Vegans Prone to Omega-3, Vit B12 Deficiency

April 7, 2011

1 Min Read
Vegans Prone to Omega-3, Vit B12 Deficiency

HANGZHOU, ChinaIndividuals who adhere to strict vegetarian or vegan diets lack several key nutrients, including iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids, which increase their risk of heart disease, according to a new review published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

A Zhejiang University researcher reviewed dozens of articles on the effect of a habitual vegetarian diet on clinical complications in relation to chemistry and biochemistry and found while a balanced vegetarian diet can provide enough protein, this isn't always the case when it comes to fat and fatty acids. As a result, vegans tend to have elevated blood levels of homocysteine and decreased levels of HDL, the "good" form of cholesterol. Both are risk factors for heart disease.

The findings supported a strong scientific basis for vegetarians and vegans to increase their dietary omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 to help contend with cardiovascular risks. Good sources of omega-3s include salmon and other oily fish, walnuts and certain other nuts. Good sources of vitamin B12 include seafood, eggs, and fortified milk.

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