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Going vegan having negative long term nutrition consequences?

LemonadeCandy_LemonadeCandy_ Posts: 195Member Member Posts: 195Member Member
I have been vegan for about three months, and did so without doing a whole lot of research. I just knew that I was picky about meat and dairy made me sick, so I made the change. Now I'm actually doing research and am finding sources saying being vegan long-term is detrimental because there is no way for vegans to get vitamin K2 or process fat soluble vitamins very well? They say it will lead to health and nutrition problems in the long run.

Is this true? If not, where do you get your K2 vitamins from? I take a multivitamin for B12, as well as eating nori in my soups. I'd like to stay vegan for health and ethical reasons, if at all possible. I know vegan vs omnivore can get pretty heated, so please keep it civil and factual. Thank you.
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Replies

  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member Member
    Vitamin K2 is the storage form found in animals. Luckily, you are an animal. You should be capable of converting K1 to K2 as needed.

    My last understanding is that to date, there is no actual RDA for Vitamin K - it appears that most healthy humans have enough produced by bacteria in their gut.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Posts: 20,809Member Member Posts: 20,809Member Member
    This might be of interest to you: http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/vitamink

    I have read some disturbing personal anecdotes online from ex-vegans who attribute certain symptoms to K2 deficiency. In each case I'm familiar with, it looks like the ex-vegans were practicing additional restrictions beyond veganism (that is, they were raw or very low fat or very low protein or a mixture of these). This makes me question whether or not K2 or more general malnutrition was the issue. I'm not aware of any *studies* backing up the scary stories I've read about K2 from ex-vegans.

    Generally, I would tread very cautiously when dealing with personal anecdotes (if those are the sources you are referring to).
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Posts: 42,486Member, Greeter Member Posts: 42,486Member, Greeter Member
    For some it would just be the volume of food to be eaten, if protein is high on their list.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png
  • feisty_bucketfeisty_bucket Posts: 990Member Member Posts: 990Member Member
    If you look into it, you'll find very low rates of long-term adherence to vegan diets.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Posts: 20,809Member Member Posts: 20,809Member Member
    If you look into it, you'll find very low rates of long-term adherence to vegan diets.

    But I believe the studies undertaken on this issue have shown that feeling "abnormal" or a lack of social support are more important factors in adherence to veganism than the development of health problems/nutritional deficiencies.
  • jenhebert2014jenhebert2014 Posts: 1Member Member Posts: 1Member Member
    Been a vegan for 20 plus years and I run 50 mile races on a vegan diet with no issues. I went in for a check up and blood work recently and I'm in perfect health. The biggest thing is figuring out how to cook a good vegan meal that is both healthy and satisfying. I highly recommend thug kitchen or any of the other popular books or online recipes. Good luck!
  • GaleHawkinsGaleHawkins Posts: 7,617Member Member Posts: 7,617Member Member
    @CatSkull I use Super K with Advanced K2 Complex by Life Extension. The Vit K2 is what tells Vit D3 to put calcium in the bones and teeth and out of the arteries if they are getting clogged. Just taking Vit D3 without enough Vit K2 can lead to heart valve damage I read. That is why I now take Vit. K2 since I take a lot of Vit D3. I share your concerns about your way of eating. @jenhebert2014 sounds like she has a lot of experience. I eat Low Carb High Fat and like being vegan there are people saying we are screwing up our health but it has addressed my forty years of pain and other health issues over the past 18 months that I have been LCHF. Just keep up your annual physical/lab tests and you will know what to tweak. Being off of processed foods I have make sure I eat salt and get my other minerals. The coconut oil that I use is Vegan but do eat some meat but LCHF is not a high protein way of eating in my case. Best of success and keep researching your diet for more details. I am learning a lot on MFP forums. Now I trying to learn what info is factual and what is false. :)
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Posts: 20,809Member Member Posts: 20,809Member Member
    @CatSkull I use Super K with Advanced K2 Complex by Life Extension. The Vit K2 is what tells Vit D3 to put calcium in the bones and teeth and out of the arteries if they are getting clogged. Just taking Vit D3 without enough Vit K2 can lead to heart valve damage I read. That is why I now take Vit. K2 since I take a lot of Vit D3. I share your concerns about your way of eating. @jenhebert2014 sounds like she has a lot of experience. I eat Low Carb High Fat and like being vegan there are people saying we are screwing up our health but it has addressed my forty years of pain and other health issues over the past 18 months that I have been LCHF. Just keep up your annual physical/lab tests and you will know what to tweak. Being off of processed foods I have make sure I eat salt and get my other minerals. The coconut oil that I use is Vegan but do eat some meat but LCHF is not a high protein way of eating in my case. Best of success and keep researching your diet for more details. I am learning a lot on MFP forums. Now I trying to learn what info is factual and what is false. :)

    That supplement has gelatin and beeswax, so it wouldn't be appropriate for vegans.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 36,703Member Member Posts: 36,703Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    Vitamin K2 is the storage form found in animals. Luckily, you are an animal. You should be capable of converting K1 to K2 as needed.

