Did ye olde vegans have nutrient deficiencies? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-03-2012, 02:34 PM
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Before we could get B12 and Vitamin D supplements and whatnot, was there a lot of malnutrition among veg*ns? I'm talking about like 19th century and earlier. I seem to recall a story about how Indian vegans who moved to Britain started having deficiencies, because the plants they had been eating in India had dead bugs and bug waste on them, but Britain had better health standards. I thought I read it on Wikipedia, but I've been reading about the history of vegetarianism, and I haven't seen it again.
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#2 Old 04-03-2012, 03:00 PM
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I think a lot of people had nutrient deficiencies in the 19th century.

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#3 Old 04-03-2012, 03:05 PM
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Vitamin B-12 wasn't "discovered" until the early 1900s, so up until that point, I don't think anyone worried about getting that, but I'm sure many people were deficient in it, not just veg*ns. And I definitely echo WG.

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#4 Old 04-03-2012, 03:13 PM
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I think they where more concerned with living to be 35, dysentery, not being shot etc...

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#5 Old 04-03-2012, 03:17 PM
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Was veganism in the past a choice to eat animal products or suffer brain damage from B12 deficiency?
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#6 Old 04-03-2012, 03:19 PM
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Plus a lot of people right now are vitamin D and B12 deficient, and I'm not even just talking about veg*n's.

According to WebMD 40-75% of people are currently vitamin D deficient and up to 20% of people are B12 deficient (although the numbers for B12 deficiency are less known because a universally accepted normal level of B12 has not been defined)

It's hard to find any hard numbers going all the way back to the 19th century but it's safe to say if so many meat eaters and veg*n's have vitamin deficiencies right now it was probably worse back then when there was less access to a wide variety of foods and supplements.

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#7 Old 04-03-2012, 06:36 PM
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People who lived before chlorination of the water supply became standard practice, and before the invention of antibiotics, probably had plenty of bacteria in their guts that made all the B12 they needed. Vitamin D deficiencies probably didn't become problematic til the advent of the industrial age, which forced lots of poor workers into factories which kept them from getting sunshine.

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#8 Old 04-03-2012, 07:57 PM
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I have read that human intestinal bacteria produce B12, but it can't be absorbed from the colon. Are you talking about something else?
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#9 Old 04-04-2012, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuicideBlonde View Post

I think they where more concerned with living to be 35

That sounds about right.
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