"B12, Omega-3's, and the Vegan Diet" or "Should I Eat Fish?" - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-28-2005, 11:43 AM
 
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I am also a former whole foods vegan who now eats meet.

LoveMyLittles -- those symptoms sound very familiar. My own severe postpartum depression was curbed by a custom amino acid supplement. Search for my name and amino acids and you'll find some discussions around here. I also have some grain intolerances that I think contributed to the memory loss, vision problems, and inability to focus.

Have you considered bone broth? It would be a good addition to the fish.

Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.

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Old 07-28-2005, 01:11 PM
 
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Search the archives I know several mama's who posted here and switched from a vegan diet to add dairy and meat. A vegan diet can be healthy but, for many people their B-12's will too low after years of this lifestyle. I hope you find the right answer for you. I know it was a very hard decision for my friends. One of them now eats all meat and dairy (mostly organic) and the other is still on the fence, adding very little eggs and fish to her diet.

Spirulina- is the algae that fish eat
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Old 07-28-2005, 01:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mz_libbie22
Oh my...if I were you I would have given up veganism at the first sign of any of those symptoms. Have you had any blood/hair tests done to see what you're lacking in? You could also be low in Vitamin A and D which are also lacking in a vegan diet (beta carotene and vitamin A are not the same).
Actually, they've done studies of actual vegans and found that vitamin D deficiency is much more rare than researchers expected. Seems most vegans (myself included) are informed enough about their health to get 10-15 minutes of summer sun three times a week to maintain vitamin D stores or to consume fortified foods. Sorry--I just get a little riled by blanket statements like "X is lacking in a vegan diet." When an omnivore has health problems, the first response of most people isn't "well then you obviously need to give up meat." But when a vegan has health problems, the first response tends to be, "It must be diet-related." There are some things that can be lacking in any poorly planned diet. People eating the SAD most commonly lack fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, etc. Which doesn't mean that if you eat the SAD you will lack those things. It just means that everyone--no matter what you eat--needs to know their nutritional needs and take adequate steps to meet them.
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Old 07-28-2005, 01:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by celrae

Spirulina- is the algae that fish eat
Yes, I looked it up. fish eat a microalae from which they get the essential fatty acids that people get from eating the fish. I'd suggest going strait to the microalgea. The book I am refering to, "Becoming Vegan," suggested two companies who provide the microalgea in pill form - I don't have the book with me but the companies were something like Omegatech and Mertek.

Anyone know?
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Old 07-28-2005, 02:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mz_libbie22
Oh my...if I were you I would have given up veganism at the first sign of any of those symptoms. Have you had any blood/hair tests done to see what you're lacking in? You could also be low in Vitamin A and D which are also lacking in a vegan diet (beta carotene and vitamin A are not the same).

Put your health first and do whatever you need to do to feel better!


This is just NOT true. The truth is most people don't eat a nutrient rich diet regardless of if they are meat eaters or veg*n. From all the studies they have conducted though veg*ns are healthier overall, have much lower rates of cancer , heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

I do agree put your health first. That is the main reason I eat a high nutrient vegan diet!

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Old 07-28-2005, 02:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sheacoby
This is just NOT true. The truth is most people don't eat a nutrient rich diet regardless of if they are meat eaters or veg*n. From all the studies they have conducted though veg*ns are healthier overall, have much lower rates of cancer , heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
ITA agree that most folks are nutrient deficient.

The problem with most research is the base of comparison: veg*ns compared to the average American are, indeed, much healthier. That's not the base of comparison that I think is most useful. But it took serious depression for me to realize that.

Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.

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Old 07-28-2005, 03:01 PM
 
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Not all the studies are done based on the typical American diet though. The China Project being one of them. For you eating flesh cured your depression and that's good but I do not think that is the norm at all. Animal foods are more likely to lead to disease not cure them.

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Old 07-28-2005, 03:37 PM
 
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What exactly did I say that was false? That vitamin D is not present in a vegan diet? Well, I'm sorry but it's a FACT that there is no vitamin D in vegan food. I didn't say that *vegans* have no vitamin D in them I said
*vegan food* had no vitamin D, there IS a difference. Sure everything is "fortified" now but I have yet to see any solid evidence that this process can even compare to getting nutrients the natural way.

Getting back to the OP, (who stated that she did NOT want to rely on pills and fortified food and was then continually recommended them), I see the real false statements made here are by those who imply fish is on the same level as radioactive waste, when in fact there are just as many studies showing the benefits of fish as there are showing the benefits of veg food.

FYI, people with dark skin are showing rising incidences of deficiency in vit D, vit D is best available via the sun between 10 AM and 3 PM (when most people are inside working or at school), darker skinned people need more than 10-15 minutes of exposure, people in Northern/colder climates need a vitamin D source in their diet, and vit D is a fat soluble vitamin so you need plenty of fat in your diet for it to be bioavailable.


ANYWAY, I just recommend that she get her levels checked, I didn't mean to imply that I thought she was inherently deficient just because she's a vegan.
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Old 07-28-2005, 04:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mz_libbie22
What exactly did I say that was false? That vitamin D is not present in a vegan diet? Well, I'm sorry but it's a FACT that there is no vitamin D in vegan food. I didn't say that *vegans* have no vitamin D in them I said
*vegan food* had no vitamin D, there IS a difference. Sure everything is "fortified" now but I have yet to see any solid evidence that this process can even compare to getting nutrients the natural way.
.
Just wanted to add this: while there are high levels of vitamin D in some fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, and cod liver oil), the majority of non-vegan Americans get their dietary vitamin D from a fortified food--vitamin D fortified milk--as well as from fortified cereals.

