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From: temp (
Subject:         Re: iron-level
Date: August 25, 2015 at 3:11 pm PST

In Reply to: Re: iron-level posted by Jane on August 25, 2015 at 1:25 pm:

Hey Jane,

It might not be related, but worth mentioning that the amino acid taurine has been found to be a common vegan diet deficiency. Taurine is a major constituent of bile, which is what keeps the gallbladder and liver healthy, not to mention is required for the digestion of fats and fat soluble vitamins/nutrients.

I had similar digestive problems including gallbladder stagnation, low fat diets help to relieve the symptoms in the short term, however low fat diets have actually been shown to cause gallbladder stagnation and bile insufficiency.

Avoiding fats or low fat diets really isn't the best answer in the long term either because you can end up developing essential fatty acid deficiencies, especially the omega-3's such as DHA, which is already commonly low on vegan diets and very important for brain/heart health etc.

Another problem with avoiding any of the harder to digest foods such as fat rich foods(nuts/seeds etc) or protein rich foods is that the digestive function can become weak and sluggish in the long term causing low pancreatic digestive enzyme output and a lack of stomach acid and bile flow.

We see this in many long term raw foodists, initially they felt great by avoiding or restricting these harder to digest foods, but long term such a restrictive diet doesn't tend to provide all the nutrients we need to stay healthy, so once they need to start including a wider range of foods again, they find that they can no longer digest these foods, even healthy cooked vegan plant-foods, which isn't a good sign of digestion in my opinion.

Eggs you mention would most likely be a good addition to your diet and should help to replace many nutrients that are commonly deficient on vegan diets such as vitamin b12, sulfur-bonded amino acids(taurine), boost zinc, iron, vitamin d3 and even omega-3 in the form of DHA if you get the omega enriched eggs.

B12 is fairly heat stable as far as im aware, some loss occurs from cooking of course, however not enough to pose a problem. One can of sardines for example contains over 100% of the RDA of Vitamin B12, not to mention is one of the best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids EPA/DHA also. Id cook these foods, as raw foods can be a haven for parasites including raw plant-foods(which should be washed well).

Im not sure if you have heard of bitter herbs also known as digestive bitters or even just bitter foods in general. When they come in contact with the back of the tongue, they stimulate the release of digestive enzymes and bile, supporting gallbladder health, cleansing the liver and aiding the overall digestive process. Bitter herbs are a traditional herbal remedy popular in Europe for thousands of years for supporting digestion and preventing indigestion after heavy meals.

It take it they done an ultrasound of your gallbladder, in which case at least they didn't find gallstones which is a good sign, but not very helpful that they didn't find the cause of your pain.

Im a big fan of seaweeds myself, they contain very hard to get trace elements/minerals, not to mention they are also a great source of the mineral iodine, which studies are showing many individuals regardless of diet are still suffering from sub-optimal iodine levels.

However i wouldn't rely on seaweeds as your main vitamin B12 source, the studies are very mixed at present on whether seaweeds are a reliable vitamin B12 source or not, some studies seem to show positive results, whilst others show that seaweeds contain b12-analogues, which might actually impair the active forms of vitamin b12 being uptaken.

What diet were you eating when you were pregnant/normal iron levels ?

To have normal iron levels previously before you started your mostly raw vegan diet, i think gives your answer here that your vegan diet isn't currently supplying enough iron and not in the an absorbable form to keep iron status maintained.

2 years is more than long enough to deplete your vitamin B12 stores in the liver, so i would definitely think about having your doctor run at least a blood vitamin b12 test, incase you are suffering from pernicious anemia/b12 deficiency, which can accompany low iron in vegans. B12 deficiency is a serious one because it can sneak up and cause irreparable nervous system damage/MS type symptoms.

My posts are always just for information/fun purposes on here. Always best to check with a professional before making any significant lifestyle, dietary and especially supplement changes.

I feel vegan nutritionists are often far too quick to recommend people to supplement methyl-cobalamin B12 supplements, when they don't take into account whether an individual may not be bio-chemically suited to that particular form of Vitamin B12.

Over-methylators react very poorly to methyl-cobalamin due to the extra methyl-groups it provides. Even B12 supplements can be dangerous in some individuals with methylation disorders causing low potassium, so often these supplements are not to be played around with, especially in the very high dosages that many vegan doctors recommend as a general recommendation.

Hope you find a safe remedy to your iron issues :)

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