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#1 Old 03-07-2017, 10:45 AM
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Vegan Oral Health

So despite having a regimental oral hygiene practice, I recently had to get a root canal, and have another two cavities that need filling. I have not even been vegan for a year, so I'm not necessarily attributing any tooth decay I'm experiencing to that, but I do want to do my due diligence to ensure that I remain as healthy as possible, and avoid any more costly and painful treatments in the future.

I have been doing some research to determine if there is anything I can do to strengthen my nutrition to ensure my teeth stay healthy, and the only thing I can come up with is that there appears to be a lack of Vitamin K2 in most people's diets, particularly vegans. K1 is found abundantly in plant foods but K2 is the vitamin that helps shuttle calcium to bones and teeth, and is only produced in the gut and the main food sources of K2 are all animal-derived (except natto, and I'm not sure I'm ready to attempt to eat that LOL).

From what I can gather, the only (somewhat unsubstantiated) source of K2 besides natto that is vegan friendly are naturally fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, pickled foods, and possibly kombucha. The thought being that while they don't necessarily contain a lot of K2 themselves, the positive effect they have on the gut biome helps the body create its own K2 more efficiently.

Does anyone have any personal experience incorporating fermented foods/drink into their diet and input on what sorts of results you achieved? Any thoughts about dental and bone health as a vegan?
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#2 Old 03-07-2017, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Symondezyn View Post
So despite having a regimental oral hygiene practice, I recently had to get a root canal, and have another two cavities that need filling. I have not even been vegan for a year, so I'm not necessarily attributing any tooth decay I'm experiencing to that, but I do want to do my due diligence to ensure that I remain as healthy as possible, and avoid any more costly and painful treatments in the future.

I have been doing some research to determine if there is anything I can do to strengthen my nutrition to ensure my teeth stay healthy, and the only thing I can come up with is that there appears to be a lack of Vitamin K2 in most people's diets, particularly vegans. K1 is found abundantly in plant foods but K2 is the vitamin that helps shuttle calcium to bones and teeth, and is only produced in the gut and the main food sources of K2 are all animal-derived (except natto, and I'm not sure I'm ready to attempt to eat that LOL).

From what I can gather, the only (somewhat unsubstantiated) source of K2 besides natto that is vegan friendly are naturally fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, pickled foods, and possibly kombucha. The thought being that while they don't necessarily contain a lot of K2 themselves, the positive effect they have on the gut biome helps the body create its own K2 more efficiently.

Does anyone have any personal experience incorporating fermented foods/drink into their diet and input on what sorts of results you achieved? Any thoughts about dental and bone health as a vegan?

Hi Symondezyn,

I can only find one peer-reviewed study on the dental health of vegetarians vs. omnivores. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published this study in 1988: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/48/3/712.abstract

They make you pay to see the entire study, so I'm not immediately able to report its details. The study abstract states that, "Data are strong that vegetarians are at lesser risk for obesity, atonic constipation, lung cancer, and alcoholism. Evidence is good that risks for hypertension, coronary artery disease, type II diabetes, and gallstones are lower. Data are only fair to poor that risks of breast cancer, diverticular disease of the colon, colonic cancer, calcium kidney stones, osteoporosis, dental erosion, and dental caries are lower among vegetarians."

_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 03-07-2017 at 12:17 PM.
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#3 Old 03-07-2017, 12:16 PM
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Certain self-appointed health "gurus" dedicate quite a bit of time promoting vitamin K2 from meat, cheese, etc. The famously anti-vegetarian Weston A. Price Foundation, and Dr. Joseph Mercola, are examples of these.

However, mainstream health organizations don't place much emphasis on meat as a source of vitamin K. These mainstream organizations also state that the human gut produces its own vitamin K2.

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Vi...hProfessional/

https://medlineplus.gov/vitamink.html

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-K

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed...ment/vitamin-k
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_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#4 Old 03-07-2017, 04:47 PM
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I've been doing (too?) much research on supplements lately, and K2 from natto was definitely on my list of wanting to know more. I find contradictory research-we make it in our intestines/vegans are at risk of deficiency.