    My last understanding is that to date, there is no actual RDA for Vitamin K - it appears that most healthy humans have enough produced by bacteria in their gut.

    This...

    Also OP, there are plenty of vegan sources of dietary fat to aid in absorption of fat soluble vitamins. I would think the biggest issue would be B-12 and omega 3 if one weren't supplementing.
  • stealthqstealthq Posts: 4,307Member Member Posts: 4,307Member Member
    shell1005 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    For some it would just be the volume of food to be eaten, if protein is high on their list.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    I've never had an issue getting even above adequate amounts of protein when eating vegan. Vegan isn't just vegetables and there are plenty of protein rich foods for the choosing.

    I can see it being a problem if the person is very picky - someone that can't make themselves eat a lot of foods because they can't get over the texture, that sort of thing. But if that's the case, any restrictive diet is going to be an issue on top of the restrictions they already impose on themselves.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Posts: 20,809Member Member Posts: 20,809Member Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    senecarr wrote: »
    Vitamin K2 is the storage form found in animals. Luckily, you are an animal. You should be capable of converting K1 to K2 as needed.

    My last understanding is that to date, there is no actual RDA for Vitamin K - it appears that most healthy humans have enough produced by bacteria in their gut.

    This...

    Also OP, there are plenty of vegan sources of dietary fat to aid in absorption of fat soluble vitamins. I would think the biggest issue would be B-12 and omega 3 if one weren't supplementing.

    You are absolutely correct.

    B12 supplementation (or consumption of fortified foods) is essential for vegans.

    The science on omega-3 and how efficiently our bodies can convert other fats into omega-3 is still kind of unclear (and studies of omega-3 levels in vegans are still kind of confusing, at least to me). I personally have chosen to supplement with a vegan DHA based on recommendations from veganhealth.org (a science-based site run by a vegan RD).
  • TheCrawlingChaosTheCrawlingChaos Posts: 462Member Member Posts: 462Member Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    senecarr wrote: »
    Vitamin K2 is the storage form found in animals. Luckily, you are an animal. You should be capable of converting K1 to K2 as needed.

    My last understanding is that to date, there is no actual RDA for Vitamin K - it appears that most healthy humans have enough produced by bacteria in their gut.

    This...

    Also OP, there are plenty of vegan sources of dietary fat to aid in absorption of fat soluble vitamins. I would think the biggest issue would be B-12 and omega 3 if one weren't supplementing.

    You are absolutely correct.

    B12 supplementation (or consumption of fortified foods) is essential for vegans.

    The science on omega-3 and how efficiently our bodies can convert other fats into omega-3 is still kind of unclear (and studies of omega-3 levels in vegans are still kind of confusing, at least to me). I personally have chosen to supplement with a vegan DHA based on recommendations from veganhealth.org (a science-based site run by a vegan RD).

    You can definitely get omega 3 from a lot of vegan sources, such as nuts, seeds, and beans, but if I'm not mistaken they are usually high in omega 6 as well , which messed with omega 3 in some way. I make sure to get foods with omega 3 in my diet, but I also take a supplement to fill that gap that may be there because of the omega 6.

    I also remember reading that iron and iodine are commonly missing from vegan diets. I think I get enough iron, but women's iron needs are higher than men's so that's something to consider.

    I actually take a vegan multivitamin, even though I know it's probably mostly a waste of money, to hopefully cover anything I may be lacking in my diet, even if there are vegan sources available. I try to vary my diet up to get a wide range of nutrients, but I'm lazy sometimes.
    edited March 2016
  • jgnatcajgnatca Posts: 14,495Member Member Posts: 14,495Member Member
    I listened to a vegetarian on a radio show talk about her vitamin B12 deficiency that she did not notice, and passed on to her infant because...breast milk best, right?

