbell WW. Vegetarian diets : nutritional considerations for athletes. Sports Med. 36(4):293-305.
 
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1 Comment

Posted 10 months ago

Have you ever considered making the switch to a vegetarian diet? It's undeniable that eating a diet rich in vegetables, grains, fruits and legumes is healthy. It's also undeniable that the fat and cholesterol that comes from animal products is just not good for you. <a href="http://www.foodandfit.info/is-too-much-cardio-bad-for-you">what is cardio exercise</a>

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