Heres the deficiency theory-
Quote:
The K2 form of vitamin K has an additional role in the body: it is also important for bone health. It attracts calcium molecules and helps them bind to proteins so the calcium can be used by the body. Basically, K2 moves shuttles calcium throughout the body to where it needs to go. Without enough vitamin K2, osteoporosis could occur. This same property also makes vitamin K2 useful for preventing cardiovascular disease: the vitamin will attract calcium which has hardened in the arteries and cause it to break down.
from http://plenteousveg.com/vitamin-k2/

and the formulation theory-
Quote:
One form of vitamin K, called vitamin K2 or menaquinone, is found in animal products but in only one lone plant food—natto, a fermented soy product that isn’t a usual part of most western vegan diets. This isn’t a problem, though, because humans have no requirement for vitamin K2. We also have bacteria in our gut that produce this form of vitamin K—so we’re covered either way.
from http://www.theveganrd.com/2011/06/fa...nd-health.html

I did try natto. I literally could not swallow it without wanting to throw up. It's a lot like eating something you've thrown up--a few days ago, left to rot. It's sticky, slimey and putrid. I really really wanted to get it down! I tried mustard, vinegar-all the things suggested. I told a Chinese co worker and she just laughed and said she didn't imagine anyone could eat it if they weren't brought up on it!

But--other fermented foods have some, and I've never seen the recipe for making naturally fermented food so easy as this-
http://plenteousveg.com/lacto-fermen...-instructions/

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good
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#5 Old 03-07-2017, 07:37 PM
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@Symondezyn

Mic. the Vegan has a handy-dandy video where he addresses the Vitamin K2 issue.

Dr. Greger has several videos about teeth on his website (just input 'teeth' in the search bar), but below are the two most relevant ones I could find.

"How can we protect our tooth enamel from the erosive natural acids found in sour foods and beverages?"
http://nutritionfacts.org/video/prot...-hibiscus-tea/

"Those eating more sour fruit may risk greater erosion of their tooth enamel (especially if teeth are brushed in a softened state), but there's a simple solution."
http://nutritionfacts.org/video/plan...dental-health/
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#6 Old 03-07-2017, 08:49 PM
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Don't forget Vitamin D(3) - needed for calcium absorption. Either spend enough time in the sun and risk skin cancer or get a supplement.

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#7 Old 03-07-2017, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David3 View Post
Certain self-appointed health "gurus" dedicate quite a bit of time promoting vitamin K2 from meat, cheese, etc. The famously anti-vegetarian Weston A. Price Foundation, and Dr. Joseph Mercola, are examples of these.
Very fair point - a lot of the articles I've read have referenced these sources, and a lot of them are paleo-leaning blogs/sites, which of course don't tend to be all that vegan friendly It's good to know that the less biased sources do seem to agree that we can in fact produce enough in our own guts to be effective.

That said, since I assume our ability to do so has a lot to do with our gut health, it's probably that much more of a good idea to ensure we are getting enough fermented foods - keep that gut biome nice and happy!! ^_^

Quote:
Originally Posted by silva View Post
I've been doing (too?) much research on supplements lately, and K2 from natto was definitely on my list of wanting to know more. I find contradictory research-we make it in our intestines/vegans are at risk of deficiency.

Heres the deficiency theory-

from http://plenteousveg.com/vitamin-k2/

and the formulation theory-

from http://www.theveganrd.com/2011/06/fa...nd-health.html

I did try natto. I literally could not swallow it without wanting to throw up. It's a lot like eating something you've thrown up--a few days ago, left to rot. It's sticky, slimey and putrid. I really really wanted to get it down! I tried mustard, vinegar-all the things suggested. I told a Chinese co worker and she just laughed and said she didn't imagine anyone could eat it if they weren't brought up on it!