    "Breastfed infants may develop clinical signs of vitamin B12 deficiency before their mothers do. Vitamin B12 deficiency may develop in the breastfed infant by 2 – 6 months of age, but may not be clinically apparent until 6 – 12 months. Signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency in infants include vomiting, lethargy, anemia, failure to thrive, hypotonia (low muscle tone), and developmental delay/regression." http://kellymom.com/nutrition/vitamins/vitamin-b12/

    By the time she found out about the deficiency, the damage had been done.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Posts: 20,809Member Member Posts: 20,809Member Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    senecarr wrote: »
    Vitamin K2 is the storage form found in animals. Luckily, you are an animal. You should be capable of converting K1 to K2 as needed.

    My last understanding is that to date, there is no actual RDA for Vitamin K - it appears that most healthy humans have enough produced by bacteria in their gut.

    This...

    Also OP, there are plenty of vegan sources of dietary fat to aid in absorption of fat soluble vitamins. I would think the biggest issue would be B-12 and omega 3 if one weren't supplementing.

    You are absolutely correct.

    B12 supplementation (or consumption of fortified foods) is essential for vegans.

    The science on omega-3 and how efficiently our bodies can convert other fats into omega-3 is still kind of unclear (and studies of omega-3 levels in vegans are still kind of confusing, at least to me). I personally have chosen to supplement with a vegan DHA based on recommendations from veganhealth.org (a science-based site run by a vegan RD).

    You can definitely get omega 3 from a lot of vegan sources, such as nuts, seeds, and beans, but if I'm not mistaken they are usually high in omega 6 as well , which messed with omega 3 in some way. I make sure to get foods with omega 3 in my diet, but I also take a supplement to fill that gap that may be there because of the omega 6.

    I also remember reading that iron and iodine are commonly missing from vegan diets. I think I get enough iron, but women's iron needs are higher than men's so that's something to consider.

    I actually take a vegan multivitamin, even though I know it's probably mostly a waste of money, to hopefully cover anything I may be lacking in my diet, even if there are vegan sources available. I try to vary my diet up to get a wide range of nutrients, but I'm lazy sometimes.

    The specific issue with omega-3 is how efficiently the body can convert ALAs into DHAs. ALAs are found in a wide variety of foods, DHAs are in seaweed (which I don't eat regularly and that is what I supplement). I vastly over-simplified the issue in my post above. This explains it pretty well -- http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/omega3

    Some vegans do need to pay attention to their iron and iodine consumption, although others do just fine. I personally supplement iron (I struggled with iron levels even prior to going vegan). Since I mostly cook with sea salt at home, I also take an iodine supplement three times a week.
  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    senecarr wrote: »
    Vitamin K2 is the storage form found in animals. Luckily, you are an animal. You should be capable of converting K1 to K2 as needed.

    My last understanding is that to date, there is no actual RDA for Vitamin K - it appears that most healthy humans have enough produced by bacteria in their gut.

    This...

    Also OP, there are plenty of vegan sources of dietary fat to aid in absorption of fat soluble vitamins. I would think the biggest issue would be B-12 and omega 3 if one weren't supplementing.

    You are absolutely correct.

    B12 supplementation (or consumption of fortified foods) is essential for vegans.

    The science on omega-3 and how efficiently our bodies can convert other fats into omega-3 is still kind of unclear (and studies of omega-3 levels in vegans are still kind of confusing, at least to me). I personally have chosen to supplement with a vegan DHA based on recommendations from veganhealth.org (a science-based site run by a vegan RD).

    You can definitely get omega 3 from a lot of vegan sources, such as nuts, seeds, and beans, but if I'm not mistaken they are usually high in omega 6 as well , which messed with omega 3 in some way. I make sure to get foods with omega 3 in my diet, but I also take a supplement to fill that gap that may be there because of the omega 6.

    I also remember reading that iron and iodine are commonly missing from vegan diets. I think I get enough iron, but women's iron needs are higher than men's so that's something to consider.

    I actually take a vegan multivitamin, even though I know it's probably mostly a waste of money, to hopefully cover anything I may be lacking in my diet, even if there are vegan sources available. I try to vary my diet up to get a wide range of nutrients, but I'm lazy sometimes.

    RDA's cover something link 98% of people without a medical condition, regardless of gender, so 100% RDA should already cover a woman even if women have higher iron needs.
  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    senecarr wrote: »
    Vitamin K2 is the storage form found in animals. Luckily, you are an animal. You should be capable of converting K1 to K2 as needed.

    My last understanding is that to date, there is no actual RDA for Vitamin K - it appears that most healthy humans have enough produced by bacteria in their gut.

    This...

    Also OP, there are plenty of vegan sources of dietary fat to aid in absorption of fat soluble vitamins. I would think the biggest issue would be B-12 and omega 3 if one weren't supplementing.

