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B12 and other supposed deficiencies

705 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Forster
OK I realize that my short time on a vegan diet is probably not enough to cause any major deficiencies, but my battle with fatigue has got me doing my reserch into what the vegan diet does not provide in acceptable amounts. One of the outspoken vegans that I keep up with on youtube (TheRawvoice) is an athlete and he is a big fan of B12 injections since the oral supplemments are not easly absorbed. Does anyone else use these?
Here are the other things that critics site as deficiencies in the vegan diet and what I am doing to try and offset them.
Calcium- I am trying to keep this up with daily broccoli intake, but I have come to realize that is well below the recomended 700mg for an adult. Going to buy fortified orange juice.
Omega 3 fatty acids- I make it a point to have a few walnuts every day and when I cook anything I use canola oil. I realize that is not as much as my former fish heavy diet but I would think that would not be too bad.
Iron- Even before the vegan diet I ate plenty of spinich and beans, some say that spinich reduces iron absorbtion though. Is there any truth to that?
Selenium- I eat about an ounce of Brazil nuts on a daily basis, they are supposedly rich in selenium. Is that enough?
Vitamin K- Again I don't skimp on the conola oil while cooking, I think I am OK there but feel free to correct me if I am wrong.
Vitamin A- Carrot a day sounds simple enough, or am I missing something? I think that is a bogus argument from the Anti-vegan crowd, plenty of vegan friendly foods have huge amounts of vitamin A.
Potassium- I am eating two bannanas and two apples a day, once I get some orange juice I think I will be OK there. Again feel free to correct me.
I perfer to get these in their natural vegan friendly sources, but if I have to take supplemments I am OK with that. Any advice?
Sorry for all the questions, I am kind of new to this.
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I drink fortified soy milk every day that has almost all of those things and call it my daily supplement. Not quite as natural as your approach, but probably a little more reliable. But it sounds like you've got everything covered but the B-12. Just make sure your fortified juice with the calcium has vitamin D, too.

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I don't know how much Selenium is enough. I eat 2 brazil nuts a day, and about 1.5 tablespoons worth of Nutritional yeast which contains selenium (3 rounded tablespoons has 40% RDA)
First, fatigue can be caused by many things. Diet is just one factor to consider. If I were you I would rule out other causes while improving my diet.

Personally, I notice that I have more energy when I get plenty of sleep and plenty of exercise. When I have trouble sleeping (stress, sick kiddo, loud neighbors, etc.) then I am fatigued during the day. And when I am not active (swimming, running, yoga, kickboxing, hiking or doing something active 3-6 days per week) then I get fatigued.

B12 injections? I suppose they might make sense for some people but I don't get them. I use B12 tablets that taste like cherry and disolve in my mouth.

Calcium - I use fortified soymilk in smoothies and also in fortified cereal. And I drink fortified OJ sometimes too.

Personally, I don't worry about omega 3s. I have plenty of cravings for fatty things that I feel like I get enough without trying. Same goes for the other nutrients you mentioned. I don't worry about them because I eat a wide variety of vegan foods (of all colors, types, etc.).

Iron - I love beans and eat them at least 5 times a week. Iron is also in fortified breakfast cereal. I donate blood fairly regularly and they check iron levels when you do that. I've done that for years and years. I've never ever had low iron levels.

I should point out that my approach to nutrition is basically this: I do a diet journal every so often (once a year maybe) and calculate levels of this or that to ensure proper intakes. I also err on the side of overconsumption. I'm not worried about having a little belly pouch since I'm active and healthy. I don't restrict my food intake because that makes me feel deprived and stressed out - it's not good for my mental health and it's not a good example to set for my son who is naturally skinny and should never deprive himself of food. From all the things I've read and heard I think the people who are most likely to suffer from nutritional deficiency as a result of going vegetarian or vegan are people who severely limit their food intakes in order to maintain a low body weight. That's not me or my family. We love food and eat plenty of it
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I think that you should do your research on all these things for yourself, because every person has differing opinions on what to take and who knows, each and every one of us might have a wrong opinion on something that we're suggesting. For example, on another forum, I spent time discussing B12 with a guy who has been a vegan for a few years. While I'm all for taking a supplement of methylcobalamin B12 (one or two under the tongue), he was adamant that if you start out with a healthy 'load' of the intestinal bacteria that produce B12, then you never need to supplement. Maybe I'll go and visit him in the dementia ward when the time comes, eh? Anyway, if you were to listen to him, you'd have the seat next to him. While it's nice to get opinions, it's better if you do the real research yourself.
My body weight is not really an issue so I am not counting carbs or any of that nonsence. I am at a medium build and healthy 175lbs at 5'6" so I don't feel the need. In fact I am eating more now then I was on my omni diet. I am starting to think that my fatigue is a result of my drasticly lower protine intake, I should try that vegan beans and rice dish to offset that or get some soy protine powder.
The fatigue might have nothing to do with your diet. Have a blood test to check for any deficiencies and go from there. I had a blood test in February or March and didn't have any deficiencies but a lot of times I feel tired as ****. It's a symptom of depression and other disorders so might not be your diet.

also, if you chew the b12 pills it increases absorption.
I don't know if this will help with your fatigue, but I found this book very informative when I was doing research.
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