But--other fermented foods have some, and I've never seen the recipe for making naturally fermented food so easy as this-
http://plenteousveg.com/lacto-fermen...-instructions/
HAHA omg you and I are totally on the same path!! I literally have been doing the same exact research and reading the same articles as you!!! I am currently in the process of fermenting a jar of pickles on my counter and beginning the process of making kombucha. I am now officially a weird hippie!! LMAO

You are FAR more adventurous than I - just the description and photo of natto alone was enough to turn my stomach. Thanks for taking one for the team, and letting me know my instincts were correct LOL
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#8 Old 03-09-2017, 03:23 PM
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It's important for everyone to keep in mind that people are far more likely to do in depth research on nutrition when turning to a plant based diet, when omnivores have all kinds of deficiets that go unknowing, or unconcerned.

Like omega DHA. So much about getting the proper ratios of 3-6-9 here, while unless you are sea food as a omni you didn't get DHA either!

and don't get me started on potassium! I've seen omnis drop so often from lacking it it's not funny

and I get asked about iron....
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#9 Old 03-11-2017, 04:43 AM
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Interesting what you say about vitamin K2, my partner only yesterday was saying how a white patch has appeared on his front tooth so i'm now wondering if he has a deficiency.

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#10 Old 03-12-2017, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Fr Ted Crilly View Post
Interesting what you say about vitamin K2, my partner only yesterday was saying how a white patch has appeared on his front tooth so i'm now wondering if he has a deficiency.
According to this dentist, white spots on teeth are from direct damage from acidic drinks, too much sugar, acid reflux, or even fevers. Not from a deficiency.

http://www.mccarldental.com/blog/white-spots/


My teeth are fine, I think if there were tooth decay due to deficiency, it would be more likely in children or long term vegans.

Like I know a meat eater who has terrible teeth, and it's because he hates water, drinks a lot of sugary drinks instead, and trust me he drinks milk, too.

Some decay is genetic though, or due to external impact injuries.
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#11 Old 03-12-2017, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by silva View Post
I've been doing (too?) much research on supplements lately, and K2 from natto was definitely on my list of wanting to know more. I find contradictory research-we make it in our intestines/vegans are at risk of deficiency.

Heres the deficiency theory-

from http://plenteousveg.com/vitamin-k2/

and the formulation theory-

from http://www.theveganrd.com/2011/06/fa...nd-health.html

I did try natto. I literally could not swallow it without wanting to throw up. It's a lot like eating something you've thrown up--a few days ago, left to rot. It's sticky, slimey and putrid. I really really wanted to get it down! I tried mustard, vinegar-all the things suggested. I told a Chinese co worker and she just laughed and said she didn't imagine anyone could eat it if they weren't brought up on it!

But--other fermented foods have some, and I've never seen the recipe for making naturally fermented food so easy as this-
http://plenteousveg.com/lacto-fermen...-instructions/
I love sourkraut. I would like to try natto. I like weird Asian foods, and the word "barnyardy" doesn't put me off, it makes me think of a nice hay smell with musky undertones. I mean, I could have a different visceral reaction in reality, but the description doesn't put me off enough to avoid it. When I still ate dairy I was a blue cheese person, and have even looked into making vegan blue cheese (if I can get my hands on the fungus and bacteria I need to process it).

So I will report back. Should not be hard to find in LA.

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#12 Old 03-14-2017, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Thalassa View Post
I love sourkraut. I would like to try natto. I like weird Asian foods, and the word "barnyardy" doesn't put me off, it makes me think of a nice hay smell with musky undertones. I mean, I could have a different visceral reaction in reality, but the description doesn't put me off enough to avoid it. When I still ate dairy I was a blue cheese person, and have even looked into making vegan blue cheese (if I can get my hands on the fungus and bacteria I need to process it).

So I will report back. Should not be hard to find in LA.
Please do!
I went through about 12 package labels to find one that was vegan. That surprised me!
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