    You are absolutely correct.

    B12 supplementation (or consumption of fortified foods) is essential for vegans.

    The science on omega-3 and how efficiently our bodies can convert other fats into omega-3 is still kind of unclear (and studies of omega-3 levels in vegans are still kind of confusing, at least to me). I personally have chosen to supplement with a vegan DHA based on recommendations from veganhealth.org (a science-based site run by a vegan RD).

    You can definitely get omega 3 from a lot of vegan sources, such as nuts, seeds, and beans, but if I'm not mistaken they are usually high in omega 6 as well , which messed with omega 3 in some way. I make sure to get foods with omega 3 in my diet, but I also take a supplement to fill that gap that may be there because of the omega 6.

    I also remember reading that iron and iodine are commonly missing from vegan diets. I think I get enough iron, but women's iron needs are higher than men's so that's something to consider.

    I actually take a vegan multivitamin, even though I know it's probably mostly a waste of money, to hopefully cover anything I may be lacking in my diet, even if there are vegan sources available. I try to vary my diet up to get a wide range of nutrients, but I'm lazy sometimes.

    The specific issue with omega-3 is how efficiently the body can convert ALAs into DHAs. ALAs are found in a wide variety of foods, DHAs are in seaweed (which I don't eat regularly and that is what I supplement). I vastly over-simplified the issue in my post above. This explains it pretty well -- http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/omega3

    Some vegans do need to pay attention to their iron and iodine consumption, although others do just fine. I personally supplement iron (I struggled with iron levels even prior to going vegan). Since I mostly cook with sea salt at home, I also take an iodine supplement three times a week.

    There have been a few interesting GMO's for making more land based plants produce Omega-3's that are readily bio-available to humans. Unfortunately they aren't at commercial levels yet, and the primary drive for them seems to be to turn around and use them as fish feed for farmed fish.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Posts: 20,809Member Member Posts: 20,809Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    senecarr wrote: »
    Vitamin K2 is the storage form found in animals. Luckily, you are an animal. You should be capable of converting K1 to K2 as needed.

    My last understanding is that to date, there is no actual RDA for Vitamin K - it appears that most healthy humans have enough produced by bacteria in their gut.

    This...

    Also OP, there are plenty of vegan sources of dietary fat to aid in absorption of fat soluble vitamins. I would think the biggest issue would be B-12 and omega 3 if one weren't supplementing.

    You are absolutely correct.

    B12 supplementation (or consumption of fortified foods) is essential for vegans.

    The science on omega-3 and how efficiently our bodies can convert other fats into omega-3 is still kind of unclear (and studies of omega-3 levels in vegans are still kind of confusing, at least to me). I personally have chosen to supplement with a vegan DHA based on recommendations from veganhealth.org (a science-based site run by a vegan RD).

    You can definitely get omega 3 from a lot of vegan sources, such as nuts, seeds, and beans, but if I'm not mistaken they are usually high in omega 6 as well , which messed with omega 3 in some way. I make sure to get foods with omega 3 in my diet, but I also take a supplement to fill that gap that may be there because of the omega 6.

    I also remember reading that iron and iodine are commonly missing from vegan diets. I think I get enough iron, but women's iron needs are higher than men's so that's something to consider.

    I actually take a vegan multivitamin, even though I know it's probably mostly a waste of money, to hopefully cover anything I may be lacking in my diet, even if there are vegan sources available. I try to vary my diet up to get a wide range of nutrients, but I'm lazy sometimes.

    The specific issue with omega-3 is how efficiently the body can convert ALAs into DHAs. ALAs are found in a wide variety of foods, DHAs are in seaweed (which I don't eat regularly and that is what I supplement). I vastly over-simplified the issue in my post above. This explains it pretty well -- http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/omega3

    Some vegans do need to pay attention to their iron and iodine consumption, although others do just fine. I personally supplement iron (I struggled with iron levels even prior to going vegan). Since I mostly cook with sea salt at home, I also take an iodine supplement three times a week.

    There have been a few interesting GMO's for making more land based plants produce Omega-3's that are readily bio-available to humans. Unfortunately they aren't at commercial levels yet, and the primary drive for them seems to be to turn around and use them as fish feed for farmed fish.

    I hadn't heard that. This would be useful not just for vegans, but for non-vegans who don't care much for fish.
  • KayTeeOneKayTeeOne Posts: 123Member Member Posts: 123Member Member
    Of course it has bad effects on your body . You are depriving your body of things it needs
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