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Hello,
im playing with the thought of going vegetarian. But i heard a lot of rumors about supplements. Can anyone here please tell me if i need them and if, which exactly?

I dont want to eat soy-based products because of estrogen-mimicing compounds.

And i want to note, that my sallary is kinda low. That means i cant afford too expensive supplements.

I would love to get a reply soon.
 

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All essential nutrients can be got in sufficient quantity from a well rounded vegetarian/vegan diet, with the exception of vitamin B12.
Basic B12 supplements can be quite cheap. Dont be fooled by expensive ones, there is no difference in quality control or precision of dosage compared to the cheap brands.
You can even get potent ones and powder them so you can add tiny scoops to food like its a spice, in that case cheaper is actually better because they powder easier.

Some people can run into issues with iodine deficiency, regardless if they are veg*n or omni, because there is really no reliable food source beyond a few seaweeds, or table salt but who the heck eats that much table salt (salt in processed foods doesnt have iodine). So if you ever develop hypothyroidism (as a veg*n or an omni) try to supplement with dulse flakes or some other iodine source.
 

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Hi Mark,

If you are planning to follow a vegetarian diet with milk, then the only supplement you'll need is vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 supplements are incredibly cheap, very tiny, and are available at any pharmacy. Here are recommended dosage choices: http://www.veganhealth.org/b12/rec . Vitamin B12 supplements shouldn't cost you more than $2 per month.



If you are interested in a vegetarian diet without milk, then you'll need a source of vitamin D (in addition to the B12). Like dairy milk, most plant "milks" (almond milk, for instance) are fortified with vitamin D. Some calcium-fortified orange juices are also fortified with vitamin D. Both of these products are available at most regular supermarkets.



Soy is a much-maligned food. Problems only occur when people consume large quantities on a daily basis. Nevertheless, vegetarians don't need to eat soy foods. I eat them only occasionally.

Here is a fantastic Vegetarian Starter Guide (this version covers the no-dairy, vegan form of vegetarian nutrition). It summarizes vegetarian nutrition on page 13, and it includes lots of very easy meal ideas: http://www.mercyforanimals.org/files/VSG.pdf
 

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B12 is the only one you need for sure. If you get a liquid one you can take a dosage you like very easily which is what I do. I think I pay like 2 cents a day or something close to that for mine.
 

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Symptoms of B12 deficiency are complex and diverse. I read a whole book on it once (Could It Be B12?: An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses). But for the most part it basically boils down to three things: nerve damage of some type, digestive problems, or megaloblastic anemia. Anemia basically makes people weak, tired, and pale. The nerve damage is often seen as tingling or numbness in the fingers and toes, vision loss, tactile feeling loss, mental impairment, etc.
The problem typically creeps up on people slowly.
 

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Hello,
im playing with the thought of going vegetarian. But i heard a lot of rumors about supplements. Can anyone here please tell me if i need them and if, which exactly?

I dont want to eat soy-based products because of estrogen-mimicing compounds.

And i want to note, that my sallary is kinda low. That means i cant afford too expensive supplements.

I would love to get a reply soon.
I don't know a lot about this, but what I do know is I am not using any supplements at this time. I am just trying to get my meals in order so I have a fridge full, and cupboards, of non-meat items. I am pretty much lacking now, in the dairy department too. That wasn't my plan, but I realized I don't do much dairy, never did. Well, did eggs, milk, cottage cheese but not a lot.

Maybe just get what you can for now, transition, not all at once, and go easy on yourself. I have to do it that way, because I tend to want what I want yesterday. But life isn't like that for me, I am realize more every day. This site has lots of help, keep dropping in, ask all you want. There are knowledgeable folks here that have been into to this, and they'll have good, helpful input;) denise
 

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Most vegetarians consume dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt. There is more than enough B12 in dairy if this is part of your diet. In the USA, many vegetarians also eat eggs. These too, contain B12.

Regarding the alleged 'estrogen-mimicking compounds,' in soy, I believe there is some debate on how true and to what degree this is a problem. People have been eating soy for many, many years. It dates back well over 8000 years in many parts of Asia. That is a pretty good track record.

As for eating soy, You can live your entire healthy life as a vegetarian and never once eat soy. Personally I can't stand soy.
 

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Regarding B12: If you have just become vegetarian, there is no immediate need to start taking B12 supplements. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the liver can store vitamin B12 for years: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002403.htm . However, to be on the safe side, you might as well start taking B12 - it's cheap and easy.
 

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Strictly speaking, the liver does not store B12.
Its maintained in enterohepatic circulation, a sort of loop between the intestine and the liver. Increased fiber intake could drain it out when its passing through the intestine, just like increased fiber reduces cholesterol as well as the potency of certain steroid medications that get caught in the enterohepatic loop. Mainstream medicines estimate of the duration of human B12 stores is based on studies of people who are dangerously fiber deficient.
So yeah, play it safe and dont wait too long.
Even omnis can become B12 deficient.
 

