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sM1o

Going complete vegan

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Hello dear community,

I'm interested in how you manage to decide living completely vegan.
If I've done my research correctly, there are "nutrients" that a human-being is proven to lack when it separates himself from the animal.
I take such decisions critically when I have to take something like dietary supplements.

many Greetings

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I think the 2 main supplements recommended for vegans are also generally recommended for non-vegans too, so I don't consider that a major factor.  B12 is so cheap its almost free, only needs to be taken once a week or even less frequently.  DHA - most meat eaters don't get the recommended amount because they don't eat a lot of salmon/oily fish.  Fish generally have pretty high levels of contamination:

https://www.epa.gov/fish-tech/national-lake-fish-tissue-study-results-and-data

https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/study-finds-toxic-pollutants-fish-across-worlds-oceans

https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/is-fish-oil-safe/fish-oil_contamination/

Is this worse than the contaminants in plant foods?  I don't know...  But its easy enough to get dha from a vegan supplement, and this is likely a superior source than fish oil supplements which are more likely to go rancid and contain pcbs.

Eating meat & dairy can spike your growth factors and other cell signaling which may not be optimal for longevity, especially for men.  The longest lived people group ever documented (as far as I know) are CA Adventists, and their diets have been studied.  For men, the vegan diet was optimal for longevity, for women, pesco-vegetarian was best.

Table 4

Associations of Dietary Patterns With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality From a Cox Proportional Hazards Regression Model Among Participants in the Adventist Health Study 2, 2002–2009

Characteristic Deaths, Hazard Ratio (95% CI)
All-Cause Ischemic Heart Disease Cardiovascular Disease Cancer Other
All (N = 73 308), No. of deathsa,b 2560 372 987 706 867
 Vegetarian
  Vegan 0.85 (0.73–1.01) 0.90 (0.60–1.33) 0.91 (0.71–1.16) 0.92 (0.68–1.24) 0.74 (0.56–0.99)
  Lacto-ovo 0.91 (0.82–1.00) 0.82 (0.62–1.06) 0.90 (0.76–1.06) 0.90 (0.75–1.09) 0.91 (0.77–1.07)
  Pesco 0.81 (0.69–0.94) 0.65 (0.43–0.97) 0.80 (0.62–1.03) 0.94 (0.72–1.22) 0.71 (0.54–0.94)
  Semi 0.92 (0.75–1.13) 0.92 (0.57–1.51) 0.85 (0.63–1.16) 0.94 (0.66–1.35) 0.99 (0.72–1.36)
 Nonvegetarian 1 [Reference] 1 [Reference] 1 [Reference] 1 [Reference] 1 [Reference]
Men (n = 25 105), No. of deathsa 1031 169 390 273 368
 Vegetarian
  Vegan 0.72 (0.56–0.92) 0.45 (0.21–0.94) 0.58 (0.38–0.89) 0.81 (0.48–1.36) 0.81 (0.53–1.22)
  Lacto-ovo 0.86 (0.74–1.01) 0.76 (0.52–1.12) 0.77 (0.59–0.99) 1.01 (0.75–1.37) 0.89 (0.69–1.15)
  Pesco 0.73 (0.57–0.93) 0.77 (0.45–1.30) 0.66 (0.44–0.98) 1.10 (0.73–1.67) 0.60 (0.39–0.93)
  Semi 0.93 (0.68–1.26) 0.73 (0.33–1.60) 0.75 (0.43–1.32) 1.15 (0.65–2.03) 1.03 (0.62–1.71)
 Nonvegetarian 1 [Reference] 1 [Reference] 1 [Reference] 1 [Reference] 1 [Reference]
Women (n = 48 203), No. of deathsa,c 1529 203 597 433 499
 Vegetarian
  Vegan 0.97 (0.78–1.20) 1.39 (0.87–2.24) 1.18 (0.88–1.60) 0.99 (0.69–1.44) 0.70 (0.47–1.05)
  Lacto-ovo 0.94 (0.83–1.07) 0.85 (0.59–1.22) 0.99 (0.81–1.22) 0.85 (0.67–1.09) 0.93 (0.75–1.17)
  Pesco 0.88 (0.72–1.07) 0.51 (0.26–0.99) 0.90 (0.66–1.23) 0.86 (0.61–1.21) 0.81 (0.58–1.15)
  Semi 0.92 (0.70–1.22) 1.09 (0.60–1.98) 0.93 (0.64–1.34) 0.85 (0.56–1.30) 0.97 (0.64–1.47)
 Nonvegetarian 1 [Reference] 1 [Reference] 1 [Reference] 1 [Reference] 1 [Reference]

 

Edited by Gordo

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@Gordo

Thank you for your answer. ?

