Problems: getting protein that = animal protein. - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-23-2009, 04:10 PM
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I know this is a totally overdone topic but it isn't what you think. I was vegan for 5 years, so I thought I knew how to get protein. I was getting up to 65 grams a day, in fact, which I needed as a marathon runner and cyclist.



Last June I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and at the behest of doctors and friends I switched to as inoffensive an omnivoric diet as I could manage. It was really difficult, but I did start to feel better. I was eating a little fish, but rarely any meat. I re-introduced milk and eggs (we now have our own chickens, and I have no moral qualms about this, though I know many people do).



So here is the conundrum: I really want to be veg*n again, and I want to knock out the dairy as well. But some of the things research has shown to benefit bipolar people are tryptophan (present in turkey and milk), and omega-3 fatty acids. I know the latter are from algae, and I actually take flaxseed oil, though I know that's a debated source. But I'm comfortable (and happy about) getting the 3's from a vegetarian source.



Does anyone know if tryptophan comes in non-animal foods? My other concern is what might be in animal proteins that isn't in plant proteins. Why on earth would I feel so different after bringing animal products back into my diet? I was certainly getting enough protein before - is there a difference in quality (and I don't mean good/bad, just completenes)?



Physically (and obviously, morally/spiritually), I've always felt better as a veg*n. I'm not screwing around with my mental health, though. This disease almost killed me at least twice.
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#2 Old 01-23-2009, 05:17 PM
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Here's a giant list of tryptophan sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tryptophan#Dietary_sources

The second best source is spirulina, which is algae. Apparently you can get it in tablets, probably specifically for tryptophan supplementation not sure where you would get them though.

Other vegan sources are sesame seeds, soy beans, sunflower seed, wheat flour, white rice, russet potatoes and bananas.
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#3 Old 01-23-2009, 05:57 PM
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Sweet! Thank you.
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#4 Old 01-23-2009, 07:27 PM
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Interesting, by the way, that the second highest tryptophan amount is in sesame seeds, with milk the only food to beat it.
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#5 Old 01-23-2009, 09:30 PM
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as far as omegas... try Udo's oil, purslane, chia seeds.



You may also want to make sure you are getting enough B12 and Vit. D (supplementing w/ D is good for everyone)
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#6 Old 01-23-2009, 11:18 PM
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As for completeness of animal vs plant proteins, as far as I'm aware plant proteins are generally considered incomplete (except soybeans). That doesn't mean you can't get everything. If you eat beans at lunch and rice at dinner, your body will save the amino acids from the beans and mix them with the rice and voila! Complete protein. By the way, by complete protein they/I mean all of the amino acids are present, and your body turns them into protein. I'd suggest reading "Becoming Vegan" or "Becoming Vegetarian." They've got a lot of great info about this and other nutritional stuff.



Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong! I'm too lazy to pull out my Becoming Vegan and check.
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#7 Old 01-24-2009, 04:36 PM
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Yes, I have "Becoming Vegan" from when I was vegan the first time. I guess I just wonder if it's really true that you can get complete proteins from plants when I had an increase in mood quality with the introduction of animal products. I have to say, though, after a couple of days eating a vegan diet once again, I feel better. Maybe it's just a spiritual/moral lift, but I am happier.



Another friend suggested that a lack of B12 might have been the problem - apparently it isn't well digested even from vitamin tablets if there's no animal products in you? I don't know. She thought perhaps the sublingual ones would work anyway.
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#8 Old 01-24-2009, 06:43 PM
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I take a b12 tablet without issue, but everyone's different. You could definitely try the sublinguals and see if that works for you.
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#9 Old 01-24-2009, 06:56 PM
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I've heard that the sublinguals are better absorbed. That reminds me I should take my b12...

http://megatarian.blogspot.com
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#10 Old 01-24-2009, 09:57 PM
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Sublingual B12 is better absorbed.



YOu dont need animal products IN you to absorb B12, its just found moreso in animal products...meat, dairy...so if you are LO veg, you probably are fine. It also takes a long time, like years, to become deficient in it. You can easily get a blood test for it, if you are worried. Getting too much really isnt a problem, your body will just pee out any extra B vitamins...but in the US, our range of B12 is thought to actually be low (the range is to 1100, but other countries suggest 1300 and even more).

Even omnis can be deficient in B12. As people get older, it is harder to absorb B12, so they are even suggesting that older people, omnit or veg, supplement B12. Deficiencies can mimic dementia and also include mood issues.



