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What Should Vegans Supplement With?

Answered on February 21, 2014
Created February 19, 2014 at 5:44 AM

My friend is a vegan for ethical reasons, I'm not going to argue with her about it but I'm curious as to what she could supplement with to be as heathy as possible? I think I heard Matt Lalonde mention something about a certain sea plant?

Thanks

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 19, 2014
at 08:15 PM

I was going to say meat, but this is even better.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on February 19, 2014
at 08:11 PM

don't be narrow minded. Insects have been eaten for thousands of years. But not all are good. You would not eat a crow, but you would eat a pheasant. The best arthropods (nutrition-wise) are those that eat excrement (more fermentation!), and/or larvae (the eggs of the invertebrate world).

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 19, 2014
at 07:15 PM

Are rotting fruits with worms inside them still considered "fruitarian"? Lol, I mean, if it came along with the fruit, it's got to be vegan right? Adventurous indeed.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 19, 2014
at 04:33 PM

That's the reaction I have with posts about needing more potassium on a Paleo diet. (I've seen a few on here where things like V8 juice are recommended for the Potassium.) Personally, I feel like I'm just flooded with the stuff to the point of practically supplementing sodium to try to balance the equation and get rid of it. I can't imagine going to a fully plant-based diet and thinking I needed more damn potassium.

Edit: Er, I forget a vegan diet isn't necessarily my "paleo" idea of plant-based diet and could be mostly processed / packaged / salty foods devoid of potassium.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on February 19, 2014
at 04:24 PM

Potassium is the last thing a vegan needs. And beet greens are not that magical. They may be by calorie, but a banana, melon or potato beats the greens.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 19, 2014
at 02:36 PM

Regrettably, once people go into vegan territory, it's usually because they have been thoroughly indoctrinated into believing that animal-derived foods are "toxic" or "inhumane" regardless of any tangible proof, scientific explanation, or logically valid argument you might provide to the contrary.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 19, 2014
at 01:48 PM

"We have firmly established conversations with pearl oysters through years of research" said Tsuneo Honjo. "With kai-lingual, we can hear the 'screams', like 'we are in pain.'"

If they can eat things without a CNS, bird / fish eggs would be a good choice. Oysters do have a nerve network (they have a sense of taste / feel / light sensitivity at the least), whereas eggs are basically a single cell.

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10 Answers

0
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 21, 2014
at 05:21 AM

Chris Kresser just posted on this topic as it happens...here's the link,

why-you-should-think-twice-about-vegetarian-and-vegan-diets

& an excerpt "Several studies have shown that both vegetarians and vegans are prone to deficiencies in B12, calcium, iron, zinc, the long-chain fatty acids EPA & DHA, and fat-soluble vitamins like A & D."

0
7160a3fb485cb0af573c0292fdb08144

on February 20, 2014
at 07:30 PM

Answer: a better knowledge of ethics.

0
1a91ec126b2b4189539b028d2767e518

(320)

on February 20, 2014
at 07:26 PM

I was a vegan for a good twenty years, so I do have experience with this eating regime. The problem with veganism, and to a lesser extent vegetarianism is that without supplementation or permitting yourself oysters and other mollusks that have no CNS, you will not thrive.

After six months of being a vegan, I developed anemia, which is kind of hard to do for males, and my vitamin B-12 was almost nonexistent. I was nineteen at the time. My doctor gave me B-12 shots in the gluteus maximus, and said he was going to feed me raw liver smoothies if I didn't get it together.

Warning: Supplement rant ahead

The problem with supplements is that they are not food. Most supplements and vitamins are synthetics, compounded with chemicals and derivatives of what you should be getting in food. Most supplements do not contain whole food.

I view the supplement industry as a global complex of businesses trying to make a buck on the back of people who should get their nutrition and nutrients from food. Supplements have become a point of almost religious devotion for users. And vegans and vegetarians are some of this cult's most fervent devotees.

I got off the supplement wagon after thirty years of use. I still take a little magnesium, but that's it. I was getting reactions to vitamin D supplementation. Now I keep my D level around 55 with outside sun in the summer and the good months, and with a Sperti Vitamin D lamp in the winter. That's it.

Since jumping 99% off the supplement bandwagon, I feel good, actually much better than before.

What should vegans supplement with? A good start is to dump the supplements and eat an omnivorous diet, with meat and fish. Can't handle the thought of eating meat? Eat lots of fish and ocean products. Spirulina is a good source of nutrients. Spirulina is a single-celled algae with lots of good stuff in it. I used to buy Nutrex Spirulina, grown on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Ditch the supplements. Eat food.

0
871b092ea06c25e547ddfd72bd818dfe

on February 20, 2014
at 07:22 PM

Thank you very much everyone, I'll pass this stuff a long.