I believe that my research is not sufficient enough to give a counter-argument regarding DHA, but as far as I know, you can reach enough with certain fish species (which are less contaminated) and certain plant-oils (such as linseed oil) , without to have to resort to supplements?

At the same time, I question the study. I'm missing some parameters.
What I find interesting, for example, are the "good" results of semi-vegetarian. It's close to what I "do" to myself: Namely vegan with once a week pure meat (150-300 gram). But here they also take dairy products - I think that's also an big issue? An addition to that, the ratio of vegetable - non-plant food is not investigated (as far as I know) .

At the end of the day, I question how it can be that nature does not give us what we need for survival / longevity and we need to eat it industrially. 


I notice how difficult it is for me to give a detailed answer in English ?. I hope you can understand it to some extent. Sorry, if not.

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On 10/13/2018 at 4:38 PM, sMio said:

I'm interested in how you manage to decide living completely vegan.
If I've done my research correctly, there are "nutrients" that a human-being is proven to lack when it separates himself from the animal.
I take such decisions critically when I have to take something like dietary supplements.

There are probably 4 main levels to regard the nutrient issue, with respect to a well balanced omnivorous diet in an efficiently digesting less than age-50 individual:

  1. Basic nutrients: the only one nutrient which absolutely is missing in a plant-based regimen is B12 , as gordo says; pls note omnivorous individuals and those wth little stomach acidity especially if over 50 may exhibit B12 deficiency as well
  2. Basic nutrients but controversial or related to phenotype (genetic polymorpisms): D3 may be lacking if you have not the opportunity to sunbathe regularly or have unfavourable genes. EPA-DHA may be missing if you are a bad converter ALA→EPA-DHA; Retinol may be missing if you are a bad converter carotenes→retinol. Iodine may be present in small amounts. Some of the precedeing are controversial, for example persons of colour  in northern climates whould all get ill if not eating huge amounts of fat fish. 
  3. Nutrients which may be deficient in a plant-based diet in some conditions. For example zinc, lysine, Tiamine, Niacin and so on, but this is the same for non-vegan people, certain fixed eating habits may bring about deficiencies 
  4. Nutrients which are not believed to be really necessary but may be useful, like choline, creatine and so on.

There is an excellent sticky post by Michael Rae on advised supplemetation regimen for vegans. Also, using an app like cronometer may give you valuable hints. last, checking the hints with regular blood analyses will make you sure that the vegan transition will be painless. all the above has been discussed in previous threads.

I myself made the transition from lacto-ovo to fully vegan (99%) 2 years ago, with excellent results. An adequate strategy is necessary though. 

Edited by mccoy

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1 hour ago, sMio said:

@Gordo

Thank you for your answer. ?

I believe that my research is not sufficient enough to give a counter-argument regarding DHA, but as far as I know, you can reach enough with certain fish species (which are less contaminated) and certain plant-oils (such as linseed oil) , without to have to resort to supplements?

If your problem is supplementation, then you should follow a mixed diet, probably vegan-pescetarian, with mussels for B12 and fat fish and flaxseed for omega3s/D3.

A few years ago I was against supplements but they allow you a wide freedom of choice as far as dietary regimens go. Valte Longo himself advises supplements 2 or 3 times per week, beside his vegan-pescetarian diet.

Edited by mccoy

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On 10/15/2018 at 6:10 AM, sMio said:

At the end of the day, I question how it can be that nature does not give us what we need for survival / longevity and we need to eat it industrially. 

"Nature" does not want you to have longevity, better to kill you off shortly after reproduction and parenting are done, to give more resources to your offspring and theirs ?

Also you can survive on almost anything, there is a show called "Freaky Eaters" (also on YouTube) that shows people who have been living for years on the strangest, hyper-limited diets (nothing but french fries, nothing but pizza, nothing but cheeseburgers, there was a woman drinking over 4000 kcal a day of soda (30 cans a day, and didn't get especially fat either by the way).

See: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=freaky+eaters

I don't consider myself "vegan" by the way.  I like to tell people I eat a plant based whole food diet.  I do eat non-vegan foods about once a week (occasional dairy item, or small portion of salmon).  I believe it's what you do 90% of the time that matters as far as health is concerned, and the exceptions aren't going to make any significant difference if they are minor and infrequent.  You will know how well your regime is doing by your biomarkers of health and aging indicators compared to others - and those don't lie ?  I think some people get so obsessed with diet tweaks that they end up damaging their health with anxiety and anti-social behavior.  There is MUCH more to longevity than what or how you eat.  If you have a lousy marriage or no friends or poor sleep, you aren't likely to have longevity for example.

