My friend thinks being veg*n shrinks your brain... - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-20-2012, 05:09 PM
 
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I only turned vegetarian about 7 months ago, so I was often telling a lot of people the reasons why I was newly vegetarian. A friend of mine decided to turn vegetarian too after hearing my reasons, however she has started eating meat again after a month of trying out being veg. Her reasoning was that she thinks avoiding animal products SHRINKS YOUR BRAIN.

 

Her direct quote from an email was this: "The only thing that worries me about being vegetarian is impaired brain functioning because of lack of amino acids etc. Animal products are more beneficial for the brain. I just heard that being vegetarian impairs brain and cognitive funtioning, and can even shrink your brain."

 

I find this very hard to believe - I am not the most well-researched vegetarian yet, so I did a quick google search, and yes there were a few studies from a few years ago that claimed to show these facts. I think they used lack of vitamin B12 as the reason for brain shrinkage.

Does anyone know more about this, or have some facts or sources I could present her with that prove otherwise? I just don't know what to tell her!! I don't believe her, but I don't feel informed enough to give solid advice to the contrary.

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#2 Old 09-20-2012, 05:56 PM
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I think she may be referring to lack of Vitamin B12, which is found in seaweeds, tempeh, nutritional yeast, organic fruits and vegetables, alternative milk (like soy, almond rice, and etc), and more. 

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#3 Old 09-20-2012, 07:43 PM
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Many meat eaters are deficient in b12, because of how and what animals are fed, and the hormones and antibiotics involved. 
It is extremely easy to get b12 from vegan sources (supplemented). I'm not sold on the spirulina, mushroom idea, but b12 is added to many non dairy milks, gum, cereals, and just easy to take a cheap sublingual tab now and then!

 

Plants do not contain all the amino acids that complete a protein chain. But the human body does! yes.gif

We formulate those plant proteins into the complete protein chain.


The best arguments for eating vegan are actually the counterpoints to the meateaters arguments. Just because our ancestors ate animals to supplement a diet that relied on whatever was available had to do with a lifestyle no one would want to go back to. I wonder why they think our limited physical excertion is alright, along with the unnatural speeds, and climate control we presently use.

 

 

http://veganhealth.org/

 

This is a link 4everaspirit shared. It sums up why we should be vegan in every way:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es6U00LMmC4


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#4 Old 09-20-2012, 11:08 PM
 
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Thank you both for your replies. I agree she must be referring to B12, after a closer look at the studies done, this is the vitamin they are focusing on. I am pretty sure she just assumes B12 and "essential amino acids" can only be found in animal products. I am surprised B12 is found in such varied products, thanks for the information; it's good to know my love of seaweed veg*n sushi is useful!

As I haven't been vegetarian for very long, I always find I stumble over my words when meat eaters demand to know why on earth I have chosen to avoid meat. When I research online, I come across so many amazing facts, but when I'm face to face with someone I can never recall all the information I'd love to tell them. What do you guys find is the best rebuttal (non-argumentative, just good facts or statements) to give people who don't understand why you're avoiding animal products?

Thanks for the link to that speech, Silva. I can't wait to sit down and watch all of it.

 

Quote:
I'm not sold on the spirulina, mushroom idea, but b12 is added to many non dairy milks, gum, cereals, and just easy to take a cheap sublingual tab now and then!

 

What do you mean by the spirulina mushroom idea you mentioned? Is it safe to take supplementary B12 without knowing whether you're deficient? Thanks! :)

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#5 Old 09-21-2012, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CayennePepper View Post

Is it safe to take supplementary B12 without knowing whether you're deficient? Thanks! :)

 

I always take a B12 supplement. ALWAYS. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS. If I had a better diet (mmmm cookies), it'd probably be the only thing I HAD to supplement. Sublingual is best, I can't remember off the top of my head which form of B12 is best - cyanocobalamin or methylcobalamin.


I always wonder about people who say they "love" animals, but continue to eat meat. If that's your idea of love, I question what sort of twisted world view you must have.

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#6 Old 09-21-2012, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CayennePepper View Post

Thank you both for your replies. I agree she must be referring to B12, after a closer look at the studies done, this is the vitamin they are focusing on. I am pretty sure she just assumes B12 and "essential amino acids" can only be found in animal products. I am surprised B12 is found in such varied products, thanks for the information; it's good to know my love of seaweed veg*n sushi is useful!

As I haven't been vegetarian for very long, I always find I stumble over my words when meat eaters demand to know why on earth I have chosen to avoid meat. When I research online, I come across so many amazing facts, but when I'm face to face with someone I can never recall all the information I'd love to tell them. What do you guys find is the best rebuttal (non-argumentative, just good facts or statements) to give people who don't understand why you're avoiding animal products?

Thanks for the link to that speech, Silva. I can't wait to sit down and watch all of it.

 

Quote:
I'm not sold on the spirulina, mushroom idea, but b12 is added to many non dairy milks, gum, cereals, and just easy to take a cheap sublingual tab now and then!

 

What do you mean by the spirulina mushroom idea you mentioned? Is it safe to take supplementary B12 without knowing whether you're deficient? Thanks! :)

Yes, it is safe to take B12, as Excess is excreted through the kidneys. Sublingual is more easily absorbed. smiley.gif
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#7 Old 09-21-2012, 01:07 PM
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People who eat meat are often narrow-minded.  wink3.gif


My usual answer: I have never heard a convincing reason to eat meat.
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#8 Old 09-21-2012, 03:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by @rno View Post

People who eat meat are often narrow-minded.  
wink3.gif

HAAA I loled!

Nyamooo! Nyama nyaamaaaa nyamma nyamma nyamooo

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#9 Old 09-21-2012, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CayennePepper

 

 

What do you mean by the spirulina mushroom idea you mentioned? Is it safe to take supplementary B12 without knowing whether you're deficient? Thanks! :)

This:

http://veganhealth.org/articles/vitaminb12

"Vitamin B12 is a complicated vitamin with a unique absorption mechanism and a number of inactive analogues (molecules that appear to be active B12, but actually are not) that possibly interfere with its function. Vitamin B12 is generally found in all animal foods (except honey). Contrary to the many rumors, there are no reliable, unfortified plant sources of vitamin B12, including tempeh, seaweeds, and organic produce. One of the earliest studies conducted on vegans, from the U.K. in 1955, described significant vitamin B12 deficiency in the vegans with some suffering from nerve damage and dementia. This, as well as many case studies since then of vitamin B12 deficiency in vegans, and a great deal of other evidence detailed here, has led to the overwhelming consensus in the mainstream nutrition community, as well as among vegan health professionals, that vitamin B12 fortified foods or supplements are necessary for the optimal health of vegans, and even vegetarians in many cases. Luckily, vitamin B12 is made by bacteria such that it does not need to be obtained from animal products."

 

I randomly said spirulina and mushrooms as an example of plant foods some advocate as sources of B12. It's so easy to supplement.


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#10 Old 09-21-2012, 10:26 PM
 
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This seems to be all the evidence I need then, thank you so much. I had no idea B12 was so difficult to come across in non-animal products. Going to look into getting a supplement straight away! I'll also let my friend know that she was partly right about B12 only being available in animal products, and I'll link her to some of this information. Thanks everyone for your advice and awesome info!
 

 

Quote:
People who eat meat are often narrow-minded.  wink3.gif

 

hahaha. As a new vegetarian, I've definitely found this to be the case. Can't believe how many stares of disbelief and strange responses I've had from family and friends. Oh well, they don't know what they're missing - or rather, we DO know what we're missing, and don't want it back haha. grin.gif

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