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the doubting vegan
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Razor Penguin
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Re: Iron, Zinc, B12
Sep 19, 2000, 22:07
The iron in green leafy vegetables is there in spades, agreed, but it is very poorly metabolized by the body in comparison with animal sources. But the cast-iron tip is a good one.

The biggest problem with a vegan diet is lack of vitamin B12. It can be found in soy products and certain types of algae, but not only is it poorly assimilated by the body, it actually blocks the assimilation of B12 from other sources at least to some degree. Vegans can run into major problems ten years or so down the road with nerve damage, etc. from lack of B12. The body recycles it for a while, but gradually gets depleted.

And I might as well add that the vegi/vegan discussion here has gotten a bit imbalanced. The notion that meat-eating is inherently unnatural and/or unhealthful for the human body is absurd. Humans have been eating meat for millions of years, and the process of evolution has made our bodies very well-acclimatized to doing so. Our digestive organs, teeth, etc. are perfectly capable of dealing with meat and are partly designed to do just that. The health problems associated with eating meat are attributable to the fact that toxins accumulate as they go up the food chain. As most of these are fat-soluble rather than water-soluble, they end up in the fatty tissues of animals in high concentrations, hence the strong correlation of meat-eating with chronic disease. There are excellent environmental & health-related reasons for avoiding heavy meat intake, but we need to realize that our bodies are omnivorous. That's simply a fact which we have no control over. Our minds often write checks that our bodies cannot cash.

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