In any event, I think your suggestion to do a full blood work-up is the best one. It's very easy to say, "Oh you must be lacking this or that because of your diet", but there's no way of knowing without checking (especially important, because people often assume that vegans have higher incidence of anemia and other deficiencies, when the reality doesn't necessarily bear that out).
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Old 07-28-2005, 04:14 PM
 
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People are getting less vitamin D because people are avoiding the sun and wearing sunscreen. The most significant source of vitamin D (for flesh eaters as well as veg*ns) comes from the sythesis of ultra-violet B light on sterols in the skin. The majority of people need no extra vitamin D from food when regularly exposed to sunlight when the sun is high in the sky. Even the sky shine on a cloudy summer day will stimulate formation of some D in the skin. So yes the natural way is best and when it comes to vitamin D that would be sunlight!
That said though most people get their vitamin D from fortified foods , regardless of if they eat flesh or not.

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Old 07-28-2005, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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one thing i will say about the vegan diet... i DO have fabulous blood pressure!

obviously a person who eats horribly, whatever diet they follow, is going to be less than healthy. this goes for meat eaters who eat too much fast food, and vegans who eat soda and chips all day... really though, i think it's totally unhealthy to overindulge in meat. but i wont say that eating some meat in moderation is going to give a person health problems. the vegan thing for me has ALWAYS been about the ethical issue, period. if i end up having to eat meat for my health, it will be whatever will give me the most benefit while causing the least amount of suffering.

i'm not going to try it just yet, i don't think. i am going to give up seitan and tofu (except for maybe on special occasions )... and i'm going to look more into some of the stuff that people mentioned here, the dha and the spirulina etc... i don't love the idea of living on supplements, but if they work i think i might rather do that then eat an animal. i don't think it's the most natural way to live, but i'm just not sure i could ever stomach cooking and eating flesh. the broth and maybe the fish oil sound a bit more doable though... we'll see how i do with the supplements though first.

thanks everyone for your input.

PS... i have had bloodwork done... lots and lots of bloodwork. i am definately not deficient in B12 or vitamin D etc., probably because i do eat a ton of fortified foods. i am mostly concerned about the EFAs. i mentioned B12 in the title just because it happens to be one of the things i was reading about... i probably shouldn't have though, because i'm not all that concerned about it at the moment.
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Old 07-28-2005, 07:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LoveMyLittles
one thing i will say about the vegan diet... i DO have fabulous blood pressure!

obviously a person who eats horribly, whatever diet they follow, is going to be less than healthy. this goes for meat eaters who eat too much fast food, and vegans who eat soda and chips all day... really though, i think it's totally unhealthy to overindulge in meat. but i wont say that eating some meat in moderation is going to give a person health problems. the vegan thing for me has ALWAYS been about the ethical issue, period. if i end up having to eat meat for my health, it will be whatever will give me the most benefit while causing the least amount of suffering.

i'm not going to try it just yet, i don't think. i am going to give up seitan and tofu (except for maybe on special occasions )... and i'm going to look more into some of the stuff that people mentioned here, the dha and the spirulina etc... i don't love the idea of living on supplements, but if they work i think i might rather do that then eat an animal. i don't think it's the most natural way to live, but i'm just not sure i could ever stomach cooking and eating flesh. the broth and maybe the fish oil sound a bit more doable though... we'll see how i do with the supplements though first.

thanks everyone for your input.

PS... i have had bloodwork done... lots and lots of bloodwork. i am definately not deficient in B12 or vitamin D etc., probably because i do eat a ton of fortified foods. i am mostly concerned about the EFAs. i mentioned B12 in the title just because it happens to be one of the things i was reading about... i probably shouldn't have though, because i'm not all that concerned about it at the moment.


Good luck and keep us posted!

I bought some Spirulina last winter and I'm trying to force myself to take it regularly. I think I may need to start taking a zinc sup. too. I *hate* pills but like you said the alternative is not much more appetizing
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Old 07-29-2005, 04:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by toraji

If you are wondering how well your body converts EFA's, then you can do a simple vegan test. Try taking a vegan DHA supplement (extracted from algae) and see if you feel better over just your plant oil supplements. If you do notice a difference, then you are probably having some problems with conversion.
Good suggestion!

I use the O-Mega-Zen vegan DHA supplement by Nu Tru. I buy mine online at www.veganessentials.com/
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Old 07-29-2005, 04:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mz_libbie22
I don't know, I think from an environmental/animal rights perspective land animals from small pasture raised farms or local "game" meat would be better than fish. Fishing is done on such a large scale with other animals getting caught along with the fish, they die a slow death by suffocation, and even the organic fisheries are pretty crowded and the fish can't swim the long distances that they would in nature. There are environmentally sustainable and humane farmers as well as factory farmers, so maybe the same can be said about fisherman? I don't know, from what I've read wild caught salmon is the best choice from a health perspective and probably from an enviro/animal rights perspective as well.
What is an "organic fishery"? I didn't think that there was organic certification for fish farms--at least not in the US (not sure about elsewhere).
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