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How healthy is veganism? Just as with omnivorous and vegetarian diets, ensuring a balanced diet is a key. There are plenty of advantages, but there are some higher risks too. Some people actually choose to go vegan exactly because of health reasons. But to blindly follow a vegan doctrine can have sad consequences too, therefore a well-planned diet supplemented by some nutrients is recommended.

Health arguments

World renowned cardiologist shatters human omnivore myth in one sentence:

William C. Roberts MD has five decades of experience in the field of cardiology, written over 1300 scientific publications, a dozen cardiology textbooks, and has been editor in chief of the American Journal of Cardiology for a quarter of a century. He is arguably the most highly regarded cardiologist in the world today.

In his 2008 editorial "The Cause of Atherosclerosis", published in the peer reviewed journal Nutrition in Clinical Practice, Roberts states that there is a single, sole cause to heart disease: cholesterol. If your total cholesterol is below 150 and LDL is below 70, you are essentially heart attack proof. What is the cause of high cholesterol? Saturated fat and animal products:

Atherosclerosis is easily produced in nonhuman herbivores (eg, rabbits, monkeys) by feeding them a high cholesterol (eg, egg yolks) or high saturated fat (eg, animal fat) diet… And atherosclerosis was not produced in a minority of rats fed these diets, it was produced in 100% of the animals! Indeed, atherosclerosis is one of the easiest diseases to produce experimentally, but the experimental animal must be an herbivore. It is not possible to produce atherosclerosis in a carnivore…"

He elaborates in an earlier editorial:

It is virtually impossible, for example, to produce atherosclerosis in a dog even when 100 grams of cholesterol and 120 grams of butter fat are added to its meat ration. (This amount of cholesterol is approximately 200 times the average amount that human beings in the USA eat each day!). (The American Journal of Cardiology, 1990, vol. 66,896.)

He then utterly annihilates the human omnivore myth in a single sentence. here it is:

Because humans get atherosclerosis, and atherosclerosis is a disease only of herbivores, humans also must be herbivores.

At once the insanity of our times comes into razor sharp relief.

Some may debate whether cholesterol is the sole cause of heart disease. It does not matter, the fact remains that atherosclerosis occurs only in herbivores.

If humans were physiological omnivores, heart disease would not exist, let alone be America's #1 killer for over a hundred years.

It may not be the least bit hyperbolic to say that the existence of heart disease in humans is proof that we, as a species, are vegans.

In any case, a low fat vegan diet has been proven again and again to be the cure for heart disease. A mountain of clinical evidence supports this.

According to Roberts, those who are utterly immune to heart disease without the use of statin drugs are pure vegetarian fruit eaters. His own exact words. fruit eaters.



...The seemingly never ending question vegans have to answer is: Where do you get your protein? The common question belies much ignorance regarding protein and our needs for it.

The World Health Organization recommendation is minimum 0.8 grams of protein per day per kilo of body weight. For example a woman who weighs 94 lbs = 43 kg x 0.8 = 34 grams protein. This amount can easily be met on a vegan diet that adequately meets the persons caloric needs. A general recommendation for women is 2500 calories per day and for men 3000 calories per day. These will of course vary depending upon amount of physical activity. It should also be noted that an argument can be made in favor of the natural, easily digestible amino acids found in raw fruits and vegetables which provide higher quality protein than that found in cooked foods because the cooking process has rendered some of the proteins in the food unusable or actually converted them into toxic substances that the body will have to eliminate. In addition there are a variety of problems which arise when too much protein is ingested in the diet.

   Extra proteins can cause kidney problems in people. A diet with too much protein stresses the kidneys. This can also result in the
   development of kidney stones.  Another important side effect of too much protein is the accumulation of ketones in the blood, a
   condition that is known as ketosis. The kidneys flush out excess proteins along with water, which can lead to dehydration, 
   thus making you feel weak and tired.  The amount of calcium required by the body increases with the amount of protein consumed. 
   If your body in unable to get the minimum required calcium, it will start leeching out calcium from the body. This condition 
   can become worse and lead to osteoporosis, where the bones tend to become brittle and break easily.  While handling excess
   protein, kidneys become unable to process uric acid quickly, thus leading to gout, a type of arthritis. Uric acid accumulates 
   in the joints, hence causing pain and tenderness.  High protein foods that come from animal sources are very high in fats. 
   Excess fat can lead to a rise in cholesterol, eventually putting you at a greater risk of developing heart disease.
   In case the high protein foods are high in calories, you are likely to gain weight easily.  Studies show that women who consume
   excess proteins are more likely to have broken wrists, as compared to women who eat less protein.  Other side effects of too 
   much protein include hypertension, dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea, diabetes, cataracts, arteriosclerosis, different 
   kinds of allergies and increase in the acid content in the blood.