Nutritional yeast, that is fortified, like Red Star brand, has B12.
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#11 Old 01-25-2009, 04:18 PM
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If you feel better with animal protein sources, can't you get that from only eggs and milk without actually eating meat? Why not try a lacto-ovo diet for a few months (maybe with some tryptophan and omega-3 suppliments) and see how you feel and then go from there.
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#12 Old 01-26-2009, 10:53 PM
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Dietary sources of tryptophan



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



The best sources of tryptophan are chocolate, oats, bananas, dried dates, milk, cottage cheese, meat, fish, turkey, and peanuts. Less concentration is available in corn, cereal grains, legumes (peas and beans), flesh foods, eggs, dairy products, some nuts and seeds and in the casein component of milk. For the maximum effect with tryptophan, use a moderately high carbohydrate-low protein diet since less serotonin will be produced because of less amino acid competition.





from:http://www.vitamins-supplements.org/...tryptophan.php
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#13 Old 01-30-2009, 03:36 AM
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I remember hearing of a situation similar to this, I'm not sure of all the details, but here goes: Someone was a vegitarian (vegan maybe?) for 7 years with good health, but all of a sudden her mental health collapsed. I think in the end the doctors found that she was defficiant in a particular vitamin (B-12 rings a bell, but i'm not certain. It was some neutrient) that is solely or mostly obtained from meat and apparently the body can only store a 7 year supply of it. I think she started eating meat to some degree afterwards.
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#14 Old 01-30-2009, 03:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabid_child View Post

I've heard that the sublinguals are better absorbed. That reminds me I should take my b12...

There is an Israeli study that seems to indicate that for large dosages sublingual B12 is in fact not absorbed any better than regular oral B12 supplements. (And all sublingual B12 I've ever seen had large doses anyway.) I think the number of participants in the study was kinda low, but still.

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#15 Old 01-30-2009, 04:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassiel View Post

Yes, I have "Becoming Vegan" from when I was vegan the first time. I guess I just wonder if it's really true that you can get complete proteins from plants when I had an increase in mood quality with the introduction of animal products. I have to say, though, after a couple of days eating a vegan diet once again, I feel better. Maybe it's just a spiritual/moral lift, but I am happier.



Another friend suggested that a lack of B12 might have been the problem - apparently it isn't well digested even from vitamin tablets if there's no animal products in you? I don't know. She thought perhaps the sublingual ones would work anyway.

There are different kinds of B12. Cyanocobalamin is the typical one used in vegan supplements. However, the body converts this into other kinds of cobalamin. Animal foods contain these converted types of cobalamin, and so that is what you get when you eat animal foods. These types of cobalamin are supposed to be easier absorbed.



Methylcobalamin is one such converted type, and is available as a vegetarian supplement (not sure if it's vegan).

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#16 Old 02-25-2009, 05:06 PM
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This is the kinda stuff that scares me about a veg*n diet.



How is the OP now?
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#17 Old 02-25-2009, 05:10 PM
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durian has high level of tryptophan. Many people I've know feel like tryptophan effects them like turkey. Especially in connection with raw cacao
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#18 Old 02-26-2009, 04:53 PM
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hmm... i was diagnosed with bipolar disorder over a year ago. i went veggie at the exact same time. they started me off on a bunch of meds but now i'm on such a low dose, each time i go in, they lower it. becoming veggie does not necessarily mean it will interefere with brain chemistry, as long as you do get enough omega -3s (flax and walnuts), and b12 (soymilk and tempeh).

there's no reason you should have to be omni just because you were diagnosed with bipolar. i always thought it was the eating meat, poultry and dairy that kind of caused my bipolar disorder. as with most other "affluent" diseases such as certain types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and those so-called proclaimed "mental disorders/diseases," diet plays an enormous role! brain chemistry is no different from body chemistry. there are brain cells (neurons) in our digestive tract! no doctor ever told me that my diet had anything to do with bipolar disorder, but my gut told me different.

the meat and dairy industries fund most doctors' educations, and they get as little as 3 hours of nutrition study. if you took the course, at the end you wouldn't even know you had taken any nutrition at all. many mainstream doctors have just not been educated in the realm of nutrition, especially psyciatric doctors (that i'm guessing were the doctors you said were part of the reason for going back to omni). trust your gut. if you feel better vegan, eat vegan! afterall, doctors and meds and all of that stuff is really just to make you feel better, right?



or is it...
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