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Old 06-25-2011, 11:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Vitamin/Mineral Deficiencies

I'm just wondering if this happens to anyone else and if so, what did you do to remedy it?

I follow an almost strictly vegetarian diet (I will occasionally eat fish) and also take a multivitamin specifically for individuals following vegetarian diets. According to my diet logs and with the multivitamin, I am getting almost 200% of the RDA for many of the B vitamins and more than enough iron.

I donate plasma on a regular basis, but most times, I just make the cut off for the hematocrit level. There was also a time when I was 5 points below where it should have been. (Just in case, hematocrit is the percentage of your whole blood that is made up of red blood cells).

I am planning on see a physician to see if I am anemic and if an iron supplement is a good idea, but I figured I would ask around and see if anyone else has had this issue.

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Old 06-26-2011, 04:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I thought a multivitamin for vegetarians might have iron included. No? That said, I thought including whole grains covered iron, but B-12 was the reason vegetarians might need a supplement.
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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"Because iron from plant sources is less easily absorbed than the heme-bound iron of animal sources, vegetarians and vegans should have a somewhat higher total daily iron intake than those who eat meat, fish or poultry. Legumes and dark-green leafy vegetables like broccoli, kale and oriental greens are especially good sources of iron for vegetarians and vegans. However, spinach and Swiss chard contain oxalates which bind iron making it almost entirely unavailable for absorption. Iron from nonheme sources is more readily absorbed if consumed with foods that contain either heme-bound iron or vitamin C. This is due to a hypothesised "meat factor" which enhances iron absorption."

So an Iron supplement would be a good idea, maybe also look into a multivitamin. My sister's a vegetarian and has to take those since it's harder to absorb some of the vitamins with her diet.
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Most of the B vitamins are not absorbed very well though the gut. That's why doctors will often give B vitamins as shots. An alternative recommended by my old diet doc last year was to use the B supplements that you just stick under your tongue and are absorbed directly without the digestion process.
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi Alice1320.

I've been a vegetarian most of my life. I do not take supplements or vitamins. I get plenty of B12/iron through natural and fortified (synthetic) food sources.

I'm a little confused that you would think you are deficient since you are a pescetarian, take a multivitamin and said your log shows you get enough. I would check your food logs to make sure you are recording your B12/iron properly, especially your custom foods.

Cheeses (swiss, mozz, feta, parm, etc.) milk, soymilk, whey, whole eggs, yogurt, yeast extract, tofu and fish/shell fish are good sources for B12.

Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, etc.) Dried fruit (raisins, apricot, apples, figs etc.) Beans, tofu, cocoa powder, dark chocolate and shell fish a good sources for iron.

Are you getting enough vitamin A? TBH, I don't eat 1/2 of the examples I listed but I still show no deficiencies in those vitamin levels. I do get a lot of vitamin A (best sources are fruits and veggies) which allows my body to absorb iron easily.
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