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brendanhill

Does anyone successfully adhere to a CR ovo-vegetarian diet?

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Aside from locally sourced eggs, I adhere to a vegan diet. I would like to start practising CR principles and I would like to know others who have successfully practised it in a vegan or ovo-vegetarian way.

 

Specifically from vegans/ovo-vegetarians I would like to know:

 

- What if anything do you supplement?

- How do you form confidence with your B12, iron and calcium intake?

 

From everyone I would like to know:

 

- Do you accept the mainstream RDI's for vitamins as given? Alternatively how do you justify different RDI's?

 

Regards,

-Brendan

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Welcome to the CR Society Forums Brendan!

 

 I would like to start practising CR principles..

 

First - get blood tests done before you start practicing any additional calorie restriction, you'll be glad you did later, when you want to be able to do "before/after" comparisons.

 

I would like to know others who have successfully practised it in a vegan or ovo-vegetarian way.

 

I'm from the CR vegans, and I'm hear to help :)xyz. [youtube link for anyone who doesn't get the reference].

 

Specifically from vegans/ovo-vegetarians I would like to know:

 

- What if anything do you supplement?

 

My complete and up-to-date vegan supplement regime (including Amazon links) is detailed in this post. Look at the whole thread for the complete discussion.

 

 

- How do you form confidence with your B12, iron and calcium intake?

 

For all three, I supplement in addition to getting (supposedly) sufficient of the latter two from my diet. Further, for B12 and iron, the answer to your question about confidence can be summarized in two words - blood testing.

 

See this thread for discussion of B12. And these two threads for discussion of iron deficiency, anemia and supplementation, as well as this thread on my recent bloodwork, which includes discussion of iron levels.

 

As for calcium, its hard to test sufficiency, and even DEXA scans for bone mineral density are of dubious values, particularly for CR folks. Largely, we CR folks try to get sufficient calcium from diet (plus in my case, modest supplementation of around 250mg/day), and hope that evidence from CR studies like the one discussed here are correct i.e. that our CR bones are light but nevertheless strong. But bone health is an important topic that shouldn't be ignored, as this sad tale from a CR practitioner who wasn't careful about diet and exercise, attests.

 

Let us know if you have additional questions after digesting all this material!

 

--Dean

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Oops - forgot your last question: 

 

- Do you accept the mainstream RDI's for vitamins as given? Alternatively how do you justify different RDI's?

 

Yes - but with a few exceptions in my case.

 

I keep sodium intake much lower than the 2300 mg/day the RDI talks about - I get around 800-1000 mg/day.

 

Vitamin D is another one - I get several thousand IU per day, and (again) blood tests show my vitamin D levels are barely adequate (~30ng/dl).

 

Iron is one where due to low bioavailability on a vegan diet, and my body's apparent unwillingness to store much iron, I need to get much more than the RDI to avoid anemia - to the tune of about 7x the RDA, about 1/2 from diet and 1/2 from supplements. But I'm likely an outlier on this one.

 

B12 is an instance where you want to take much more than the RDA if you (like me) are supplementing only once per day.

 

See my supplement regime linked to above and associated discussion for details on most of these points.

 

Good luck!

 

--Dean

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Hi Brendan:

 

You ask whether we accept the dietary reference guidelines for intake of nutrients.  You would need to have an extraordinarily high level of knowledge to disagree with them.  However, there are a couple of situations where I might choose to adopt a different approach.  

 

A)  A blood test once found I was deficient B12.  This even though I had been apparently consuming enough of it.  So, I now supplement a tiny amount daily when I remember.  Similarly, many people, if tested, are found to be deficient or insufficent vitamin D - serum 25(OH)D.  I supplement it aiming for an SI blood level of between 100 and 125 (divide by 2.5 to convert to US units.)  But generally I supplement only up to the RDA.

 

B)  It seems likely the bioavailability of a nutrient will vary from one food to another.  And also between individuals, especially among those with specific intestinal problems.  But, I hear you asking, how can we each determine what we need?  Answer: we can't.  It is all a stab in the dark approximation.  But certainly better than no guidance at all.  Some nutrients it is nearly impossible to overdose, so supplementation is no problem.  But in the case of others (zinc probably for sure, and likely all the metallic nutrients) overdosing is quite easy and very undesirable.  So if you supplement be careful about how much of each you choose to take.

 

My bet is that fifty years from now when you go for a checkup you will provide blood and urine samples a week ahead of time and the checkup will be conducted in the light of the results.  (Where I am they take the samples at the time of the checkup having no idea what the results will show!).  And in addition, among the test results, there will be many that measure body nutrient adequacy in terms of the amount circulating in the blood or located in other storage depots.  This will be far superior to the current approach which, in effect, guesses using a single assumed absorption rate for all foods for every individual.

 

However, given tight budgets, and a resulting reluctance to even authorize a test (fasting insulin for example) no matter how revealing it might be, unless there is a specific pill to be prescribed if it falls outside some range, it will be a long time before 'the system' gets around to doing this stuff in a truly 'professional' manner, imo. 

 

Hopefully someone here will have a better answer than the very unsatisfactory one I have provided above!

 

Rodney.

 

=============

 

"The unverified conventional wisdom is almost invariably mistaken."

Edited by nicholson

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