We need to get serious for a moment. While vegetarians and vegans get other vitamins in adequate amounts, taking a vitamin B12 supplement is a must for vegans, since they don’t get any through their diet. And while vegetarians do get some B12 through either dairy or eggs, it may not be enough, especially if their intake is modest or only occasional.
Vitamin B12, like the other B vitamins, is important for metabolism. It helps in the formation of red blood cells, and in the maintenance of the central nervous system, among other important things. The good news is that the body can store it for years, protecting you if you miss taking some now and again. However, if your body runs out of its supplies, because it’s been missing from your diet for a long time or has only been taken occasionally, there’ll be very serious consequences. Deficiency causes a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia, damage to the spinal cord, brain and peripheral nerves, especially in the arms and legs. The nerve and brain damage can be permanent, and can cause dementia and psychiatric disorders. Low or marginal vitamin B12 status in pregnant women increases the risk for neural tube birth defects.
As the days grow shorter and colder at this time of year, we get much less opportunity to expose our skin to sunlight. We all need to ensure an adequate Vitamin D intake during the winter months, since it’s almost impossible to produce Vitamin D in the skin at this time of year. In fact, there’s been a lot in the news recently about Vitamin D. You may be wondering what the fuss is about, and whether vegetarians and vegans need to worry about it more than anyone else, so we’ve gathered the latest facts to help you decide what to do.
Something smells fishy when it comes to fish oil. It’s useless! A number of recent high quality studies have shown no benefit to fish oil.
According to the latest study from a medical school in England, there’s “good evidence that taking long-chain omega 3 (fish oil, EPA or DHA) supplements does not benefit heart health or reduce our risk of stroke or death from any cause.“
Another study, published in March 2018 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed no benefit for fish oil on heart disease, stroke or any cause of death. A 2014 research letter in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, pointed out that in numerous randomized controlled studies, fish oil results in no reductions in fatal or nonfatal heart attacks and even cancer. Read more
The waste of money on the false notion that fish oil helps prevent heart disease is staggering. Americans spend $1.2 billion dollars on the stuff despite all the evidence that it does no good. An amazing 10% of Americans use fish oil supplements in the hopes of warding off heart disease, among other things.
We’ll give it to you straight though in doctor speak: “accrual of high-level evidence” indicates “that the supplements lack efficacy across a range of health outcomes for which their use is advocated.” In plain English the stuff just doesn’t work as hyped. Commenting on the latest study published in Internal Medicine, former American Heart Association president, Robert Eckel, said “Almost all studies of fish oil supplements show no benefit.” Read more