One of the things that vegetarians must be wary of is insufficient intake of vitamins only available in animal-based foods. A new study from the UK shows vegetarian men are particularly at risk for a number of disorders directly attributable to vitamin B12 and Iron deficiency, not the least of which is depression…
The study, conducted at the University of Bristol in England, looked at 9,668 men who self-identified as vegan or vegetarian. Researchers wanted to know if non-meat diets were a factor in affective disorders, such as depression.
Of those who identified as ‘vegetarian’ only 7 per cent had a vitamin B12 deficiency. But of those who identified as ‘vegan’, about 50 per cent were deficient in B12. At the same time, those who were vegan or vegetarian also reported significantly higher rates of depression than men on diets which included meat.
B12 is a vitamin already known to be connected with metabolism and general health.
The Harvard Medical Health Blog agrees…
“A severe vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to deep depression, paranoia and delusions, memory loss, incontinence, loss of taste and smell, and more.”
Not just vegetarians…
It’s not just vegan and vegetarian men who are at risk. Men and women over the age of 50 should have regular B12 checks, the Harvard Blog says.
So, what can we do?
Fortunately, a B12 deficiency is a relatively easy fix. There are lots of B12 supplements and multi-vitamins in the pharmacy and even the supermarket, these days. B12 is connected with a wide variety of physical ailments and should not be left unknown or untreated.
~ Maggie J.