Kombucha is considered by some as a good source of vitamin B12, although such information is not supported by scientific data.

Vitamin B12 is a very important vitamin for our nervous system. Even if requirements are very low, missing B12 in the diet may have important and long term negative consequences. But more than other vitamins (B12 is not technically a vitamin though it is commonly referred to that way), the question of the replacement of animal B12 is complex, and can sometimes have several contradictory answers. For some people (even vegans) B12 can only be found in animal products. Vegans, who accept this premis, supplement their diet with B12 tablets. For others, B12 deficiency resulting from veganism is a myth as some bacteria are producing B12 directly in our digestive system. However, a B12 deficiency can also be caused by an inability to absorb B12. Some people may have acceptable levels of B12 in the blood but are unable to absorb the nutrient. It is important to note that vegans are not the only ones who suffer from B12 deficiency. Studies have shown that a significant percentage of the American population is deficient in B12. This indicates that the issue goes beyond veganism. Many vegans begin with a strong desire to get back to nature in terms of diet. This often leads to a strong resistance among vegans to any kind of supplementation. However it is important to recognize that the foods we eat from the environment we live in today are quite a bit different at least for most of us from the ones we evolved on so long ago. There used to be much higher B12 content in soils and consequently water also. Aside from the small few who are actually growing their own foods with an emphasis on sophisticated composting most of us are not getting B12 from our food or water. While some believe they are doing fine without B12, be advised that it can take many years before the bad symptoms of B12 deficiency begin to arise. And due to the possible damage to the nervous system, vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters are wise to take the issue seriously. As mentioned above a commonly accepted way to get B12 is to use a supplement. There are two common options in the sublingual form. Sublingual is a preferred method for B12 supplementation as there are B12 receptors underneath the tongue. The full chemical name for B12 is cobalamin. The two types of sublingual cobalamin are the cyano and methyl. While both work the methyl is the preferred choice. Many find that oral supplementation does the job of providing enough B12. Others need to look further. Another option for B12 or cobalamin supplementation is injections. One can administer the injections to oneself if not squeamish or get a health practitioner to do the job. Those who supplement with injections take one injection once a month. It is worth noting there that many vegan and meat eating athletes make a point to regularly do B12 injections which studies show enhances physical performance. It is also common that when doctors find B12 deficiency in a patient they proscribe several successive injections until blood levels normalize at which time the patient will then shift to the once a month shot. The only way to really know if you are low in B12 is to get tested. This is generally done if you get a full panel blood test but the commonly used test for B12 is not very reliable. If you want to be certain, make sure you get the umma test which tests the urine for B12. Know that different countries have different base lines in terms of what is a healthy level of B12. Japan has the highest standard with a recommended minimum of 550 pg/ml.

Vitamin D

Your primary, best source for vitamin D is the sun. The sun’s energy turns a chemical (7-dehydrocholesterol) in your skin into vitamin D3, which is carried to your liver and then your kidneys to transform it to active vitamin D. If you can get adequate exposure to the sun on your bare skin this should supply the body with the needed vitamin D. If you live in a tropical climate, then you are probably getting plenty of sunlight. 10 minutes in the noonday sun in shorts and a tank top will give you the the necessary vitamin D for a day. For most of us though, we undergo a winter of some duration during which time our access to sunlight on our bare skin is reduced. In addition the angle of the sun in winter affects the penetration of sunlight into the atmosphere. Many vegans choose to supplement with vitamin D during these times of sunlight scarcity. One way to supplement is with a light array with special bulbs indoor that is used to simulate the effects of the sun. But getting this to work at a reasonable cost may be tricky. The common approach is oral supplementation. There are two options namely D2 and D3. D2 is a vegan variation and D3 is non vegan. The problem here according to some is that the D2 will not meet the body's requirements. Consequently some vegans will break down and use the D3, which is a violation of their ethical perspective and yet good for their health. This is a personal decision. There is also simply the option to accept that for some parts of the year you will be deficient in vitamin D. One may not be having the optimal health they're capable of if they go this route but it can be an option for vegans who are not willing to bend their ethical principles.

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