0
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on February 19, 2014
at 11:59 PM

I put my thoughts about vegan-paleo and supplementation in one place, easier to read (long): http://eugenia.queru.com/2014/02/19/supplementation-for-vegans/

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on February 19, 2014
at 04:21 PM

Concur that oysters are the single best animal supplement, and they don't even have a face! If your friend is adventurous, several arthropods (insects) are as good as oysters, for a fraction of the cost.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 19, 2014
at 07:15 PM

Are rotting fruits with worms inside them still considered "fruitarian"? Lol, I mean, if it came along with the fruit, it's got to be vegan right? Adventurous indeed.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 19, 2014
at 12:23 PM

Oysters. "Ethical" vegans are a silly lot. Oysters have no CNS so they cannot feel pain, if that's her "ethical" concern, she can eat oysters and other bivalves without breaking her rules. They've got long-chain omega-3s, retinol, zinc, copper, iron and vitamin B12. Which would be my concerns with a vegan diet.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 19, 2014
at 02:36 PM

Regrettably, once people go into vegan territory, it's usually because they have been thoroughly indoctrinated into believing that animal-derived foods are "toxic" or "inhumane" regardless of any tangible proof, scientific explanation, or logically valid argument you might provide to the contrary.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 19, 2014
at 08:15 PM

I was going to say meat, but this is even better.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 19, 2014
at 01:48 PM

"We have firmly established conversations with pearl oysters through years of research" said Tsuneo Honjo. "With kai-lingual, we can hear the 'screams', like 'we are in pain.'"

If they can eat things without a CNS, bird / fish eggs would be a good choice. Oysters do have a nerve network (they have a sense of taste / feel / light sensitivity at the least), whereas eggs are basically a single cell.

0
Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

on February 19, 2014
at 10:51 AM

Something like b12 injections would be pretty helpful I think...

0
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on February 19, 2014
at 09:49 AM

Disclaimer: I'm no doctor or dietitian. This is simply what I'd do if I was going vegan.

I don't think there's a problem with veganism, as long as you're making up for the lost nutrients (at least the ones that science has so far cataloged, because there are a lot that they aren't yet).

So, on "vegan-paleo" avoid gluten, seed oils and too many sugars. Add sea vegetables (3-4 species, I buy on Amazon a dried salad mix) almost daily, or supplement with the vegan version of EPA/DHA pills (made out of seaweed).

For potassium, eat beet leaves once a week. Biggest amount of potassium than any other food.

DO eat legumes. On veganism, you''ll need these, just avoid too much soy (lentils are the best legume in terms of nutrition, and they lose lots of lectins if you soak them for 24 hours and you pressure-cook them). Eat a few almonds daily for vitamin E. Prepare your kale chips with nutritional yeast, to get B1.

Regarding supplements, (NOT all daily, rotate them): Coq10 Ubiquinol (not ubiquinone), B12, taurine, creatine, A, calcium, Magnesium (20 mins before sleep), zinc, Carnosine, lysine, L-carnitine, D3 (mornings, if you're not going out in the sun a lot), K2-Mk4 (if you're not eating fermented foods), PQQ, and some iron (if your doctor approve)s). Since you can't drink bone broth on vegan-paleo, you might need collagen too, especially if you're not getting enough CoQ10, and especially if you're over 40 years old (there are types I, II, and III).

IF you happen to getting into paleo-vegan with your wife/gf, and you have plans to get pregnant, she might need folate (not folic acid, they're different) for 6 months prior to getting pregnant (check with her doctor).

From the above mentioned, taurine, carnosine, L-carnitine, creatine, the body-usable version of B12, and the retinol version of A, can ONLY be found on meat/fish. For the rest I'm mentioning, you can find them on plants, but on LIMITED quantities, hence the recommendation to also supplement with them occasionally.

Unfortunately, there's no "multi-vitamin" for vegan that addresses all of these. Most of the ones that are marketed "for vegans" are just some run of the mill multi-vitamins with ridiculous amounts of B12 in them. They're not serious and they don't take care of the whole spectrum of what a vegan will need. So if you don't want to be deficient on veganism, you'll need to get pills for all these, BUT you'll also need to not over-do it. So for example, you don't get all of these every day, simply rotate them through the week, get no more than 3 a day. You don't need huge quantities of these, as some of these pills provide, you just need enough.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on February 19, 2014
at 04:24 PM

Potassium is the last thing a vegan needs. And beet greens are not that magical. They may be by calorie, but a banana, melon or potato beats the greens.

0
Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 19, 2014
at 06:07 AM

For some reason, I'm thinking this certain sea plant you're referring to is "spirulina" (vegans tend to be low on protein and spirulina is protein-packed) ? That stuff kind of creeps me out.

Most people could use a little more Vitamin D and Magnesium on any diet, so that's usually a good suggestion. I'm a fan of b vitamin supplements, and it's easy to be low on b12 if you're not eating any meat. Iron cookware would be useful, as you often hear about vegans having an increased anemic risk. Vitamin C is also useful and increases plant-based iron absorption. There are a few species of microalgae that produce DHA omega-3 which could be worth looking into (like crypthecodinium and schizochytrium.)

The perfect health diet supplement recommendations is a good starting point. (Point them to the animal-derived products they should be eating.)

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