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From: temp (
Subject:         Re: iron-level
Date: August 19, 2015 at 9:15 am PST

In Reply to: iron-level posted by Jane on August 19, 2015 at 12:25 am:

Hey Jane,

Iron is a common nutritional deficiency for those following strict vegan diets, especially in women as they lose iron during the menstrual cycle.

Your only real options are to either consume animal foods which contain the more absorbable heme form of iron, if your levels return to normal, then you know that its most likely been your diet thats not supplying enough iron, again this is a common issue in vegetarians and in particular vegans.

Or if you don't want to consume animal foods, then you will most likely be prescribed iron supplements from your doctor to treat the iron-deficiency anemia. Iron supplements can be a short-term solution to restoring iron levels during deficiency and correcting anemia, however long term they are not a solution and shouldn't be used as a substitute for providing iron, when it should obtained from the diet like other basic essential nutrients

Non-heme iron found in plant foods is very poorly absorbed, however you can increase the absorption of non-heme iron by pairing iron rich plant foods with foods rich in vitamin C. But again most vegan diets which are rich in wholefoods such as fruits, vegetables, leafy greens etc do this anyway and many vegan women still end up reporting that they suffer from low iron levels/anemia.

However low iron is only one of the common nutritional problems with a vegan diet, you should ask your doctor to test your vitamin B12 levels if you have been eating strict vegan for any length of time, as vegan diets don't provide ANY reliable dietary source of vitamin B12.

The scientific research has proven that the majority of vegans suffer from vitamin b12 deficiency and hyperhomocysteinemia, which is a proven factor in the development of heart disease.

Vitamin D3, DHA, iodine, zinc, calcium, taurine/carnitine are also other common vegan nutrient deficiencies.

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