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Hi!
Plant foods do not contain vitamin B12 except when they are contaminated by microorganisms or have vitamin B12 added to them. Thus, vegans need to look to fortified foods or supplements to get vitamin B12 in their diet. There are many supplements available, but do consult a doctor before having them.
:)
Please don't be mad, but I've got to correct this statement. There is no need to consult a doctor before taking B12 supplements. There is no evidence that high doses of B12 are harmful. I've taken a high-potency vitamin B12 supplement for 25 years.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK114302/

"There is not sufficient scientific evidence to set a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for vitamin B12 at this time."
 
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...but DO get checked for iron before supplementing!!

I used to drink cartoned soy or almond milk every day, and packaged things so I was fine. Then I got a soy milk maker and didn't even think about how I just compromised my daily B12! And-- check nutritional yeast! So many hear it's a good source of B12 but ONLY if it's made to include it (or whatever) My Whole Foods still carries it without B12! First Red Star, now another. I keep checking... I get Bobs Red Mill brand
You need very little if you get it every day. If you miss days, you need to take a much higher dose, not just double.

From http://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/
At least 2,500 mcg (µg) cyanocobalamin once each week, ideally as a chewable, sublingual, or liquid supplement taken on an empty stomach
or at least 250 mcg daily of supplemental cyanocobalamin (you needn't worry about taking too much)
or servings of B12-fortified foods three times a day, each containing at least 25% U.S. "Daily Value" on its label
Those over 65 years of age should take at least 1,000 mcg (µg) cyanocobalamin every day.
Tip: If experiencing deficiency symptoms, the best test is a urine MMA (not serum B12 level)
 

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Please don't be mad, but I've got to correct this statement. There is no need to consult a doctor before taking B12 supplements. There is no evidence that high doses of B12 are harmful. I've taken a high-potency vitamin B12 supplement for 25 years.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK114302/

"There is not sufficient scientific evidence to set a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for vitamin B12 at this time."
I am talking about supplements in general, not particularly about Vitamin B12. Please read the statements once again. :)
 

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Most vegetarians consume dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt. There is more than enough B12 in dairy if this is part of your diet. In the USA, many vegetarians also eat eggs. These too, contain B12.

Regarding the alleged 'estrogen-mimicking compounds,' in soy, I believe there is some debate on how true and to what degree this is a problem. People have been eating soy for many, many years. It dates back well over 8000 years in many parts of Asia. That is a pretty good track record.

As for eating soy, You can live your entire healthy life as a vegetarian and never once eat soy. Personally I can't stand soy.
I agree with you 100%. People always say "oh your eating/drinking soy? It has estrogen like compounds in it. Don't you worry about that?" And there they are drinking their Frappuccino with reg milk that has large amounts actual estrogen and other hormones. The only way for a cow to produce milk is to get pregnant first. Not to mention the pus and blood that is found in milk.
 

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I've been supplementing with B12 for the five years I have been vegan but only once or twice per week at 500 - 1200 mcg depending on the supplement, with occasional fortified plant milks or vegan yogurts. I had my B12 blood level checked a few weeks ago and it came back at a healthy 619 pg/mL which is in the middle of normal range. I'm guessing it would have been lower if I had not supplemented occasionally. I have never supplemented with it daily. One bottle of B12 can last me four or more months.

As far as soy, here is a comprehensive medical study and analysis of phytoestrogens, including Daidzein and genistein that is found most predominantly in soy. Keep in mind that phytoestrogens are found in a wide variety of plant foods, such as leafy greens, flaxseeds, and other beans. Daidzein and genistein are the most concentrated forms of phytoestrogens. Also keep in mind that the studies referenced in the link below used human doses of concentrated phytoestrogens (isolated from their natural environment in concentrated amounts) and greater on rats, far beyond what would be healthy for a rat. So the studies are a bit biased.

In moderation, soy that is found naturally in plant foods such as edamame, tofu, tempeh, and miso is perfectly fine. It has benefits that shouldn't be dismissed, such as iron, protein, omega 3s, and calcium. Fermented soy foods are excellent for healthy gut flora. No need to avoid soy altogether unless one has an allergy to it, or is being treated for breast cancer.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3074428/

The only other supplements I personally take regularly are vitamin D (vegan version) and calcium, and only for medical reasons (I am on a shot for osteoporosis that was diagnosed in 2006 via dexa scan, years before becoming vegan). Everything else I have gotten from food. My hemoglobin also recently tested very healthy at 13.7 g/dL (normal range for women 12.1 - 15.1) and I have never supplemented with iron. Plant foods such as beans, leafy greens, black strap molasses, and some whole grains (all staples for me) are abundant in iron.
 
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