The most obvious reason veganism is not good for long term health

Just a little note about a very crucial, yet often overlooked or downplayed nutrient. Vitamin B12…

Vegans often have to supplement B12, a dead giveaway that veganism is not really the “ideal” or “natural” diet, in terms of being the healthiest human you can be. It’s more like a religion. So here’s an excerpt from Raw Food SOS I thought was worth digging up…

“…I’d like to think this would be pretty obvious by now, but there are some lingering vegan authorities who seem to underplay the B-12 issue or even deny it altogether. Even “The China Study” makes B12 seem like small potatoes, when T. Colin Campbell writes: “If you do not eat any animal products for three years or more, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should consider taking a small B12 supplement on occasion.” This is sort of scary, since virtually every study conducted on the subject shows that vegans experience much higher rates of B12 deficiency than omnivores or vegetarians and have elevated homocysteine as a result (which increases blood clotting and raises your risk of heart disease). In fact, low B12 and high homocysteine probably contributed to the early demise of prominent vegans like H. Jay Dinshah and T. C. Fry (PDF).

Especially if you’re avoiding processed vegan foods (which are often fortified with vitamin B12), you’ll need to find a supplement and take it consistently, since there are really no reliable dietary sources of B12 for vegans. (Algae like spirulina, often rumored to contain B12, only has B12 analogues that won’t actually improve your B12 status.)…”

6 thoughts on “The most obvious reason veganism is not good for long term health

  1. I don’t think you are fairly quoting The China Study as you try to downplay vegan diets. Dr. T. Colin Campbell goes on to point out that plants can contain B12; however, they must grow in nutrient-rich soil or not have been completely washed to contain this vitamin. Since most plants from agri-businesses are not necessarily grown in nutrient-dense soil, and we tend to like our vegetables clean, he recommends that people eating an entirely plant-based diet take a supplement to be on the safe side.

    Thanks for encouraging those eating a vegan diet to stay on top of their B12 supplements, as it is an important aspect of a vegan diet.

  2. This makes it important for vegans and vegetarians to seek out foods which have been fortified with vitamin B12 and include B12 supplements in their regular routine. The dosage you receive in a supplement will be extremely small, in the micrograms. Although you don’t require very much B12, a deficiency can cause some very serious side effects, some of which may be irreversible. Smart vegans will usually take a multivitamin every day to ensure they’re getting all of the vitamins and nutrients they need to stay happy and healthy.

    • If you have to “supplement” your diet in order to be healthy, then your diet is not healthy. Time to choose something that works WITHOUT supplementation. IE include organ meats, eggs, liver, and other nutrient-dense animal products into your diet. That’s why Paleo wins out every time, we don’t have to “supplement” our diets to be healthy. It’s natural. It’s evolutionarily correct. It makes the most sense.

  3. Getouttahere. Only uninformed people would go vegan without supplementary vitamins including B-vitamins, and your strawman contention to the contrary as a way to talk trash about vegan diets is laughable.

    I’ve never been vegan myself, but having lived with vegans for long periods of time I can confirm that there’s nothing unhealthy about it assuming that practitioners supplement appropriately.

    As for the issue of veganism being “ideal” or “natural”, well, that’s just silly. If someone wants to avoid animal products for moral or environmental reasons fine, but to present it as some kind of ideal diet is overplaying one’s hand.

    I imagine you must get anti-paleo pushback from vegan advocates or something, because otherwise there’s no reason to be so aggro about it.

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