Adequacy - Vitamin B12

Plant-Based Diets: A Physician’s Guide

Because of the ever-increasing body of evidence in support of the health advantages of plant-based nutrition, there is a need for guidance on implementing its practice. This article provides physicians and other health care practitioners an overview of the myriad benefits of a plant-based diet as well as details on how best to achieve a well-balanced, nutrient-dense meal plan.

Vegan Diet, Subnormal Vitamin B-12 Status and Cardiovascular Health.

Vegetarian diets have been associated with atherosclerosis protection, with healthier atherosclerosis risk profiles, as well as lower prevalence of, and mortality from, ischemic heart disease and stroke. However, there are few data concerning the possible cardiovascular effects of a vegan diet (with no meat, dairy or egg products). Vitamin B-12 deficiency is highly prevalent in vegetarians; this can be partially alleviated by taking dairy/egg products in lact-ovo-vegetarians.

Biologically active vitamin B12 compounds in foods for preventing deficiency among vegetarians and elderly subjects.

The usual dietary sources of vitamin B12 are animal-source based foods, including meat, milk, eggs, fish, and shellfish, although a few plant-based foods such as certain types of dried lavers (nori) and mushrooms contain substantial and considerable amounts of vitamin B12, respectively.

How prevalent is vitamin B(12) deficiency among vegetarians?

Vegetarians are at risk for vitamin B(12) (B12) deficiency due to suboptimal intake. The goal of the present literature review was to assess the rate of B12 depletion and deficiency among vegetarians and vegans. Using a PubMed search to identify relevant publications, 18 articles were found that reported B12 deficiency rates from studies that identified deficiency by measuring methylmalonic acid, holo-transcobalamin II, or both.

Multiple nutritional deficiencies in infants from a strict vegetarian community

Severe nutritional deficiencies developed in four infants from a new vegan religious community. They had received breast milk until the age of 3 months; thereafter, breast milk was supplemented with or replaced by extremely low caloric-density preparations. All of the infants had profound protein-caloric malnutrition, severe rickets, osteoporosis, and vitamin B12 and other deficiencies. One infant died, while the three others had an uneventful recovery.

Vitamin B-12 status of long-term adherents of a strict uncooked vegan diet ("living food diet") is compromised.

The present study examined the vitamin B-12 status in long-term adherents of a strict uncooked vegan diet called the "living food diet." The study was comprised of two parts. In the cross-sectional part, the data on serum vitamin B-12 concentrations and dietary intakes in 21 (1 male, 20 females) long-term adherents (mean 5.2 y, range 0.7-14) of the "living food diet" were compared with those of 21 omnivorous controls matched for sex, age, social status and residence.

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