 

Edited by Gordo

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Hello @mccoy,

Thanks also for your answers. I'm also a big fan of your posts and appreciate your experiences and passion. I'm glad, if you would also like to introduce yourself in detail in my other thread - I know only little about your overall diet, training, stress exposures etc.

Do you have studies or theses, why the stomach acid weakens from the age? Is the strength of the acids recoverable?
Here I find the theses of Galina Schatalova very interesting - do you know her or her theories?

Regarding dietary supplements and that I see it as a "problem" would be extremely to say (to write). I am only critical because the knowledge of whole foods is very limited (in my opinion). I would be happy to see it differently because as Gordo said, these are cheap to get and as you mentioned, it makes things easier in the diet.
Did you (Gordo + Mccoy) look at your blood levels, for example, if you were eating a rich vegan diet while not taking any nutritional supplements and paying attention to the blood attributes that would be deficient if you did not take them in extra?

@Gordo, thanks for the great first sentence (""Nature" does not want you to have longevity, better to kill you off shortly after reproduction and parenting are done, to give more resources to your offspring and theirs ?"") of your new answer - it sums it up wonderfully. At the same time, when one (apparently) explores and understands nature better, does the nature itself offer the opportunity to fight nature? Now it's going to be philosophical for me ? 

In addition to saying that dietis not everything, I absolutely agree. Among other aspects because of the health (but also because of my hobbies and my job) I dealt with the topics: communication, interpersonal relationships, psyche, "meaning of life". I think that I will open some threads over time ? 

Have a good night - It is very instructive for me to read your entries.

Best regards

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Smio, thanks for the appreciation.

By the way, probably the best reference to try the vegan regimen is Brenda Davis-Melina Vesanto book: 'Becoming Vegan-comprehensive edition'. Choke full of useful suggestions by academic authors.

image.png.9189190eadf88346bebdc7b92b7c403c.png

 

 

 

Edited by mccoy

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23 hours ago, sMio said:



Did you (Gordo + Mccoy) look at your blood levels, for example, if you were eating a rich vegan diet while not taking any nutritional supplements and paying attention to the blood attributes that would be deficient if you did not take them in extra?

Unfortunately I'm not a fan of frequent blood analyses, which would also constitute a major cost here if most main minerals and vitamins should be analysed. I opened a thread with my recent blood analyses, taking B12, zinc, iodine supplements, and after a couple of months sunbathing. Iron was good as well D3, both with natural sources, no supplementation. Among the analysed parameters homocisteyne was beyond the upper normal range, I described the possible causes and the supplementation strategy I'm trying, bsaed on choline, TMG, cycles of B complex vitamins . Should I try and get enough choline from plant-based foods, I should gorge on mushrooms and tofu.

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On 10/15/2018 at 10:55 PM, sMio said:

Do you have studies or theses, why the stomach acid weakens from the age? Is the strength of the acids recoverable?
Here I find the theses of Galina Schatalova very interesting - do you know her or her theories?

Actually, the hypochloridria argument is cited by vegan activist but I never looked up the literture, which however does support some ratio of hypocloridria  (20%) in >65-70 years individuals (for example: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF01540281)

Also, the Canadian GI  website publishes a table with some known causes of B12 deficiency or impaired absorption, only one of which is a vegan long-term diet. 

https://www.badgut.org/information-centre/health-nutrition/vitamin-b12/

Condition or State

Causes of Deficiency

Absence of vitamin B12 in the diet Vegan diet (long-term); poor intake of vitamin B12-rich food
Lack of adequate intrinsic factor Gastrectomy, pernicious anemia
Inadequate intestinal absorption Gastric bypass surgery, small bowel surgery (especially in the ileum), disease in the ileum (Crohn’s disease, cancer), short bowel syndrome, fistulas
Poor digestion of food Reduced gastric acid (>65 years of age, gastric cancer, H. pylori infection)
Failure to digest salivary R protein Pancreatic disease, lack of pancreatic enzymes
Other malabsorption syndromes HIV, multiple sclerosis
Congenital disease Transcobalamin deficiency
Receptor or mucosal defects Long-term use of certain drugs like H2 receptor antagonists, proton pump inhibitors, Metformin, antacids
Altered use of intestinal organ Bacterial overgrowth, long-term TPN, tapeworm

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On 10/15/2018 at 4:55 PM, sMio said:

Did you (Gordo + Mccoy) look at your blood levels, for example, if you were eating a rich vegan diet while not taking any nutritional supplements and paying attention to the blood attributes that would be deficient if you did not take them in extra?

 

Only with respect to iron (in which case there was no problem found and I need no supplement nor do I have too much).  For something like b12, DHA, D3, zinc or iodine it seemed silly to do testing, because the testing itself costs more than the supplements and you'd have to keep testing every year as nutrient requirements and bodily function change with age. If you limit your supplementation to recommended amounts (avoid excessive doses), there is little risk of taking too much even if you were already receiving enough in your diet (If I'm getting decent sun exposure and its Summer, I don't take D3, I take b12 only once a week, zinc only 2-3 times a week).

"when one (apparently) explores and understands nature better, does the nature itself offer the opportunity to fight nature?"

Well humans are part of nature, so the answer is of course, yes. We may have been guided since the beginning of life on Earth by basic survival but now we've already moved beyond that in many respects and have the capability to mess with the genetic code itself, replace or remove failing organs, rejuvenate cells, modify hormones and disrupt physiological processes.  It seems reasonable to me to think that we will achieve radical life extension eventually despite the formidable hurdles encountered thus far.

Edited by Gordo

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@mccoyThank you for the book tip. In fact, a used one is still to be found in our book market on Lake Constance ? 

I find the statements and the justifications plausible. however i quote:

@Gordo  "If you limit your supplementation to recommended amounts (avoid excessive doses), there is little risk of taking too much..."

Why even the little risk, if there are natural paths (where possible), where the interaction of other minerals plays a more important role for us than we understand? 
I do not contradict you Gordo . That's just a question I'm trying to answer to myself.

After our exchange, I find It a interesting solution (for me) to reduce my intake to 100 grams meat per week or even every 2 weeks and supplementally (not 100%, maybe 40-60%?) To take supplements. Does it sound plausible? I do not know yet. 

Over time I will reveal more details about my way of life in the "Introduction Thread". I am curious how it will adapt over the next few years. 

It would be an interesting thought to compare our updates once per year :-)?

Nice weekend in advance

 

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12 hours ago, sMio said:

Why even the little risk, if there are natural paths (where possible)

Sometimes "natural paths" carry even higher risks, for example some people used to promote eating seaweed products to get your iodine - this turned out to be a pretty bad idea as iodine in seaweed products varies tremendously and sometimes contains too much which can harm you:

https://www.nutraingredients.com/Article/2018/08/22/ANSES-urge-vigilance-over-seaweed-supplement-link-to-excess-iodine-intake

For something like D3, you might get a little from diet but its mostly from sun exposure, this is a problem in Fall/Winter/early Spring for many people who show signs of deficiency (even fish/egg eaters).  You could go back to your argument of "how did people 4 thousand years ago survive then?" but this argument is not really valid, suboptimal D3 won't kill you quickly (but could lead to a shorter lifespan).  You definitely don't want an excessive amount through supplementation though, so you have to check labels.  If you are going to get a blood test, what would make you think it was representative of your status year round?  To be hyper vigilant and thorough you'd probably have to test at least 4 times a year.  I guess if you have money to burn, go for it, I'd rather just take an occasional supplement when I don't get a lot of sun exposure.

As for other vitamins - to know if you were getting the right amounts from food you'd need to track everything you eat in cronometer or MyFitnessPal.  I did that for a year, it was nice to learn from this, but not something I felt compelled to continue doing and it drove my wife crazy and wasted a lot of my time.  Still you will learn what you get plenty of, and what you may be deficient in more commonly.  Michael R. has written extensively about CRON and supplements:

This one was specifically for vegetarians:

And here is Dean's write up which is a bit more succinct:

 

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By the way, using cronometer does not have to be necessarily time consuming, if some strategies are adopted. Mine for example, is to list all the foods I usually eat, I'll always copy previous days and reset quantities and change accordingly.

Also, eating simple foods and not mixtures would be easier of course. Weighing stuff gets automatic at home and the results can be extrapolated outside home.

One major drawback I found in trying to get all micronutrients from food is that I felt compelled to eat what I didn't feel like, in quantities sometimes excessive. For example mushrooms for B3 and B5.

Now I try and eat more intuitively (listening to the body), the supplements are just an aid in this direction.

At the end, everyone is different and it's just a matter of experimentation if you are OK with satisfying all requirements with natural food alone. Sometimes you might need to eat a lot though, even when you don't feel like it.

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I find it quite exciting with Chronometer, but I'm not (unfortunately) the type who could do the daily input. Unfortunately, I'm missing the patience ...
Still, you're absolutely right Mccoy - there are ways to minimize the effort.

Edited by sMio

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